Limato: added the Prix de la Foret to his July Cup success
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Stuart Riley 10:09AM 13 OCT 2016
THE 5-2 favourite Limato was not among the 14 declared for the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Saturday, with trainer Henry Candy stating the ground had gone against the dual Group 1 winner.
“It’s just the ground, it’s gone against him – it’s too soft,” Candy told the Racing Post on Thursday.
The going at Ascot is officially good, good to soft in places after 1.5mm of rain on Wednesday and a further 2mm overnight. There are also possible occasional showers forecast through to Saturday morning.
On plans for his stable star Candy, who does saddle soft-ground lover Twilight Son, added: “We will go straight to the Breeders’ Cup now.”
While Limato was not declared Quiet Reflection, Shalaa and Mecca’s Angel are all set to line up – with Karl Burke’s filly now the 11-4 market leader.
Burke suggested Quiet Reflection remains underestimated, but revealed his horses have been coughing in the yard: “I don’t think anybody has really given the filly the credit she deserves,” he said. “There’s always been sideway glances and references to the ground – winning because it’s soft and not because she’s a very good filly. Good ground on Saturday would be perfect.
“Physically, she has kept getting stronger all year and she’s a completely different filly to when we took her to France in April, even though I thought she looked well at the time. We’ve had some coughing in the yard but if we can get her to Ascot in anything like the form she was in at Haydock then I think she will be the one all the others have to beat.”
The Irish Champion Stakes and Arc winners, Almanzor and Found, clash with last year’s winner Fascinating Rock in the 11-strong Qipco Champion Stakes.
Midterm, who after victory in the Dante was favourite for the Derby, is also declared, with his trainer Sir Michael Stoute suggesting his colt is in form. “He’s fine. His run in the Prix Niel did him the power of good,” said Stoute. “I’d say a well-run ten furlongs will suit him well.”
Minding and Jet Setting face each other for the first time since the latter got the better of Aidan O’Brien’s filly in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. They take on Galileo Gold and Ribchester in the Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – for which 13 were declared.
Dual French Group 1 winner Speedy Boarding bids for success at the highest level on home soil in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, where she faces 12 – including Zhukova and Seventh Heaven.
Last year’s Fillies & Mares heroine Simple Verse goes for the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup this time, where she will meet Forgotten Rules, Order Of St George and Quest For More.
With the straight course divided in two with the rail in the middle of the course just 20 go to post for the £250,000 Balmoral Handicap. Joint 7-1 ante-post favourite Castle Harbour, who was number 25 on the list, is the highest profile absentee. Saeed Bin Suroor’s 10-1 shot Very Talented is another to miss out.