We spoke to Olly Murphy assistant to Gordon Elliott about the big guns coming back for the start of the jumps season proper and also the excitement of launching the Gordon Elliott Racing Club – a super way to be involved with a great team.
Paris got most of the attention this week with an orgy of Group 1 races ran at Longchamp last Sunday which threw up plenty of talking points, not least the slowly run Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe which may have scuppered Treve’s attempt at immortality.
Back home, the quality mixed card at Tipperary rounded off the week and it will be hard to keep attention on the flat in the coming weeks before the turf season ends with a lot jumps fans coming out of summer hibernation or aestivation to give it its proper term (no, it makes no sense to me either).
There is a strong Britsh-trained presence in this Sunday’s Tote Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh for which the Brian Ellison-trained Seamour currently tops the weights and the four-year-old is one of 10 potential runners from Britain in this year’s renewal.
Classy dual purpose types Western Boy, Ted Veale and Silver Concorde were also among Tuesday’s acceptors for the two-mile contest.
Trainer Harry Rogers is looking forward to sending out Benkei who has already won three-times this season and was last seen when finishing a creditable sixth at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend.
It’s Arc weekend and did they or didn’t they water is an interesting sub plot. Home advantage for a home team is usually provided by mother nature and we’ll know come post time what assistance or not has been provided by the hose owners at Longchamp!
Saturday first to get out of the way and hopefully find a winner or two along the way before Sunday afternoon.
At Ascot in the opener Zeb Un Nisa goes after a prep run in a bid to secure some black type and has been an unfortunate runner a few times to date but looks to have a good opportunity to grab some on a huge weekend for her owner who runs Golden Horn in Paris. She showed lots of speed last year and I think is best ridden as close to the pace as possible. This race is tough but she might have a little more to offer now and would have got black type with a clearer run in a good York race last May. Liam Keniry takes the ride and she looks overpriced to shape a lot better and go closer than rag odds this afternoon.
If the remarkable Treve will deliver a historic third straight victory at Longchamp on Sunday it will be from a considerably easier draw than she faced in 2013 when drawn in stall 15 as the Al Shaqab owned wonder drew stall 8 for Sunday’s Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
Treve won again in 2014 from stall three and having also been drawn near main market rival New Bay who will break from stall 5 things look set in favour for her this time around.
Rupert Pritchard-Gordon, representing Al Shaqab said: “She’s near New Bay. It’s always good to have the good ones around you.”
Listowel (and a heavy workload) would bring anyone down to earth after the superb Irish Champions Weekend but there was some good racing last week and hopefully we will unearth a few future winners from it.
Unfortunately we’re going to have to drop Plough Boy (In hindsight his win in Killarney lacked depth even if it was visually pleasing) and Malicious Intent (who I’m sure has talent but hard to know if and when we see it given his history). I add two fillies this week who hopefully will prove fruitful to follow.
Two horses trained in Britain feature among the 25 entries for the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes on a high-class card at Tipperary next Sunday, October 4th.
Trainer Brendan Powell has entered his eight-time winner Dark Emerald while David Nicholls could be represented by Sovereign Debt, a six-time scorer whose most recent success came in the Listed Celebration Stakes at the Curragh on Dubai Duty Free Derby weekend in June.
The €67,500 event could also be a target for the Tommy Stack-trained Onenightidreamed and other notable entries include Tom Hogan’s star Gordon Lord Byron, the Charles O’Brien-trained Iveagh Gardens, Dermot Weld’s Tested and Hint Of A Tint, trained by David Wachman. Aidan O’Brien has entered both Sir Isaac Newton and The Happy Prince.
Cracking day ahead.
Educate has been coming to boil and can win the Cambridgeshire with a proper ride from Tom Queally, tactics have been sporadic and hopefully today is the day for the cracker who is back on a nice mark and will love the tussle in store here. Money came for him last time and more can be expected again hopefully. Abseil is the best of the prominent market leaders and is the saver if putting it all in under Ryan Moore could be masquerading below his level and we will find out more today.
From the eight horses highlighted last month we had two winners in Empress Ali at 4/1 and Luca Cumani’s Laurence at 11/4, while we hit the bar with Ayresome Angel, second of four, beaten a neck.
Salieris Mass, second of 12, beaten one and quarter lengths and Forgiving Glance, second of 10, beaten a length. Paul Midgley’s Irish Cailin finished a respectable fourth of 12, beaten only two lengths.
Ascot Class 4 Maiden Stakes over 7f on 5th September won by Culterati, has produced three winners from the three races, second place Atlantic Son has since won at Ffos Las, while third place Christchurch won at Newbury recently over 6f for trainer Brian Meehan. Maestro Mac finished seventh at Ascot beaten three lengths won his maiden at Wolverhampton.
September is upon us, so it’s time to roll out the annual North and Scotland National Hunt Ten-to-Follow list for 2015/16. This list is brought to you courtesy of Mark Rowntree Racing – click here for more
1) CYRUS DARIUS (Malcolm Jefferson)
6yo g, Overbury/Barton Belle
No single horse made a more telling impression upon myself last season than Cyrus Darius. A devastating ten lengths winner of the Grade 2 Novices Hurdle at Aintree in April 2015, Cyrus Darius had long been on the radar prior to his coming of age.