Nunthorpe fancy Ten Sovereigns gets green light to take on Battaash
Watch your back, Battaash. There is a whippersnapper sprinter out to get you at York after Aidan O'Brien revealed explosive July Cup winner, Ten Sovereigns, is on course for a crack at the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday week.
After trying and failing to turn Ten Sovereigns into a miler in the 2,000 Guineas in May, Ten Sovereigns reverted to six furlongs in the July Cup at Newmarket last month with a clearcut victory over Advertise seeing him become Ireland's highest-rated horse.
His next sprinting challenge is to take on Battaash over the minimum trip at York and O'Brien believes he has enough pace to cope with the speed test.
"Ten Sovereigns is very exciting to watch and he has been doing everything right lately. We have been very happy with him since the July Cup. He has improved physically and mentally since Newmarket and he is in a very good place at the moment. He is a lovely, low-moving horse and we could not be any happier with him," O'Brien said.
"The plan is to head to the Nunthorpe next week and then come back to the Curragh for the Flying Five next month. Hopefully he will get nice ground at York so he can show his class and his speed."
How does the Ten Sovereigns who could only finish fifth behind stablemate Magna Grecia in the 2,000 Guineas compare to the one who easily beat his elders in the July Cup?
"He is a different horse now. He had to have a little bit of time after the Guineas. We knew he was going to take a big jump forward at Newmarket last time and thankfully he did. I am very happy with the progress he is making. He is very, very quick. He is very uncomplicated too – a big, rangy, scopey sort of horse who we like a lot."
Ten Sovereigns has usurped Battaash as favourite for the Nunthorpe with many firms, including Paddy Power who make him their 2-1 market leader ahead of Charlie Hills' star sprinter at 5-2. Mabs Cross, who dead-heated in the race last year, is third favourite at 5-1.
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