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Sixties Song team enjoying la vida loca in Newmarket

Sixties song
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If you are out on the gallops at Newmarket on any given day there will be an abundance of different languages emanating from those on horseback.

All of those riders are united by the common tongue of horsemanship and this week there has been another dialect in circulation with Spanish flowing thanks to the connections of Sixties Song.

South American-trained horses are a rarity in Britain, but that has not stopped Argentinian trainer Alfredo Gaitan from dreaming big and bringing over his four-year-old to tackle the best 1m4f horses Europe has to offer in Saturday's Qipco King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

"This place is like a dream come true, it's incredible," Gaitan's son and assistant Nico – whose English is impeccable – says. "It's like to be in Disneyland for a kid."

It may be 7am, or 3am local time for Sixties Song, but the strapping four-year-old shows no signs of sleepiness as he is wheeled out for the cameras before embarking on a light piece of work.

A 66-1 outsider he may be, but the son of Sixties Icon is a beautiful-looking colt, and his coat positively radiates with South American sunshine.

Sixties Song arrived in Britain on Sunday, and is spending his time at Jane Chapple-Hyam's Abington Place, a yard which often acts an a hostel for international runners.

"The horse has settled in really well and he looks in good nick," Chapple-Hyam says. "He looks good in his skin and eye and I hope he runs a big race for them."

King George betting and card

Chapple-Hyam's travelling head lad Jamie Scotland – who is Scottish – is aboard Sixties Song for his morning exercise and after limbering up the pair head out to the Al Bahathri gallop for an easy canter.

As well Alfredo and Nico Gaitan, there is an entourage attached to Sixties Song including his three owners who are also enjoying their trip, and out on the gallop a tiny piece of Argentina patiently waits in Suffolk for the horse to appear.

A reverential hush drops over the viewing platform as Sixties Song and Scotland swing by, then the chatter recommences, with plenty of smiles to suggest all is well.

Back at the yard, Nico Gaitan confirms everyone is pleased, saying: "The horse is relaxed and eating very well. We're in a good mood and the horse is excellent. He did a steady canter and Jamie said the horse felt good."

In Argentina tracks are uniformly flat, and Sixties Song is also yet to race right-handed, though he has been working at Palermo racecourse, which has help him prepare.

"We made the right decision to bring him here," says Gaitan. "We know that we are fighting with the best horses in Europe and it will be tough. But we know we have an excellent horse."

A dual Group 1 winner, with his most recent success coming in the prestigious Gran Premio Latinoamericano at Valparaiso in Chile, Sixties Song has impressive credentials, the Gaitan team are keen to embrace the international scene.

"We train 120-130 horses and now it's time to take different decisions," Nico says. "To stay in our country is not the right way. If you have an excellent horse, like we have, the right way is to take a challenge. It's a risk but we're very proud of what we're doing."


Read about the King George greats: 

2010: Harbinger simply unbelievable

2000: Imperious Montjeu a fitting fiftieth winner

1999: Daylami takes his form to another level

1997: Battling Swain grinds it out against firmament of stars

1992: St Jovite routs his rivals with awesome display


 

 

We know that we are fighting with the best horses in Europe and it will be tough. But we know we have an excellent horse