Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 24 April 2018

The Fugue sounds right note ahead of 'Turf' target

Neil Morrice

Breeders' Cup Turf favourite The Fugue pleased her travelling team as she enjoyed a routine breeze at Santa Anita.

A luckless third on her previous visit to California, when a hot favourite for last year's Filly & Mare Turf, John Gosden's four-year-old will this time take on the colts over the longer distance of a mile and a half.

She has enjoyed an excellent campaign in Europe this year, winning the Yorkshire Oaks and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, and arrived in America on Monday night.

Taking to the track at 6.45, just as dawn was breaking, The Fugue sported four bright blue protective bandages on her legs and a distinctive black breast girth.

She enjoyed a gentle jog in the hands of Gary Forster and Gosden's travelling head lad Les Reynolds expressed his satisfaction afterwards.

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Reynolds said: "We took her onto the main track where she just jogged around for a circuit.

"She then went round the paddock a couple of times – we're very happy with her. She shipped in great and we're delighted with the way she's travelled."

Gosden is expected to arrive at Santa Anita this morning, with his big-race pilot William Buick also jetting in.

Meanwhile, Charlie Appleby has been getting to grips with his first Breeders' Cup, with Godolphin's new trainer running Dewhurst third Outstrip in Friday's Juvenile Turf.

"I'm very happy with him," said Appleby, who is doing much to restore Godolphin's name and has sent out 53 winners since his appointment to take over Moulton Paddocks from Mamhood Al Zarooni on July 28."

He's settled in very well," he said. "We were a bit disappointed in the Dewhurst. He'd beaten the runner-up (six lengths) before and though he'd won on good to soft before, he didn't handle the 'Dip' in it."

With Mikael Barzalona now riding in Japan, the mount will go to local jockey Mike Smith – the Breeders' Cup jockey with the most (17) wins to his credit.

Irish Independent

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