Andrew Balding: he is a high class horse with a good cruising speed
PICTURE: Martin Lynch
By Mark Scully 1:47PM 14 SEP 2016
THE UNBEATEN South Seas is set to test his credentials at Group 1 level with a tilt at the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on October 8.
South Seas, a winner of the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown when seen most recently, has raced on ground no better than good to soft on his three starts to date.
However, trainer Andrew Balding believes the son of Lope De Vega will not be inconvenienced should he encounter faster ground when stepped up in class.
“He has intentionally had a quietish time since the Solario and I am very happy with him,” said Balding.
“He is a high class horse with a good cruising speed and, although the Dewhurst will be a lot tougher, he has three runs under his belt now so is well equipped to try his hand against the very best opposition.
“He handles cut in the ground very well but I think he will handle fast ground too when the time comes. Although he might possibly get a mile and a quarter next year, he is a potential Guineas horse – the Dewhurst will tell us more.”
South Seas was among 50 juveniles left in contention for the Newmarket feature on Tuesday, with 16 potential runners for Aidan O’Brien, including the National Stakes hero Churchill.
The Richard Hannon-trained Mehmas also remains in the frame, although the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket later this month is set to be his final start, with his retirement to Tally-Ho Stud announced on Wednesday.
Starchitect set for Cesarewitch tilt
On the same day at Newmarket, trainer David Pipe will be hoping Starchitect can land a blow in the Betfred Cesarewitch, in which 91 horses remained following Tuesday’s scratching stage.
Pipe could also be represented by Low Key and Ennistown and said: “The intention is for Starchitect to go straight to the Betfred Cesarewitch without another run. He did it well at Salisbury and then got balloted out at Royal Ascot, so he has had a nice break.
“Low Key will go for the Betfred Cesarewitch Trial at Newmarket on Saturday – which he won last year – and we will see how he gets on there before committing him to the big race itself.
“Ennistown was impressive at Cartmel and though his flat rating of 100 means that he will definitely get in the Cesarewitch it is a tough mark for him to win off. But he has never run over extreme distances on the flat and we thought that it was worth a go.
“It is a big prize and us jump trainers love to have runners in it as it fits the profile of our horses well. I have been second and third in it with Mamlook and would very much like to win it one day.”
Volta on her way to winning the Prix de Sandringham in June
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
French raid on Sun Chariot
A week prior to the Cesarewitch, trainer Francis-Henri Graffard will be out to retain the Group 1 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes for France, following the victory of Esoterique last year.
His Volta was one of 20 fillies and mares left in contention for the October 1 feature, one of the half the remaining potential contenders hailing from outside Britain.
A Group 2 winner, Volta has twice placed at the highest level and Graffard said: “Volta has had a summer break following a long spring campaign and the Sun Chariot Stakes has been her target ever since she ran in the Prix Rothschild.
“We took a chance with her over a longer trip in the Prix de Diane but I am convinced that her best trip is a mile and I think that she will handle the undulations of the Rowley Mile without any problems. She has a very nice turn of foot and, although she can cope with soft, would prefer good ground.”