RAE Guest is to give Dubai World Cup runner-up California Chrome a two-week break before introducing him to the Newmarket gallops ahead of his British debut.
The Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May as been mooted as a possible starting point for last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, though the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot is the prime target.
Guest admits Newmarket’s training regime does take some taking in, especially for an American horse like Art Sherman’s California Chrome, who is used to galloping alone and around bends. “It’s a great honour to have him and we’re very lucky to be that close to a Kentucky Derby winner,” he said.
“It came about through Mirza, really. His owner Chris Mills, his son Robbie worked for Art Sherman in California a couple of years ago and he was out there riding Mirza as well before Saturday’s racing in Dubai.
“We had a chat and they asked if the horse came to England could he stay with me and liaise with Robbie who they knew.
“We’re going to give him two weeks off, then get him back up and see how he is.
“Art’s son Alan is going to come over and see him in about a month’s time and make a decision which way they go with him. e will try to train him quite normally, but not with the string just with another gelding to lead him. It takes some getting used to Newmarket to start with. Whether he goes for the Lockinge will be found out in the next month. For a couple of weeks he will be getting used to Newmarket and English ways.”
Meanwhile, David O’Meara appears to have his string in good order and it will be interesting to see whether Makin A Statement can make a successful start for the yard in the Unibet Offer Daily Jockey/Trainer Specials Median Auction Maiden Stakes at Southwell. The Nawton handler got the turf season off to a flyer with a winner at Doncaster on Saturday, while numerous other horses proved themselves in good heart in defeat.
Makin A Statement showed only fair form as a juvenile for fellow Yorkshire-based trainer John Quinn, with a close third at Newcastle sandwiched between less-inspiring efforts at Nottingham and Catterick.
However, O’Meara has a knack of squeezing improvement out of new recruits and this gelded three-year-old does not need to raise his game too much to win what is a fairly weak affair.
Coiste Bodhar won with something to spare on his latest visit to the track and a small rise is unlikely to stop him following up in the Daily Enhanced “Magic Multiples” At Unibet Handicap.
Scott Dixon’s four-year-old enjoyed a fine campaign in 2014, with three victories supplemented by a few placed efforts. He seems to be thriving on his racing judged on his latest triumph and is well up to defying a 4lb hike in the hands of the underrated Luke Morris.
A few in-form stayers contest the 32Red Handicap, including the Neil King-trained Conserve.
The five-year-old has run plenty of good races in defeat in races over a distances of up to a mile and a half, but a step up to an extended two miles around Wolverhampton a week ago saw her take her game to another level as she fairly bolted up. It is no surprise to see her turn out quickly under a penalty over this intermediate distance of a mile and three-quarters and with leading all-weather pilot Adam Kirby keeping the partnership intact, she should be a tough nut to crack.
The former Paul Nicholls-trained Aerial ran very well for a long way at the Cheltenham Festival and if fully recovered from those exertions should take a great deal of beating in the Totnes And Bridgetown Open Hunters’ Chase at Exeter.
Now with Jack Barber, Aerial is only nine and not that long ago was only six lengths behind Gold Cup winner Coneygree.
He is obviously not the force of old but won two points before running at Cheltenham where he just appeared not to stay and this drop in trip is right up his street.