COOLMORE’S leading Nunthorpe Stakes contender Moviesta is facing the toughest test of his career at York today.
Trained by Bryan Smart, the three-year-old took the step up from handicaps to Group company in his stride when winning the King George Stakes at Goodwood.
However, with the likes of Shea Shea and Sole Power, two sprinters who have proved themselves over a period of time to be right out of the top drawer, in opposition this looks a much sterner test on the Knavesmire.
Nevertheless, Ritchie Fiddes, who owns Moviesta in partnership with QPR manager Harry Redknapp and football agent Will Salthouse, is confident he will do himself justice.
Fiddes said: “He’s in cracking form, myself and Paul [Mulrennan] went to see him on Friday and he worked as well as he’s ever worked. Bryan is delighted with him at home.”
“He’s drawn next to Tickled Pink, which is a help as she’s got early speed. Shea Shea and Sole Power are on the other side. I don’t think there really is a draw bias, it’s where the pace is, but I’d much rather be on a flank than down the middle. We’ve all done our homework and, come the off, Paul will know exactly what he’s doing.
“There’s a maximum field of 20 but the beauty of York is it’s such a wide track so there shouldn’t be any trouble.
“We understand this is going to be much tougher than Goodwood. This is another level – Shea Shea and Sole Power are the two best five-furlong horses in the world ”
Mike de Kock thinks dropping back down to five furlongs will definitely be in Shea Shea’s favour after his fourth-place finish in the July Cup. He also lost out narrowly to Sole Power in the King’s Stand Stakes on his previous outing.
“I think it’s a better track for him – flatter, faster. He’ll be much mores suited to that than six furlongs up the hill at Newmarket,” said De Kock.
John Gosden’s Swiss Spirit was hampered at the start of the Temple Stakes and did not get the clearest of runs behind Moviesta at Goodwood. “He was unlucky in the Temple and suffered some interference but it wouldn’t have affected the result greatly,” said Gosden. “He’s well in himself and I think the flat five there will suit him.”
Johnny Murtagh, who despite starting a training career is enjoying one of his most lucrative seasons in the saddle, feels Eddie Lynam’s Sole Power has huge claims. The pair have a good relationship and Murtagh admits to loving riding him. “Every time he runs we think he has a great chance because we think he is a genuine Group 1 performer,” said Murtagh. “Five furlongs and fast ground is what he wants.”
Meanwhile, trips to Paris and California are on the cards for The Fugue after she bounced back to her brilliant best in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks yesterday.
Beaten just a neck by Shareta in monsoon-like conditions a year ago, she was a 2-1 favourite yesterday.
William Buick wanted to play his cards late but she ranged up menacingly in the straight. Three-year-old Venus De Milo did her best to fend off her older rival, but was simply not in the same league as The Fugue breezed clear.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is now firmly in Gosden’s sights, as is a trip to the Breeders’ Cup. Gosden said: “The Vermeille (Longchamp, 15 Sept) would come into consideration for her next run and after that there is the Arc and I do think she is that level.”
Hawdyerwheesht is quietly confident
JIM Goldie is looking to keep the historic £26,000 Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell on home soil with his recent course winner Hawdyerwheesht at Hamilton Park tonight.
The Tom Eaves-ridden horse is one of 15 runners declared for the 1m 4f race which has links back to the 12th century. The Uplawmoor trainer said: “He hasn’t any problems with the track and he won nicely over a furlong further last month. The ground should be as well and we’re expecting him to run well.”
Among those in opposition to Hawdyerwheesht is 2009 Scottish Champion Hurdler Noble Alan, trained by Nicky Richards. The Greystoke handler said: “He’s never ran a bad race in his life, even on the Flat. He’s in good form and enjoying himself and I can see him going well again.”
Tenhoo, trained by Eric Alston, has gone well at the Lanarkshire track in the past and his rider Jason Hart said: “He’s been twice to the track and was second last year and a close third two runs ago. They should go a good gallop which will help me get him switched off out the back and I think he will come home strong.”
Top-weight is Perennial, whose in-form trainer David O’Meara also saddles War Poet. David Barron-trained Sirvino, the winner of the 50th John Smith’s Cup at York in 2009 makes his first appearance at Hamilton, while Mark Johnston has three runners in the shape of Nimiety, Federal Blue and Special Meaning, who has won her past three races.
1.55 Winterlude (nap)
2.30 Times Up
3.40 Sole Power
4.20 Master The World
4.55 Majestic Moon
5.30 Angel Rosa
6.05 Blue Clumber
6.35 Spin Artist
7.40 Magic Skyline
1.45 Ice Slice
2.20 Mr Lando
4.05 Wait No More
4.40 Your Busy
5.15 Gap Of Dunloe
5.45 Thomas Bell
5.10 Maria Montez
7.20 Six Wives
4.50 John Coffey
5.25 Local Flier
5.55 Strong Man
6.55 Moral Issue
2.10 Night Party
2.45 Chief Barker
3.55 Quick Jack
5.05 Life Partner