BROWN Panther has his last outing before Royal Ascot when he takes on the likes of Tiger Cliff in a classy renewal of the Cantor Fitzgerald Henry II Stakes at Sandown this evening.
It is exactly ten years since a horse, Godolphin’s Papineau, managed to take this event en route to Gold Cup glory, and the Tom Dascombe-trained Brown Panther made a strong return when capturing the Ormonde Stakes at his home track of Chester. That was his first start since getting struck into during his run in the Melbourne Cup, in which he finished eighth.
Joint-owner Michael Owen said: “Following on from Brown Panther’s exciting win in the Group Three Ormonde Stakes at Chester last time out, the Henry II Stakes at Sandown Park seemed the most logical target. He came out of the race at Chester in great form and we hope he will run another big race and then go for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.”
Such has been the extent of the wet weather, there is a possibility that stalls cannot be used for a 12-strong field.
Last year’s Gold Cup sixth El Salvador makes his seasonal reappearance for Aidan O’Brien, with Girolamo travelling from Germany. High Jinx and Camborne appear other leading players, while Marco Botti has an interesting runner in the ex-German Seismos.
In the Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes, soft ground has placed Remote’s first outing of the season in jeopardy. Should Remote run, he would be taking on Hillstar, whose trainer Sir Michael Stoute seeks his ninth winner of the race.
At Chepstow yesterday, Liam Keniry was stretchered off the track following a nasty fall in the 32Red.com Maiden Stakes. Keniry was riding the Tony Carroll-trained Rowlestone Express when she appeared to slip approaching the closing stages of the six-furlong heat.
At Hamilton, Borders trainers Iain Jardine (Bonchester Bridge) and Alistair Whillans (Hawick) were on the mark with Push Me and Alexandrakollontai, ridden by Graham Lee and Julie Burke, respectively.