Millman wary of Yeats

ROD MILLMAN feels an in-form Yeats will again prove a tough nut for his star stayer Sergeant Cecil to crack this term.

The popular gelding reappears at Newbury on Saturday and is once again to be trained with Royal Ascot’s Gold Cup in mind – a race in which Aidan O’Brien’s Yeats stamped his authority on the division in 2006.

“Our main target with him this season will be the Gold Cup,” Millman explained.

“Then we’ll try the races he won last year again, but the one thing about him is that he really comes good in the autumn every year, whereas Yeats was unbeatable early on.

“I think if we’d have met him in the autumn we might have turned the tables on him.

“But if the Yeats that won the Gold Cup turns up this summer we might have a job to beat him.”

Millman is looking forward to seeing Sergeant Cecil back in racecourse action at the weekend, but admits his charge usually takes a race or two to hit top gear.

He added: “He’s wintered very well and he’s come back in very good condition this year. He’s better than last year and I’m very pleased with him.

“But he is a horse that does tend to come on for his races and it’ll be his first of the season.

“He’s eight years old, but you’d be saying he was in his prime if he was a chaser,” said Millman.

“We’ll get this race out of the way on Saturday and it should be a really nice start for him. It’ll give him a nice run out and then it’ll be all systems go for the Yorkshire Cup.”

General admission and silver ring tickets are already sold out for Gold Cup day on June 21, and officials warn that demand in other areas is also very high.

Meanwhile, a decision on Arch Swing’s participation in the Stan James 1000 Guineas is on hold after the filly was found to have a temperature over the weekend.

John Oxx’s charge is as low as 8-1 with William Hill for the May 6 Classic after winning on her reappearance at Leopardstown earlier in the month.

Oxx said: “Arch Swing had a temperature on Saturday morning and while she was better on Sunday we won’t know the full story for a while yet.

“As she is high in the betting for the Guineas we thought it best to let the public know the situation. No decision will be made until much nearer the race. We’ll see what develops and how she is nearer the time.

“At this stage there is a slight doubt about whether she will make the race.”

Stan James 1000 Guineas heroine Speciosa could make her seasonal reappearance in the Weatherbys Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

However, trainer Pam Sly has already been on the telephone to clerk of the course Michael Prosser to ensure the ground is not riding too fast.

The Danehill Dancer filly likes to get her toe in and the current dry spell has put Speciosa’s participation in doubt.

“We’d like to run her, but it depends how much water Mr Prosser puts on. I have spoken to him and he was putting out the pipes at the time,” said Sly.

“I’ll declare her and walk the track when I get there.

“He said he is going to water it so there is no jar and it will be on the good side of good to firm.

“Her only disappointing run last year was at Ascot and that was purely because the ground was too quick.

“I think she is going to want a mile and a quarter this year. I was going to run her in the Lockinge, but if it looks as if she is not going to be quick enough over a mile then so be it.”

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