Take Cover (left): unlucky in the last two runnings of the Nunthorpe
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Peter Scargill 11:25AM 17 AUG 2016
A BUOYANT David Griffiths believes Take Cover is “better than ever” after he was one of 20 horses declared for Friday’s Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.
Twice a winner of the King George Stakes at Goodwood, including this year, Take Cover has had significantly less luck in the Nunthorpe, having to be withdrawn last year after getting under the stalls and hitting his head on the gates when anticipating the start the year before.
Griffiths, who trains Take Cover for Norcroft Park Stud, admits there is “no margin for error” in this year’s race, but hopes that at nine his stable star has quietened down a bit.
He said: “He’s got a bit better as he’s got older, or should I say a bit saner. He’s nine but you would never know it and he didn’t make his debut until late in the season as a four-year-old.
“I think he’s better than ever. He has just felt stronger and sharper in everything he has been doing – and he has been doing those things better and easier.”
Limato a big danger
Take Cover is one of a number of high-class confirmations for the Nunthorpe including last year’s winner Mecca’s Angel, Goldream, Yalta, Sole Power, Profitable and Limato, who Griffiths rates his biggest danger.
Limato will be racing over 5f for the first time after being supplemented for the Nunthorpe after winning the July Cup last time, and Griffiths said: “I thought Limato put up one of the outstanding performances of the year in the July Cup. Will he be as good over five furlongs? I hope not!”
Paris up for the Cup
The Nunthorpe shares Friday’s card with the Lonsdale Cup over 2m½f and last year’s winning trainer Willie Mullins sends Wicklow Brave to contest the Group 2 this year.
His rivals are Clever Cookie, Curbyourenthusiasm, Pallasator, Quest For More, Suegioo, and Trip To Paris, who will be having his second run back after serious injury.
Trainer Ed Dunlop said: “We’ve been pleased with him since his [last] run and, touch wood, he’s had no issues going into the Lonsdale Cup. He still shows his enthusiasm and looks to have retained the ability he showed last year. He’s where we want him.
“He has an entry in the Caulfield Cup, the British Champions Long Distance Cup, the Irish St Leger and the Melbourne Cup is under consideration. He’s in all the right races but we will let the horse tell us where he should go.”