A legend in the making? Key questions as trainers go to war in the Gimcrack
Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes | Group 2 | 6f | 2yo colts & geldings | ITV/RUK
After walking away with the biggest prize of Ebor week on Wednesday, trainer John Gosden, jockey Oisin Murphy and owners Qatar Racing will be hoping to place a sizeable cherry on the cake with Legends Of War in the Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes.
Roaring Lion was quite brilliant for the triumvirate when blowing away his rivals in the Juddmonte International, and Legends Of War has some way to go to be held in the same esteem as his stablemate.
But the 900,000gns breeze-up buy has won two of his three starts and steps back up in grade having run below par when sixth in the July Stakes on his previous attempt in Pattern company.
Gosden said: "We're trying him at a higher level again and he enjoyed getting his head in front last time. He's a neat colt who deserves to take his chance and these are nice races to be involved in."
A Bright future for Balding juvenile?
Shine So Bright used to live not too far away from York and makes the journey back north with a leading chance of victory.
Formerly trained by Karl Burke, Shine So Bright was purchased for £375,000 on the eve of Royal Ascot by big-spending owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha of King Power Racing.
Switched to Andrew Balding after finishing fifth to Calyx in the Coventry Stakes, Shine So Bright backed up that performance with a good third in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood last time.
Balding said: "He ran a good race at Goodwood previously and has been working well since. We think he could step forward again."
Back-to-back Gimcracks for Fahey?
Winning the Gimcrack Stakes had long been on trainer Richard Fahey’s bucket list and last year Sands Of Mali powered up the Knavesmire to score under Paul Hanagan.
Buoyed by his success 12 months ago, Fahey returns with two strong chances of following up in the shape of the unbeaten Space Traveller and Cosmic Law, winner of the Woodcote Stakes in June.
“It’s a race that’s great to get on my CV,” said Fahey. “But it would be really nice to win it again!”
Space Traveller, owned by Yorkshire businessman Steve Parkin, steps up significantly in grade having taken his record to two from two in a novice race at Hamilton last time.
Fahey added: “It’s a huge step up for him but he’s a very unassuming horse who has never put a foot wrong at home or on the racecourse. We think he’s up to this grade but it’s a big test.”
Cosmic Law drops back to 6f having taken on Dark Vision in the 7f Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last time, and his trainer said: “We’re very happy with him and I’m not sure if stepping up to seven really suited him last time. I think this is more what he wants.”
Can The Irish Rover boost Advertise’s form?
Trainer Martyn Meade and Phoenix Thoroughbreds will be watching the performance of The Irish Rover with eagle eyes after he chased home their star juvenile Advertise in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last time.
It was yet another consistent performance from the son of No Nay Never, who is bidding to become Aidan O’Brien’s first winner of this famous contest since Rock Of Gibraltar in 2001.
O’Brien said: “He ran very well when third in the Phoenix Stakes last time and we've been happy with him since. He seems in good form.”
What they say
Charlie Hills, trainer of Chuck Willis
He's a nice horse but whether he's quite up to this class we don't yet know. On paper it doesn't look the strongest Gimcrack, so it makes sense to run him. He's talented, has a great attitude and he'll like the ground and the track. If he could finish third we'd be happy.
Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Emaraaty Ana
He’s a lovely horse and one we’ve always thought would be up to this grade. I think it was inexperience that beat him last time. He hit a flat spot and then was staying on nicely again at the end. It’s the Gimcrack and it’s going to be tough, but he shows us plenty.
George Peckham, trainer of Semoum
We've always liked him. I thought he’d win more impressively than he did at Ascot but they went no gallop which didn’t really suit him. He has won his last two and deserves to be stepped up in grade. The sharper track should suit him – he has a lot of pace and I think he’s the type to run better in a better race.
Archie Watson, trainer of Showout
He won very impressively under a penalty at Brighton last time and deserves a step up in class. I hope he's an improving horse and whatever the ground is wouldn't worry me.
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