Graham Motion: trainer is eyeing the Queen Anne for Ring Weekend
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Nicholas Godfrey 9:04aM 7 JAN 2017
Preview: USA, Saturday 12.30am Sunday GMT
Santa Anita: San Gabriel Stakes (Grade 2) 1m1f, turf, 4yo+
BRITISH-BORN trainer Graham Motion is eyeing a visit to Royal Ascot this summer with multiple Grade 1 winner Ring Weekend (Drayden van Dyke), who headlines a double-figure field for the San Gabriel.
Motion, whose Miss Temple City has twice made the frame at the royal meeting, is considering the six-year-old for the Queen Anne Stakes, the race in which his Kentucky Derby/Dubai World Cup victor Animal Kingdom disappointed in 2013.
Ring Weekend won the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar in November on his most recent outing. “This race will decide what we do for the rest of the winter,” Motion said, speaking to the Blood-Horse.
“He’s been in training for almost a year now, so if we’re going to freshen him up for a possible trip to England, it wouldn’t be a bad time. But he needs to keep performing well to even consider that challenge.
“It’s something I’ve mentioned before with this horse. It’s something I think he’s capable of doing and he’s handled soft ground in the past.
“Tepin showed last year that it can be done,” added Motion. “She’s exceptional and I know it will be a challenge for us.”
Ring Weekend is one of six graded stakes winners in Saturday’s field, among them dual Brazilian Group 1 winner Some In Tieme (Paulo Lobo/TJ Pereira).
In March, the four-year-old was third past the post in the Longines Gran Premio Latinoamericano, the South American championship event, only to be promoted to first place after two separate disqualifications for those ahead of him.
Also on Saturday
Santa Anita: Sham Stakes (Grade 3) 1m, dirt, 3yo (11.30pm GMT)
Gormley (John Shirreffs/Victor Espinoza), winner of the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at two, bids to get back on track after failing to shine at the Breeders’ Cup, where he was caught out wide throughout.
Maiden winner American Anthem (Bob Baffert/Mike Smith) represents top connections.