Time Test winning under Frankie Dettori
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By Andrew King 4:44PM 18 JUL 2016
TIME TEST looks very likely to take his chance in the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes on Saturday but his trainer Roger Charlton admitted to keeping his fingers crossed that any thunderstorms miss the Knavesmire course over the coming days.
The Beckhampton trainer also declared that the four year had come out of his third placed effort behind Hawkbill in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown last month in “good form” and that he could also be joined at York by stablemate Countermeasure, who finished in fourth spot just over a further two lengths away.
He said: “The chances of Time Test and Countermeasure running at York on Saturday are good at the moment but everything has to be discussed with his owner. However, as things stand it’s very much the plan as it fits in with him hopefully running in the Grade 1 Juddmonte International at the course in August.
“We will be hoping the thunderstorms and showers which are forecast to rumble in from Wednesday keep away from York as Time Test is a much better horse on fast ground. I was pleased with him at Sandown and he has been in good form since – it turned into a bit of a mess of a race on the testing conditions which did not help.”
Of Countermeasure, who was sent off a 150-1 chance at Sandown, Charlton added: “He will also run but he is not just a pacemaker as he is an obviously good horse in his own right as he showed when fourth, beaten only just over four lengths or so at Sandown. He has also come out of the race well.”
York’s chief executive and clerk of the course, William Derby, faces some uncertainty with the weather over the coming four days and said: “The aim is for good to firm ground come Saturday but it could be up to 27 degrees on Wednesday before getting cooler on Thursday and Friday with the chance of an isolated shower.
“We do not want the ground to bake and with that in mind we put 2mm of water on the course on Sunday night and we plan to do the same on Monday evening. After that it is a case of seeing what happens in each 24 hour period leading up to Saturday.”