Friday 23 March 2018

Workforce gives Stoute food for thought

Workforce ridden by Ryan Moore. Photo: PA
Workforce ridden by Ryan Moore. Photo: PA

Workforce gave connections food for thought as to whether he will run in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday week with a pleasing spin at Sandown.

Champion jockey Ryan Moore was in the saddle as the Derby winner, trained by Michael Stoute, went five lengths clear of the five-year-old Group Three winner Confront in the workout over a mile. The three-year-old Official Style, who opened his account in a maiden at Windsor last month, made the running for his two stablemates up to more than two furlongs out.

Despite the satisfactory session on a racecourse following Workforce's disappointing performance in the King George at Ascot in July, connections have yet to decide about Longchamp.

"He went nicely. It was a good piece of work," said owner Prince Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe.

"There's still no decision on the Arc. We'll see how he checks out, see how he comes out of the work and move slowly onwards. Michael seemed happy with him. Ryan was pleased as well. That doesn't mean to say he's a definite runner, though."

Meanwhile, Makfi's odds for Saturday's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot have shortened considerably and the French raider is now challenging Canford Cliffs at the head of the market.

The Richard Hannon-trained colt was originally the clear favourite but Coral now have the pair sharing that position at 13/8. Having flopped in the St James's Palace Stakes, Makfi returned to form in the Prix Jacques le Marois and appears to be thriving at home.

"He came back from his race in Deauville very well and he did a very nice piece of work yesterday. I think he is at his best," said confident handler Mikel Delzangles.

Meanwhile, Derby-winning jockey Martin Dwyer is likely to miss the remainder of the Flat turf season after breaking his right thumb and a bone in his left elbow in a fall at Leicester on Monday.

Irish Independent

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