Almodovar heads to Ayr seeking a confidence-boosting victory
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jon Lees 9:45AM 15 SEP 2016
ALMODOVAR, seventh behind Postponed in the Juddmonte International, takes a significant drop in class in the William Hill Doonside Cup at Ayr search of a confidence-boosting win at the track where he broke his maiden.
Having been beaten 11 lengths in the York Group 1, he runs at Listed level on Thursday afternoon on ground nearer to the conditions he encountered at Royal Ascot, where he ran a career-best third in the Hardwicke Stakes.
A return to Ascot on British Champions Day could be on the agenda for Almodovar should Thursday’s race go to plan and jockey George Baker said: “We let him take his chance at York but really the ground was too quick for him on the day.
“We’re using this to give him a bit of a confidence booster. If everything goes smoothly he has the Champion Stakes as an option, which could be on softish ground again.”
Godolphin’s Secret Number has done little racing in the last two seasons and has his first outing since finishing second in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup at Flemington last November.
Saeed Bin Suroor has won three of the last seven runnings of this race but said: “He hasn’t run since Australia last year and will come on for it. This trip is short of his best but he’ll enjoy the give in the ground.”
Another Scottish win?
Lanarkshire-trained Maleficent Queen had won five races in a row, including over course and distance, until finishing ninth in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot and will be bidding to get back on track in a race won by Scottish last year.
“She’s in good form, drawn well and will like the ground,” said trainer Keith Dalgleish. “She is also a course-and-distance winner.
“We gave her plenty of time to get over Royal Ascot and waited for this time of year, with the ground a bit softer.”