Wednesday, October 8, 2003
INDIAN HAVEN ON TRACK FOR CHAMPION BID
Paul D'Arcy's stable star, Irish 2000 Guineas winner Indian Haven, worked on the Rowley Mile this morning and the trainer reported him to be in top form ahead of his next intended target, the £400,000 Group One Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, October 18.
Indian Haven, a three-year-old son of Indian Ridge, has not been seen out since running disappointingly in the St James' Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot back in June, when he finished last behind Zafeen.
D'Arcy said today: "Indian Haven worked just up to the two-furlong marker on the Rowley Mile course - we started pulling up there to ensure that we didn't run out of watered ground. The going on the racecourse is perfect; I wanted to let him have an exercise gallop on a really good surface, and I'm very pleased with him. The plan will be to tackle the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes a week on Saturday."
The Newmarket trainer must be hoping for a clear run when Indian Haven takes his place in the line up on October 18, as twice this season his horse has been hampered so badly as to lose any chance of winning. However, as he showed in the Irish 2000 Guineas, when he doesn't encounter traffic problems he has an excellent turn of foot and could pose a big threat to the principals. He's still a relatively unexposed horse, having only run four times this season.
39 HIGH-CLASS ENTRIES REMAIN IN RACING POST TROPHY
Michael Jarvis reveals that recent Doncaster scorer Sabbeeh could return to Town Moor for the Group One race
This year's £200,000 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday, October 25 will be of the highest class after 39 entries stood their ground at the forfeit stage for the Group One contest, details of which are released today, Wednesday, October 8.
Unusually Aidan O'Brien, who has trained the winners of the Racing Post Trophy on four occasions courtesy of Brian Boru last season, High Chaparral in 2001, Aristotle in 1999 and Saratoga Springs in 1997, has yet to win a two-year-old Listed or Group contest in Britain this season and Ireland's champion trainer will be hoping to break that drought with one of his 20 remaining entries in what is a favourite race.
The Ballydoyle battallion is headed by Grand Reward, who was the two-length sixth behind Three Valleys in the Group One Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket last week, with stable companion Old Deuteronomy a length further back in seventh, while Antonius Pius was successful in the Group Two Anheuser Busch Railway Stakes at the Curragh on his last start in June, and Magritte, described by his handler as a beauty' could be anything after a five-length victory on his racecourse debut in a Tipperary maiden in July. Other debut winners O'Brien has under consideration are Five Dynasties, Go For Gold and Wolfe Tone.
Should any O'Brien contestant win the Racing Post Trophy, it may pay to follow their three-year-old career extremely closely. High Chaparral went on to become a dual Derby winner in Britain and Ireland, as well as taking the Breeders' Cup Turf at Arlington Park, while Brian Boru returned in great style at Doncaster to justify favouritism in this year's St Leger on September 13.
Newmarket trainer Michael Jarvis today revealed that Sabbeeh could take on the might of O'Brien at Town Moor, although the Red Ransom colt's participation depends what the weather does in the next two-and-a-half weeks.
He is considering three contests for the winner of two of his three races, the Racing Post Trophy, the Dewhurst at Newmarket and the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury.
"I think if we get some rain Sabbeeh will probably go for the Dewhurst Stakes. If we don't, then he'll have the option of the Racing Post Trophy or the Horris Hill," explained the handler.
Sabbeeh was the comfortable two-and-a-half length winner from New Mexican in the McKeever St. Lawrence Conditions Stakes at Doncaster on September 10, having bounced back from a disappointment when favourite on his previous start behind Three Valleys in the Group Three Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. He had earlier won a Ripon maiden by 13 lengths on his racecourse bow.
"Sabbeeh is perfectly fine and it was on the soft side of good on the first day of the St Leger Meeting at Doncaster," continued Jarvis. "When he won his maiden at Ripon in the spring it was very soft, so he's obviously effective on soft ground."
Sir Michael Stoute broke the recent O'Brien stranglehold on this contest when Dilshaan was successful in 2000. That winner was owned by Saeed Suhail, who took this year's Vodafone Derby with Kris Kin, and these connections could be represented by Always First and Imperial Stride.
The former won a conditions race at Sandown on his only start in August, while Imperial Stride is unbeaten in two outings including when proving five lengths too powerful for White Hawk in the skybet.com Conditions Stakes at Doncaster in July. Stoute's other possible North Light, owned by the executors of the late Lord Weinstock, improved on his debut second to win a Goodwood maiden last month at long odds-on.
Other remaining horses include the Marcus Tregoning-trained Snow Ridge, the winner of the Group Two Hackney Empire Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot on September 27 when getting the better of O'Brien's Moscow Ballet by three-quarters of a length, the Dermot Weld-trained pair of Grey Swallow, an impressive Galway maiden scorer, and Leopardstown winner Relaxed Gesture, and the Mark Johnston-trained trio of Lucky Story, whose two Group Two successes include the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last month, Pearl Of Love, third behind One Cool Cat in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh, and Duke Of Venice, a 13-length winner of a Sandown maiden.
THE RACING POST TROPHY
Class A, Group One, £200,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.05pm, Doncaster, Saturday, October 25, 2003. For 2yo entires colts & fillies, one mile. Weights: colts 9st; fillies 8st 11lb. Entries closed August 20 (83 entries), forfeit stage October 7 (39 entries remain), £17,500 supplementary entry stage October 20, five-day confirmation stage October 20, final declaration stage 10.00am, October 23. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, October 6, 2003.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
016 ACROPOLIS (IRE) 2 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
2 AKIMBO (USA) 2 Khalid Abdulla Henry Cecil
1 ALWAYS FIRST 2 Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute
313 AMALIE BAY (IRE) 2 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
221 ANCHOR 2 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
11 ANTONIUS PIUS (USA) 2 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
102 BAYEUX (USA) 2 Sheikh Mohammed David Loder
126 CELTIC CAT (IRE) 2 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
COBRA (IRE) 2 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
22 DESTINATION DUBAI (USA) 2 Sheikh Mohammed David Loder
31 DUKE OF VENICE (USA) 2 Sheikh Mohammed Mark Johnston
ESPERANTO (IRE) 2 Sue Magnier & Robert Sangster Aidan O'Brien IRE
1 FIVE DYNASTIES (USA) 2 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
0 GLENCAIRN STAR 2 Frank Brady Jim Goldie
1 GO FOR GOLD 2 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
1326 GRAND REWARD (USA) 2 Michael Tabor, Sue Magnier & Beverley Lewis Aidan O'Brien IRE
1 GREY SWALLOW (IRE) 2 Rochelle Quinn Dermot Weld IRE
11 IMPERIAL STRIDE 2 Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute
213 KING HESPERUS (USA) 2 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
12 LET THE LION ROAR 2 Neil Jones John Dunlop
41111 LUCKY STORY (USA) 2 Abdulla BuHaleeba Mark Johnston
1 MAGRITTE (IRE) 2 Sue Magnier & Mrs David Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
21 MIKADO 2 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
12 MOSCOW BALLET (IRE) 2 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
211054 NEWTON (IRE) 2 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
21 NORTH LIGHT (IRE) 2 Exors of the late Lord Weinstock Sir Michael Stoute
142240 OLD DEUTERONOMY (USA) 2 Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
0 PATRIXTOO (FR) 2 Pat Betts Mark Tompkins
21113 PEARL OF LOVE (IRE) 2 Mick Doyle Mark Johnston
31 RELAXED GESTURE (IRE) 2 Moyglare Stud Farms Ltd Dermot Weld IRE
101 SABBEEH (USA) 2 Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum Michael Jarvis
311 SGT PEPPER (IRE) 2 A T Macdonald Richard Hannon
11 SNOW RIDGE (IRE) 2 Exors of the late Lord Weinstock Marcus Tregoning
2213 TAHREEB (FR) 2 Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum Marcus Tregoning
1 THAJJA (IRE) 2 Hamdan Al Maktoum John Dunlop
3123 THE MIGHTY TIGER (USA) 2 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
13 TROUBADOUR (IRE) 2 Robert Sangster & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
3215 TYCOON 2 Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
1 WOLFE TONE (IRE) 2 Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
39 entries remain after October 7 forfeit stage
PADDY POWER GOLD CUP FOR WAVE ROCK
Trainer Philip Hobbs today revealed that Wave Rock is likely to be targeted again at the £110,000 Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday, November 15, 2003.
The eight-year-old chaser finished third to Cyfor Malta in last year's running of the very valuable handicap.
"Wave Rock might well run again in the Paddy Power Gold Cup," said the Somerset-based handler.
"He has been placed plenty of times and he was a bit unfortunate when he unseated his rider [Richard Johnson] when three lengths clear after the second last at Sandown in April. He's been a little bit unlucky."
The Paddy Power Gold Cup is the highlight of The Open, 2003, the three day-meeting at Cheltenham from Friday, November 14, to Sunday, November 16, inclusive.
Run over two miles and four and a half furlongs, the famous chase boasts an additional £10,000 in prize money in 2003, the first year of Paddy Power's sponsorship.
Wave Rock seems to enjoy The Open as much as the many racegoers who flock to Cheltenham for the meeting which kick starts the main part of the jump season.
He also ran at The Open in 2000 when he stayed on well up the run-in to win the two-mile Countryside Raceday Handicap Chase by four lengths from Glamanglitz on the initial day.
Wave Rock has done well over the summer and Hobbs added: ""Wave Rock is fine but, like all of these handicappers, it is difficult to place them to win too many races."
Simon Claisse, Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham Racecourse, said today: "We would be delighted to see Wave Rock back at Prestbury Park for the Paddy Power Gold Cup."
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink