Sunday 21 October 2018

Gosden's Lion to bypass Guineas

Gosden feels Roaring Lion will be seen in a better light when stepped up in distance. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Gosden feels Roaring Lion will be seen in a better light when stepped up in distance. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Graham Clark

Leading Newmarket trainer John Gosden is not keen on the idea of running Roaring Lion in the English 2,000 Guineas on Saturday week.

The Qatar Racing-owned colt failed to strengthen his Guineas claims after he could only finish third in the Craven Stakes, in which he was sent off the 8/13 favourite, at Newmarket last Thursday.

Gosden feels Roaring Lion will be seen in a better light when stepped up in distance, and could swerve the Guineas in preference towards running in the Dante Stakes at York on May 17 - and then the French Derby at Chantilly on June 3.

The Clarehaven handler stated: "The way he trains, it looks like the Dante-Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) will be a smart move for him."

Another English trainer keen on a Gallic classic is James Tate who wants to step Hey Gaman up in class and trip for the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp on May 13. The Newmarket handler has earmarked the mile contest as the next target for the three-year-old after he finished third on his seasonal return in Saturday's Greenham at Newbury.

Tate said: "Initially, I was a bit disappointed that we came third but it was his first run of the year and he was only beaten three-quarters of a length by two Group Two winners.

"He is a massive, big horse and he will definitely come on significantly for that. Following on from that he has come out of the race well and he will probably go to the French Guineas.

"It is possible in time that he is best at seven (furlongs) but the programme book urges us to go a mile and I think he will get it."

Invincible Army will launch his campaign towards a possible tilt at the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June in the Group Three Merriebelle Stable Pavilion Stakes at the Berkshire track tomorrow week.

"Invincible Army is all set for the Pavilion at Ascot next Wednesday. He has got one more proper piece of work to do," said Tate. "Everything has been great with him at home and he has been showing a lot of speed.

"I'd imagine we will work towards the Commonwealth Cup but if he doesn't go that way we'll be coming back to five furlongs."

Ground conditions will dictate which route Tate decides to take with Kyllang Rock, which made a winning return to action in a conditions contest at Musselburgh last month.

He added: "He won that race at Musselburgh quite nicely. It is just the ground for him. He needs it softer than good. The next possible race for him is the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket next month but it is unlikely to come up soft.

"There are options in France and Ireland and there is also the Temple Stakes at Haydock. I would hope he has improved from three to four so hopefully he has a few more pounds of improvement in him."

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