Friday 15 December 2017

Weld unlikely to send Rite Of Passage over hurdles

Thomas Kelly

Dermot Weld's Ascot Gold Cup winner Rite Of Passage is unlikely to run over hurdles this season.

The six-year-old has won two of his three outings over timber, his only defeat coming at the hands of Peddlers Cross at the Cheltenham Festival.

He is unbeaten on the Flat and was last seen springing a surprise when winning the Gold Cup at Ascot in June.

"He was a bit stiff and sore after he won the Gold Cup so we gave him time out and he came back nicely," explained Weld.

"We were going to go for the Melbourne Cup but then we decided we'd give him a bit more time and we've yet to decide whether we go hurdling with him this winter. It would appear less likely and we'd like to have a crack at winning another Gold Cup."

Another Weld inmate that was being considered for a hurdling campaign is 2008 Epsom Derby third Casual Conquest, but he looks set to wait until the Flat campaign.


The five-year-old has been out with injury since last year's Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and while Weld is keen to send him over sticks at some stage, he feels this may be a season too soon.

"I don't think he'll go hurdling this winter, I'm afraid," Weld said. "He got a tendon injury when running a very good race behind Sea The Stars on his last run and I just think he needs more time.

"We maybe go jumping next autumn... but we are going to err on the side of caution."

The master of Rosewell House also confirmed that classy mare Profound Beauty has been retired. The six-year-old won nine of her 21 career starts, including three times in Group company and four times at Listed level.

She was well beaten in this year's renewal of the Melbourne Cup and that has turned out to be her final racecourse appearance.

"If she can can breed horses with the courage that she had and they have her will to win, there's going to be some very good horses from her," Weld said.

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