Goldream (left) is set for his first Group 1 start of 2016 at York
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jon Lees 10:00AM 15 AUG 2016
ROBERT COWELL has reported Goldream in “absolutely tip-top condition” for the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday, in which the sprint-specialist trainer will seek a second victory with a team that could rise to three.
As long as the ground at York remains good or faster, Cowell will give last year’s King’s Stand and Prix de l’Abbaye winner his first Group 1 start of 2016 – and Royal Ascot-winning two-year-old Prince Of Lir and Spirit Quartz could join him if conditions ease.
With a dry week forecast, the ground at York was on Monday good to firm, after watering on Saturday, and assistant clerk of the course Anthea Morshead said conditions would continue to be monitored.
Cowell won the famous sprint three years ago with Jwala and has high hopes for Goldream, fifth last year when conditions were good to soft, after he ran an encouraging third in the King George Stakes at Goodwood on his first appearance since March.
Cowell, who also has Iffranesia engaged, said: “It would be nice to win it again. All of them could run, depending on ground conditions. On fast ground Goldream definitely runs.
“Prince Of Lir and Spirit Quartz will run as well if the ground is good. And if it comes on the easy side Goldream won’t take part and Iffranesia will come into the reckoning. On fast ground there would be just one.”
Goldream was unable to defend his King’s Stand title because of soft ground. “We felt a little bit of pressure at Goodwood because he’d missed so much of the season already and we felt like he had to run,” Cowell added.
“I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the track but he actually handled it quite well. He still needed his first run, although I had him as cherry-ripe as I could get him at home – but there’s no substitute for match-fitness.
“Now that run is under his belt I can see from the way he worked the other day he’s in absolutely tip-top condition, 100 per cent ready to go.”
Prince Of Lir ‘back on track’
Prince Of Lir lost his unbeaten record in France after winning the Norfolk, but the trainer said: “Things weren’t right in the Papin. During that time some of our horses weren’t scoping brilliantly, but we think we’re back on track with most of them.
“I’d love to run him if the ground was on the easy side, like it was at Ascot, because he can come off a really strong fast pace.”