Charlie Hills: feels the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint will suit Magical Memory
PICTURE: Steve Dennis
By Graham Dench 7:11PM 10 JUL 2016
CHARLIE HILLS is eyeing a trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with Magical Memory, who did not enjoy the best of luck when seventh of 18 behind Limato in Saturday’s July Cup at Newmarket.
In the meantime, Hills who enjoyed Breeders’ Cup success in California with the ill-fated Chriselliam very early in his career, intends dropping Magical Memory back to five furlongs for the Group 2 Qatar King George Stakes – worth £300,000 this year – at Goodwood, where last August the sprinter gained his first major success in the Stewards’ Cup.
Hills, who has already won more than £400,000 with the Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds-owned grey, told the Racing Post on Sunday: “He’s a gelding so we might as well chase the money. He’s got a lot of speed and he’s in the King George Stakes at Goodwood, which is a very valuable race now – it doesn’t matter if it’s Group 1 or Group 2.
“We also have the Breeders’ Cup in the back of our minds and we are working back from there really. It’s six and a half furlongs, and down a hill, which he won’t mind. He’ll like the fast ground and it’s obviously a very valuable race. Also it’s Santa Anita, so a great trip for the owners.”
Haydock another possibility
Saturday’s race was the second at Group 1 level this summer in which Magical Memory has not been seen to full advantage, following a close fourth behind Twilight Son in Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes, when the pace was surprisingly steady.
Hills, who will also consider Magical Memory for the Haydock Sprint Cup, in which he was third last year, reflected: “Things never really went his way and he ended up behind a wall of horses. The winner is obviously very good, but Frankie [Dettori] felt he could have been closer with a better run.”