Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 24 February 2018

Mark Prescott manages to solve Pallasator challenge

Jim Bolger: Saddles Lucida in Newmarket feature today
Jim Bolger: Saddles Lucida in Newmarket feature today

Marcus Armytage

Pallasator, trained by Mark Prescott, booked his place in the Qipco Long Distance Cup on Champions Day at Ascot on October 18 by winning the Jockey Club Rose Bowl over two miles at Newmarket.

The five-year-old, bought by Qatar Racing with the Ascot showcase in mind, is difficult and able in equal measure, and clearly represents a challenge to his trainer.

“He’s a difficult old boy,” he explained. “None of us realised how well Michael Bell had trained Motivator until the rest of us started to train his children! I said to his original owners when he was young that he had huge potential but unlimited ability to chuck it away. I said he would end up somewhere halfway in between and he has – he’s won half of all his starts.

“There was talk of his going to Australia at one stage but the second verse of the Irish national anthem found him out at The Curragh last time. He was bought to win the stayers’ race on Champions’ Day by the sponsors and hopefully he will – but he’s idiosyncratic to say the least.”

It has been a good week for Godolphin juveniles. Charlie Appleby has had a spate of two-year-old winners but Saeed bin Suroor chipped in yesterday when Maftool won the Somerville Tattersall Stakes by two-and-a-half lengths from Markaz.

Bin Suroor ranks the Hard Spun colt among his best two-year-olds and may now step him up in grade for either the Dewhurst or Racing Post Trophy. “He’s improving all the time,” the trainer said. “He goes on any ground, on any surface. He can go a mile definitely and his pedigree means that he could run on the dirt in Dubai in the winter, which is something to think about.”

Looking ahead to Newmarket tomorrow, Air Pilot, the ante-post favourite for the Betfred Cambridgeshire after running away with a handicap at Newbury last Saturday, failed to make the cut for the nine-furlong cavalry charge by one. The maximum field is 35 and he was 36. John Gosden’s Cornrow is the new 6/1 favourite. Tiggy Wiggy heads the 10 runners declared for the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes. Richard Hannon’s daughter of leading two-year-old sire Kodiac is a short-priced favourite after beating Cursory Glance, the Moyglare winner, by a length and a half in the Lowther Stakes.

Today Hugo Palmer is hoping his good run in Group races since breaking his duck at that level last month will continue with New Providence in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes.

A step up to seven furlongs should bring about more improvement in the filly, who needed every yard over six at Salisbury last time. Jim Bolger saddles Lucida in the race and she is likely to go off favourite.

Meanwhile, John Warren, bloodstock and racing advisor to the Queen, welcomed a “thorough and fair investigation” from the British Horseracing Authority after Her Majesty’s horse Estimate was disqualified from second place in this year’s Gold Cup at Royal Ascot following a disciplinary panel hearing in London.

A post-race sample containing morphine and oripavine had been produced by Estimate, although trainer Michael Stoute did not face a penalty as the source of the positive test was found to be contaminated feed, with the BHA satisfied all reasonable precautions had been taken to avoid any breach of the rules.

Despite that, the rules state that horses producing a positive sample for a prohibited substance should be disqualified from relevant races. Stoute’s Russian Realm was ninth in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at the Royal fixture and was another to be disqualified.

Four other trainers - Barry Hills, Charlie Hills, Gay Kelleway and Tony Carroll - also had horses disqualified, all in the same circumstances as Stoute. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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