Wednesday 13 December 2017

Gatsby set for another crack at Golden Horn in Irish Champion

Ryan Moore riding The Grey Gatsby at Chantilly last month
Ryan Moore riding The Grey Gatsby at Chantilly last month
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

The Grey Gatsby could have at least one more stab at Golden Horn, with the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes that he won last year again on the grey's agenda.

Beaten by Australia in the Juddmonte International at York in August 2014 before thwarting the Derby winner in dramatic style in Leopardstown's 10-furlong Group One, Kevin Ryan's four-year-old is being aimed at the same two races en route to a possible tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

All three showpiece events - as well as the King George VI & QEII Stakes - are being considered for this year's stylish Derby hero Golden Horn, which proved too good for The Grey Gatsby after a brief skirmish in Saturday's Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.

"He has come out of it great," Tipperary-born Ryan said of The Grey Gatsby. "It will be York next, then Ireland and hopefully then on to the Arc."

The Grey Gatsby is a top-priced 11/2 shot for the €1.1m Leopardstown feature on September 12, with Golden Horn available at odds of up to 7/2. Dermot Weld's Royal Ascot victor Free Eagle heads the market at 9/4, followed by Aidan O'Brien's four-time Group One winner Gleneagles, the Sussex Stakes-bound colt an 11/4 shot to successfully make the step up in trip come the autumn.

Weld's Zannda, meanwhile, isn't certain to contest the Darley Irish Oaks on Saturday week. A Leopardstown maiden winner last year, the Aga Khan's Azamour filly finished second to Jazzi Top on her Newmarket return and then filled the same berth behind Pleascach at Naas.

However, Pat Downes, the owner's Irish representative, has stressed that Zannda would need the ground to change at the Curragh ahead of the 12-furlong Classic.

"Plans for her would be entirely dependent on the weather because we would need current conditions to change," Downes revealed.

"Ideally, we want some ease in the ground and we don't have that at the moment, so we have no immediate plans for her. If we did get rain, the Irish Oaks would come into the reckoning, but it would need to be considerable."

At Newmarket yesterday, John Gosden, Mark Johnston, Frankie Dettori and William Buick all enjoyed doubles.

However, the Group Two Prince Of Wales Stakes went to Michael Bell's Big Orange, which Jamie Spencer excelled aboard from the front to spring a 25/1 big-race upset.

Irish Independent

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