Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 25 November 2017

Bunyan's big Hit to swerve Curragh for Newbury tilt

Bunyan: “He came out of the Curragh in good order and he doesn’t know he’s had a race”Photo: Caroline Norris
Bunyan: “He came out of the Curragh in good order and he doesn’t know he’s had a race”Photo: Caroline Norris

Thomas Kelly

Exciting juvenile Hit The Bid is unlikely to run in the Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh this Sunday, with a trip to Newbury next month a more likely alternative.

The promising Darren Bunyan-trained colt upset a lot of lofty reputations when springing a 50/1 surprise in the Group Three Curragh Stakes at the weekend and is now in the hat for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes on September 17.

"He came out of the Curragh in good order and he doesn't know he's had a race," said Bunyan (right).

"That ground on Saturday was the maximum of what he can handle and as we've had a bit of rain at home, he probably won't run at the weekend.

"We're thinking the Mill Reef. He's a very good horse, but he needs it quick.

"He's only a big frame at the moment and next year you'll see an even better horse. He's got it all ahead of him."

Hit The Bid is one of 15 entered in the Round Tower, for which Courage Under Fire, Intelligence Cross, Leo Minor and Sportsmanship are in the hat for Aidan O'Brien.

Jim Bolger won the race last year with Smash Williams and could saddle the unraced Teo's Music, which also holds two entries at Navan a day earlier.

Headquarters also stages the Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes on Sunday and Godolphin's lightly-raced Skiffle heads a raiding party of three from across the Irish Sea.

The Dubawi filly will bid to bounce back to form after she was a well-beaten fifth to Minding in the Epsom Oaks, for which she was supplemented by Charlie Appleby, when sent off 6/1 second-favourite. She had looked a filly of enormous potential when winning her previous start at Goodwood.

Two other British-based entries are Mick Channon's Epsom Icon and We Are Ninety, trained by Hugo Palmer. Somehow, which was fourth behind her stablemate at Epsom, is O'Brien's only entry, while Dermot Weld is triple-handed with Adool, Discipline and the fast-improving Rose De Pierre.

Andrew Slattery has left in his Galway Festival winners Creggs Pipes and Planchart, but expects just the latter to run. "I would say we'll only run Planchart. She's absolutely super since Galway and couldn't be better," explained the Co Tipperary handler.

Meanwhile, next month's Doncaster St Leger is "still on the agenda" for York disappointment Wings Of Desire.

John Gosden's colt was fancied to run a big race in last week's Juddmonte International after he did so well to finish second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

However, the Lady Bamford-owned son of Pivotal produced a meek display on the Knavesmire - a track at which he won the Dante in May - and was beaten some 16 lengths by Postponed, with King George winner Highland Reel second.

Lady Bamford's racing manager Hugo Lascelles said: "We think he ran below par, but nothing came to light and we are now reviewing various options. He's still in it (the Leger) and it's still on the agenda, but John said he will give it 10 days and then go from there."

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