Signs Of Blessing (noseband, centre) returns to Ascot in good form
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Mark Scully 3:30PM 11 OCT 2016
FRENCH raider Signs Of Blessing will bid to improve on his third-placed effort in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes earlier this summer as he targets Saturday’s £600,000 Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot.
The five-year-old was beaten only half a length by Twilight Son and Gold-Fun at Royal Ascot in June and claimed Group 1 honours on his sole outing since, in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville in August.
Trainer Francois Rohaut now believes Signs Of Blessing is ready to improve on his previous Ascot outing in Saturday’s end-of-season showpiece.
“The horse is in excellent health and I’m extremely happy with him,” Rohaut said. “He went up to Deauville after his final work last Thursday, and he has had a great preparation since his last race with no hiccups.
“All the lights are green, and we’re expecting a good performance, as he will also have his ground. He ran such a great race in the Diamond Jubilee under Stephane Pasquier in June, who will also ride him on Saturday, and we’re hopeful that he can do even better.”
The race could see Signs Of Blessing take on as many as five other Group 1 winners, including Limato and Quiet Reflection, and Rohaut knows his charge will need to be on top of his game to claim a second career success at the highest level.
“It will be a very competitive race,” he said. “In my view it is the best sprint of the autumn so far, so he will have to be at his very best.”