Ed de Giles eyeing Royal Ascot and York after frustratingly slow start
Ed de Giles is looking forward to stepping things up a gear after Bombero got his picturesque Herefordshire stables off the mark for the year with a wide-margin win at Chepstow last week following a series of near misses.
De Giles worked in the City and was a part-owner of Group 1-winning sprinter Markab before he began training in 2011. He would love to get his hands on one that good, and while it's not happening yet he has some promising sorts among a team of around 35 that he enjoyed showing at his media morning.
Bombero is expected to go on improving for a while and to get a mile and six furlongs when required, while stable stalwart Croquembouche, who pays his way on fast ground every year, is not finished yet, though it will not get any easier for him at the age of nine.
De Giles is especially keen on Sexy Beast and Bombastic.
He said: "Sexy Beast didn't run as a two-year-old as he was too big, but he was beaten only a neck at Newcastle first time out and then got beaten in a red-hot novice at Lingfield, where he hated the track.
"He had his third run on heavy ground, which didn't suit him, but he ran admirably and has been given a mark of 75, which I think is extremely workable.
"He'll only improve and I liken him to Kashmiri Sunset, who came fourth in the Melrose at York. Sexy Beast is a nicer individual and I'd have this one over him, so the Melrose is a long-term target.
"Bombastic ran four times at two and wasn't out of the frame, finishing placed at Glorious Goodwood, Newbury and Salisbury. He's in a hot enough race at Ascot on Friday, but I've got the Britannia in the back of my mind if he were to go and win one in time, then go up enough."
De Giles reckons Wind In My Sails and Zlatan will be winning soon, and he is sure there are races in Vincent's Forever, a former dual John Gosden-winner who was a promising fifth at Kempton on his debut for the stable after a fruitless time over hurdles.
He also has some nice two-year-olds, unnamed as yet, including an especially promising Acclamation colt, a later type by Nathaniel, and a Lope De Vega out of The Shrew.
Lilly Hall Farm, set in 75 acres and only 20 minutes from the M5, has two all-weather gallops, a high speed treadmill, a 50-metre straight equine swimming pool, plus an ice therapy machine, ultrasound equipment and so on for treating ailments.
De Giles is a firm believer that many seemingly quirky or difficult horses are simply suffering pain in one form or another, and he found the equipment particularly useful in treating the talented Operative's physical issues last year.
The effort was well worthwhile, for the once near unsteerable Operative went on to win successive 5f handicaps at Goodwood and Sandown.
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