Varian: “He’s got an improving profile and is a lovely horse.”
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Mark Scully 9:00AM 19 JUN 2016
IT WOULD have been no surprise to see the progressive Barsanti line up in a handicap at Royal Ascot but he instead puts his unbeaten record in 2016 on the line in a competitive renewal of the Totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes.
Twice a winner on the all-weather, the Roger Varian-trained Barsanti transferred his skills to the turf with an impressive victory in the Jorvik Stakes at York last month.
Having risen from 75 in February to a mark of 105 now, the son of Champs Elysees faces eight rivals (Andrew Balding’s Duretto is a non-runner), including the Hughie Morrison-trained Sweeping Up, beaten by Barsanti’s stablemate Mount Logan and the John Gosden-trained Journey in her two most recent starts.
“He’s got an improving profile and is a lovely horse,” said trainer Roger Varian. “He seems to get this trip well and is quite uncomplicated.
“He looks like being competitive in a race like this and deserves a crack at it after his York win.”
Cumani back for more
Barsanti’s owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum took this race 12 months ago with Connecticut, with his string of horses then in the care of Luca Cumani.
The Newmarket trainer targets back-to-back wins in the race with Loving Things, a daughter of Pivotal making her seasonal reappearance, just like Connecticut was last year.
While Pontefract poses an unknown factor for Sweeping Up, Hughie Morrison is optimistic his charge can finally get her head in front on Sunday afternoon.
“She’s run very well on two different tracks and I don’t know whether Pontefract will suit her, but she has to go there with a major chance,” he said.
“She’s come out of Haydock well and is coping with training much better nowadays. She deserves to win a race, but that doesn’t mean anything.”