Menu
Next Race Newspaper
Free Bets
My Account
Tracker

Royal raid: Queen's Call To Mind to line up in marathon at Belmont

Call To Mind: a rare royal runner in an unusual contest by modern-day US standards
1 of 1

Preview: USA, Friday 10.56pm BST (live on ATR)

Belmont Park: Belmont Gold Cup Invitational (Grade 2) 2m | turf | 4yo+

The Queen will have a runner in the US on Friday when the William Haggas-trained Call To Mind lines up for the Belmont Gold Cup, in which European-trained horses filled the first four places in 2017.

The fifth running of the $400,000 contest over two miles is one of five stakes races worth $1.65m on the second day of the three-day Belmont Stakes festival. The race is a rarity by modern US standards, representing a throwback to days of yore when such extended distances were a more common feature in North America.

Nowadays, though, two miles is regarded as an absolute marathon, an oddity offering a potentially happy hunting ground for transatlantic visitors, who enjoyed a clean sweep last year when German-trained Red Cardinal led home the Sir Mark Precott-trained St Michel.

Although Call To Mind, who will be partnered by Javier Castellano, won the Listed March Stakes over a mile and three-quarters at Goodwood last year, he has yet to try the full two miles – like the majority of the US team – although the form of his Yorkshire Cup third behind Stradivarius is surely enough to make the son of Galileo a major force in this context and a potentially tricky rails draw is mitigated by the distance

Haggas's assistant Harry Eustace is on the spot at Belmont and said: "We just felt that two miles would be his optimum trip and there wasn't something for him until after Ascot," he said.

"He was beaten by a good horse at York and they've done a good job putting on a race like this for decent money. It seemed like a good fit for him, and two miles should suit him well."

Call To Mind is joined by fellow Newmarket raider Prince Of Arran (Charlie Fellowes/Irad Ortiz), a winner over two miles at Meydan in February, and the French-trained Funny Kid (Christophe Ferland/Maxime Guyon). A winner at Lingfield on all-weather finals day, the five-year-old is on a hat-trick after winning a Group 3 at Longchamp at the end of April, form that puts him among the leading players.

Leading the home defence are Postulation (Edward Graham/Florent Geroux), who won the American St Leger on last year's Arlington Million undercard, and Nessy (Ian Wilkes/Mike Smith), a Grade 3 winner over a mile and three-quarters at Santa Anita on his most recent start. Run Time (Mike Maker/Luis Saez), won over two miles at Gulfstream over the winter.

Also on Friday

Belmont Park: New York Stakes (Grade 2) 1m2f | turf | 4yo+ f/m (10.14pm BST, live on ATR)

Lambourn-based Archie Watson has booked Javier Castellano for Snowy Winter, runner-up in a Listed race at Ayr last month. She faces a stiff task in this $600,000 contest against the likes of Sistercharlie (Chad Brown/John Velazquez), who won the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland following a nine-month layoff, and Holy Helena (Jimmy Jerkens/Manny Franco), bidding to complete a four-timer since the turn of the year. She won the Queen's Plate at Woodbine in 2017.


Read The Briefing from 8.30am daily on racingpost.com with all the day's latest going, weather, market moves and non-runner news


 

We just felt that two miles would be his optimum trip and there wasn't something for him until after Ascot
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Sky bet
Boylesport
RaceBets