A clash between the equine superstars of the northern and southern hemispheres has been ruled out at Goodwood, with brilliant Australian mare Black Caviar not among the entries for the Qipco Sussex Stakes on August 1.
Prize-money was to be boosted to £1m if Black Caviar and Frankel could be enticed for what would have been one of the races of all time, with the pair unbeaten in 31 outings between them.
Black Caviar, who is trained by Peter Moody, is due to arrive in Britain next month for a run at Royal Ascot.
His racing manager, Jeff O’Connor, said: “Moody Racing does not intend running Black Caviar at a mile in the Qipco Sussex Stakes, Frankel or no Frankel, as we are looking at getting her back to Melbourne for racing later in the year if she comes through Ascot as well as she can.
“Therefore, we are not planning to nominate her for the Sussex Stakes at tomorrow’s nomination stage as we feel it would not be the right thing by the racing industry worldwide, giving false hope that the race may happen.
“We understand it would have been a great selling point for Glorious Goodwood and we appreciate the more-than-generous offer from Qipco in getting the conditions of the race to where they are, but we will have to decline on this occasion.”
Black Caviar’s British campaign needs to finish by mid-July, taking quarantine into account, if she is to return home in time to be prepared for the Spring Carnival in Melbourne.
ST NIC ON COURSE FOR CORONATION
St Nicholas Abbey could face up to eight rivals when he defends his crown in the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup at Epsom on Saturday.
Aidan O’Brien’s five-year-old gained a narrow verdict over top-class mare Midday in the mile-and-a-half Group One last season, which has this year been switched from its traditional Friday slot to Investec Derby day.
St Nicholas Abbey endured a slightly disappointing summer, but ended the year on a high by landing the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.
He has been beaten into second on his two starts this year, most recently when failing to catch his pacemaker Windsor Palace in the Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh.
Windsor Palace is also engaged in Saturday’s race, along with fellow Ballydoyle inmates Treasure Beach and Robin Hood.
Ed Dunlop’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux gained a deserved victory in the Yorkshire Cup earlier this month and could bid to supplement that victory this weekend.
Beaten Up lost his unbeaten record when sixth in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March, but remains an interesting horse for William Haggas.
John Gosden’s St Leger hero Masked Marvel could aim to bounce back to form after a disappointing start to the year at Newmarket, while Godolphin’s Dubai World Cup star Monterosso and Quest For Peace from the Luca Cumani yard complete the confirmations.
TREGONING SET FOR CAVALEIRO CHARGE
Marcus Tregoning is aiming for a second Investec Derby victory with Cavaleiro at Epsom on Saturday – six years after Sir Percy prevailed in a blanket finish.
Cavaleiro may be an outsider at the weekend, but is guaranteed nearly as many column inches as the hot favourite Camelot as he will be ridden by Hayley Turner, only the second female to ride in the race after Alex Greaves.
He finished third in the Lingfield Derby Trial and returned to the Surrey track to put the finishing touches on his preparations.
“The piece of work Cavaleiro did at Lingfield on Saturday was the best bit of work he has done all year and we were very happy with that,” said Tregoning.
“I really do like him – he will stay very well and hopefully he will be able to go the pace. We can do what we want with him as he is a very straightforward ride and I imagine we will be tracking the pace – they don’t normally hang around in the Derby.
“It’s extraordinary having such a small field, possibly because people are scared of taking on Camelot, but it’s a strange year.
“It’s a huge opportunity for Hayley Turner and for everyone.
“I think she is very good for racing and she will give Cavaleiro a very good ride.”
Cavaleiro is one of 12 possible runners in the Derby, which is headed, of course, by the 2000 Guineas winner Camelot.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, he became Montjeu’s first winner of a Classic over a mile which led some to believe he could be a Triple Crown candidate.
O’Brien has also left in Astrology, Father Of Science, Imperial Monarch and Tower Rock.
Andrew Balding, who was victorious in the 2003 Oaks with Casual Look, is represented by second favourite Bonfire, winner of the Dante Stakes at York.
David Lanigan’s Main Sequence is defending an unbeaten record after his victory in the Lingfield Derby Trial.
Rugged Cross, Thought Worthy, Minimise Risk and Mickdaam complete the possibles.
The going is currently described as good to firm, good in the home straight, but clerk of the course Andrew Cooper is unsure what to expect in the coming days in terms of rainfall and will be watering.
“There is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast, particularly regarding what we might get in terms of rain,” said Cooper.
“One thing we are fairly sure of is that from tomorrow onwards, things are going to get cooler and we think temperatures will be down to around 18 degrees by Thursday, from the mid to late 20s we’ve had the last few days.
“It is going to get cooler and cloudier but it is quite uncertain if that cloud will bring much rain with it or not. I think the rain is meant to be showery in nature.
“We’re clear enough about where we are at the moment in terms of watering.
“We’re going to put some water on the downhill section of the course this afternoon, which I would describe as good to firm at this stage and it will benefit from some watering.
“As far as the official going is concerned, we’re calling it good to firm, good in the home straight at the moment.
“I think all we can do is keep on top of things and we can make decisions about watering on a daily basis.”
CASPAR GHOSTS HOME IN GERMAN GUINEAS
British raider Caspar Netscher came with a withering late run to win the German 2,000 Guineas at Cologne.
Alan McCabe’s three-year-old failed to make an impact in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but was the 3-1 favourite to atone in this less competitive field.
Caspar Netscher was slowly away in the one-mile contest, but Shane Kelly was happy to bide his time until the home turn.
Kelly asked his mount to quicken down the inside against the rail and he did so in some style, easily picking up Amarillo to secure a decisive success.
The other British challenger was Red Duke, who was far from disgraced in finishing third.
John Quinn’s inmate encountered one or two traffic problems in the straight, but he rattled home down the outside under Jamie Spencer.
McCabe said: “Everything went perfectly to plan today and it’s fantastic.
“Things went awry for him in the Guineas at Newmarket, but myself and Shane said today we’d drop him out last to try and make sure he gets the trip and ride him for a turn of foot.
“He’s actually probably ended up in front a bit soon, but Shane said he just took him there and I can’t believe how well it went.
“We’ll take him home and make a plan from there.
“He’s in the Jersey Stakes but we might have a look at the Prix Jean Prat in France for him.”
Quinn said of Red Duke: “He had no run at all in the straight and, in the end, he’s done very well to finish third.
“Well done to Alan McCabe and Charles Wentworth (owner), but I think we were very unlucky and he’ll surely have his day.
“He just had nowhere to go and it’s unfortunate, but hopefully now we’ll go for the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
“After that he’ll probably go to Goodwood for either the Lennox Stakes or the Sussex Stakes and then probably on to America.”
PLANTEUR IN FRAME FOR IRISH CHAMPION
Planteur long-term aim of the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes after his third-placed finish in the Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp on Sunday.
The Marco Botti-trained five-year-old was beaten just over a length by Golden Lilac and Cirrus Des Aigles.
He is next likely to run at Royal Ascot before being geared towards Leopardstown on September 8.
Botti said: “He ran a great race and we were thrilled with him, it was a good performance.
“The ground had just dried out a little too much for him or he might have won - we know he is better with a little bit of cut in the ground. Also, he could have done with a stronger pace.
“Christophe Soumillon rode him in France and said it was a very good run and that he could be effective over a mile or 10 furlongs.
“He’s entered in the Queen Anne and the Prince of Wales’s at Ascot.
“We’ll talk to the owners, but obviously Frankel looks like running in the Queen Anne so that is something to consider.
“Long term, the Irish Champion Stakes looks the right race for him but he’d obviously need a run before then.”
MESSARA DELIGHTED WITH ORTENSIA
Paul Messara believes his star mare Ortensia will put up a “hell of a fight” in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.
The Australian speedball rounded off 2011 with a Group One victory in her homeland and made a successful second trip abroad when turning in a brilliant performance in the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan.
The horse that finished second that day, Sole Power, was narrowly beaten by Bated Breath in Saturday’s Temple Stakes at Haydock, and Messara believes that pair are two of the biggest dangers to his charge on June 19.
Ortensia is based at Abington Place stables in Newmarket, the yard of British-based Australian Jane Chapple-Hyam.
“I’m very happy with how she’s settled in. We’ve had no hiccups with her whatsoever since she arrived five weeks ago,” said Messara.
“She came straight here from Dubai, as I think it’s a big advantage to get here early. The flight from Dubai to England is only about nine hours, while you’re talking 35 to 40 hours if you fly in from Sydney.
“I watched the race at Haydock on Saturday and I thought Sole Power was a bit unlucky, but maybe he’s just one of those horses.
“The winner is obviously equally as good and you’d imagine those two, along with Joy And Fun from Hong Kong, would be the main dangers to Ortensia.
“I don’t think it will be a dissimilar field to the one that lined up in Dubai so if we can get our mare to Ascot in the same form she was in at Meydan, she’s going to put up a hell of a fight.”
Ortensia is also entered in the six-furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal meeting, but Messara insists she will only line up if her compatriot Black Caviar does not make the race.
The latter is unbeaten in 21 career starts to date and Messara is better placed than most to assess the chances of her extending that record on her first visit to England.
“It could be a possibility Ortensia could run in both races but only if something went wrong with Black Caviar, she had a setback or something, and she didn’t run,” said the trainer.
“Mate, Black Caviar is going to give your horses a whipping!
“She’s obviously got to come over yet, which is a challenge in itself, but if she runs I think she’ll give all of them a good hiding – the others will get wind burn as she goes past them. I just hope a few take her on.”
Black Caviar, officially rated second in the world behind the mighty Frankel, is due to touch down in Britain next week.
FABRE – NO DOUBT ABOUT LILAC CLASS
Andre Fabre has hailed Golden Lilac as the best filly he has ever trained in the wake of her shock win over Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix D’Ispahan at Longchamp on Sunday.
Making her seasonal reappearance, the daughter of 2004 Prix du Moulin heroine Grey Lilas quickened up impressively to beat the Dubai Sheema Classic winner.
Golden Lilac has only lost once in her life, when third to Galikova in the Prix Guilaume D’Ornano last August, a race in which Fabre believes she had genuine excuses.
Previously the Gestut Ammerland-owned filly had won the French Guineas and Oaks in impressive style.
“It was not a discovery to us to see her go and win like that, I was very confident,” said Fabre.
“The race she lost last year she was a very sick horse when she returned.
“She’s the best filly I’ve ever trained, no doubt about it.
“The only option she has at Royal Ascot is the one over 2000 metres (10 furlongs), the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, as I wouldn’t want to take on Frankel over a mile in the Queen Anne.
“It looks like the Irish horse (So You Think) would be her main danger in the Prince of Wales’s.
“She could also run in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket later in the season, she’ll be entered.”
GROUP ONE THE HOLY GRAIL FOR GOLD
Connections of Dubawi Gold are considering a variety of options for their charge following his creditable third in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
The Richard Hannon-trained four-year-old proved no match for the brilliant Frankel, finishing nine lengths behind Sir Henry Cecil’s star and four lengths adrift of second-placed Excelebration.
Tim Jones, racing manager for owner Andrew Tinkler, said: “He came out of the Lockinge in great form and we’re just going to weigh up the options for him.
“The good thing was he ran right up to his best again which was good to see after he disappointed on that heavy ground at Sandown the time before.
“We have got all sorts of options for him. He’s entered in the Queen Anne and the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, the July Cup and we have also been talking about the Maurice de Gheest over seven furlongs.
“Obviously the distances range from a mile to six furlongs and we will be looking at all the Group One options for him, but we would like to avoid Frankel and Excelebration.
“We will be looking at it over the next couple of weeks and we might try to give him a confidence booster and let him get his head in front in another race before his next Group One engagement.
“The aim is to win a Group One with him this year, wherever that may be.”
Hannon and Tinkler had toyed with the idea of switching up to middle distances but Jones believes that plan has now been shelved.
“The thought in running him in the (nine-furlong) Dubai Duty Free at Meydan was that it was the nearest race to a mile on grass and if things had worked out, he might have run closer.
“If we did step up to middle distances, we would probably meet Frankel again.
“He might be more effective over seven furlongs but we don’t believe there is a great deal to be achieved beyond a mile.”
MURPHY HOPING FOR EPSOM RAIN
John Murphy is keeping his fingers crossed for rain at Epsom to allow Gossamer Seed to make the journey from Ireland for Friday’s Princess Elizabeth Stakes.
The four-year-old took her game to a new level on her recent seasonal reappearance at the Curragh, running away with the Group Three Athasi Stakes in testing ground.
A dry spell means conditions on both sides of the Irish sea are appreciably quicker than they were at the start Royal Ascot.
“It was a nice double,” said Reed.
“Last year he disappointed us but we always knew he was a good horse.
“This year he is in tremendous form and has won two Group races consecutively.
“At York everyone said the ground was good which suited him well because he doesn’t like it soft, that’s why he didn’t run well at Newmarket first time out.
“I had two winners in France last week, too, trained by Andre Fabre, so it’s been a good week.
“When the ground is right he’s a very difficult horse to beat. We could go to Ascot if the ground is right.”
HALFORD IN NO RUSH WITH CORNER
Mick Halford is looking forward to testing the water at a higher level with Blue Corner following his impressive debut at the Curragh on Sunday.
There was plenty of talk on track about the Sheikh Mohammed-owned three-year-old during the afternoon and he did not disappoint, overcoming obvious signs of inexperience to win by five lengths.
Halford believes his charge will only get better with more racing under his belt and once stepped up in distance, but is in no rush to make any grand plans yet.
“I’m delighted with him. It was a good start, he did everything well on the day and looks like a horse who should progress,” said Halford.
“He’s always been a horse who has shown us a bit at home, but he’s been such a big baby we’ve just had to be patient with him. Hopefully that patience will pay off.
“I’m not sure where we’ll go next with him, I’ll have a chat with the lads and we’ll see which way we’re going to go.
“There is a mile and three (furlong) Listed race in Leopardstown on June 8, but that might just come a bit too soon for him.
“We’ll step him up in class and that will tell us a bit more about him, as it’s hard to know how good he is at this stage.
“He did it very easily yesterday, but only time will tell what he beat.”