Sport Horse Racing

Friday 27 April 2018

Toast Of New York set to make Lingfield comeback

Townend may have been out of luck on Jett, but Invitation Only (2-1) ensured he made it back to the winner’s enclosure after the Mervyn Gray Construction Beginners Chase. Photo: Stock Image
Townend may have been out of luck on Jett, but Invitation Only (2-1) ensured he made it back to the winner’s enclosure after the Mervyn Gray Construction Beginners Chase. Photo: Stock Image

Thomas Kelly

Toast Of New York, the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic runner-up, will make his comeback at Lingfield next Wednesday.

The six-year-old has not raced since that outstanding performance at Santa Anita three years ago after a tendon injury led to his premature retirement.

Toast Of New York, which also won the UAE Derby at Meydan in March 2014, was bought by Al Shaqab Racing after his run in the Breeders' Cup and had been standing at stud in the Middle East.

He returned to England at the beginning of the year and is now considered fit enough to run again.

Trainer Jamie Osborne confirmed: "He's been back with us since March. Obviously he hasn't run for three years. He's six, but he's only had eight runs in his life, so let's have a go with him.

"It's inevitable he will be rusty, but we've tried to do as much work as we can with him.

"He's never been a particularly flashy work-horse at home, so, to a certain degree, we're going to have to leave it down to chance next Wednesday.

"He's been a life-changing horse for me, to this point, and to get another chance to train him is wonderful."

Gavin Cromwell, meanwhile, is in no rush to commit to future targets with Jer's Girl following her narrow defeat at Kempton earlier this week.

The dual Grade One-winning mare made a successful start to her campaign in a Flat race at Roscommon in September before finishing fourth behind Jezki at Tipperary and second behind Apple's Jade in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan.

She was a hot favourite to bounce back to winning ways in a three-mile Listed event on Monday, but was beaten half a length by Warren Greatrex's prolific mare La Bague Au Roi.

Cromwell said: "She ran well enough and proved she stays the three miles, anyway. It opens up other options for her, but I'm not sure where she'll run at this stage.

"She could run at Christmas, but it might just come too soon. We'll see how she is and plan from there."

Officials at Newbury do not anticipate any problems with the forecast spell of cold weather ahead of the two-day Winter Carnival meeting, headlined by the Ladbrokes Trophy Handicap Chase on Saturday.

Temperatures are not expected to dip below freezing at their worst, but clerk of the course Richard Osgood has felt it prudent to protect the take-offs and landings.

"The forecast for the moment is we are going to get a frost tonight, but we should not go down much below zero or minus one," said Osgood.

"I have covers on the take-offs and landings just as a precaution. The ground would be soft, good to soft on the hurdles and good to soft, soft in places on the chase course."

Testing conditions are expected for Newcastle's big jumps meeting on Saturday, featuring the Unibet Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

Heavy rain over the last day or so has seen the ground ease to soft, heavy in places.

Clerk of the course James Armstrong also has to deal with the prospect of lower temperatures and, as a precaution, covers are being deployed on all vulnerable areas.

"It's been a bit miserable for the last 24 hours. We are now soft, heavy in places. We've had just over an inch of rain now which is rather frustrating."

Irish Independent

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