‘I will be disappointed if Elarqam finishes second in Sovereign Stakes’
Tattersalls Sovereign Stakes (Group 3) | 1m | 3yo | colts and geldings | RUK
The moment when Mark Johnston becomes Britain’s winningmost trainer is nearing, but the trainer’s thoughts will be firmly set on hoping Elarqam can bounce back to winning ways in the Sovereign Stakes today.
The son of Frankel, out of his yard’s superb Classic winner Attraction, did not have quite the anticipated impact at the top level this year after finishing fourth in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and sixth in the Irish edition, for which he was sent off the 2-1 favourite.
Elarqam was tested over a longer trip and dropped in class in the York Stakes, where he only finished third, but connections hope he can finally build on his juvenile promise with a first victory of the year.
Johnston said: "I'm very, very hopeful. It's one of these races where it puts the pressure on because I know I'll be disappointed if he comes second.
"I think there were a number of variables at York. He still ran a good race but we were disappointed with third and we'd be disappointed with second tomorrow."
He added: "Hopefully we've got everything right and he'll do it."
Fabre makes rare visit to Wiltshire
Andre Fabre may have countless Classic and Group 1 wins to his name, but a winner at Sailsbury is absent from his impressive CV.
He saddles Plumatic, an impressive three-length winner in conditions company last time, to Salisbury on what his only ever his second runner at the Wiltshire venue.
On his runner's chances, the French trainer said: "He is a nice horse and he will enjoy the fast ground so I'm hopeful. It looks a nice, fair course."
What they say
Jamie Osborne, trainer of Hathal
Ideally he would like a drop of rain but there's a chance we'll get it. If the ground is too firm then we might abort. His form in the book is pretty good, he's a decent animal and if he runs then he'll run well.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Oh This Is Us
It was a good run when he won a Listed race at Chester. It's [Salisbury] a local track for him and he's going there in good form. He wouldn't want too much rain, but he's a tough hardy horse and hopefully he'll run well.
Andrew Balding, trainer of South Seas
The horse is in good form. I thought he was a little bit unlucky at Goodwood, he has been running in big fields the last three times so we're trying him in a smaller one. He was a high-class two-year-old and he's been working well, we know he's got to return to that level to be competitive but he's in great shape and I hope he'll run well.
Clive Cox, trainer of Zonderland
He's in good form, and his best form with Lightning Spear looks better now. He won this race two years ago, and we're happy with him this time. He likes the track and hopefully he can take a step up on his last couple of runs.
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