Saturday 17 March 2018

Arab Spring bonces back to prove he has plenty to offer

British champion Jim Crowley. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
British champion Jim Crowley. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images newsdesk

The path back to the winner's enclosure once trodden on a frequent basis by Arab Spring was undertaken by the talented but fragile horse for the first time in more than a year at Kempton in the totescoop6 September Stakes.

Having won five of his first eight starts before suffering a series of setbacks the six-year-old demonstrated he still has plenty to offer after taking the Group Three event on his third start of the season, having returned at Haydock last month.

While unsuited by the fast conditions he faced in the Juddmonte International on his previous outing at York, the son of Monsun appeared to appreciate a first start on an artificial surface since taking a maiden at this course in March 2014.

In a race that, for the majority, was run at sedate pace set by Noble Gift, the 11-10 market leader was placed in a perfect position by title-chasing Jim Crowley just off the hooves of the leaders.

As the William Knight-trained runner tried to wind up the tempo from the three pole his every move was covered by the strong-travelling favourite, and within a matter of strides Crowley, who had earlier won aboard the David Elsworth-trained Sir Dancealot, had his mount in pole position on the dash to the line.

Although Robin Of Navan - making his first start since sustaining an injury in the French Derby back in June - gave chase it quickly became clear he was playing for a place at best, with two and a quarter lengths separating the pair at the line.

The winning rider said: "He is high class and was probably the best horse in the race. He absolutely loved that surface.

"It might have been a bit quick at York last time, but he bounced off that beautifully. A mile and a quarter or a mile and half, it doesn't matter to him.

"It is nice to get the horse's head in front and give him a bit of confidence."

Travelling head lad George Galecki said: "He had been off the track for a long time before his first run.

"The last two times it has been a bit too quick for him. We just wanted to look after him in the first race and the second time it was too quick and maybe came a bit too soon.

"Today everything has come together and he loved the surface. I think the big advantage was that he didn't have many horses around him. He is a horse that likes his own space."

While plans for the winner are yet to be decided Harry Dunlop, trainer of the runner-up, has not ruled out the possibility of turning him out again quickly in next Saturday's Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted with the horse. He had a serious problem and enough thanks can't go out to the vets that have looked after him.

"After his Derby run I thought that was it, but they have nursed him back. He had only done five or six bits of work going into today and unfortunately the race was slowly run and not to our liking then he got a bump off the bend.

"He has got a Group One in Germany in November but he is still in the Leger and the Arc so we have got lots of options.

"It might be a completely crackers thing to do, but we might consider the Leger as he (Silvestre de Sousa) was quite tender on him late on."

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