Sponsors fear ‘ugly result’ as Martin’s Quick Jack backed for Cesarewitch

The Tony Martin-trained Quick Jack has been cut to 6-1 favourite (from 7) with the sponsors for Saturday’s Betfred Cesarewitch after standing his ground yesterday for the marathon handicap.

Sponsors fear ‘ugly result’ as Martin’s Quick Jack backed for Cesarewitch

Martin tasted success in the prestigious 2m2f contest with Leg Spinner in 2007.

Quick Jack has not been seen since winning at the Galway festival in July when beating 19 rivals to land another competitive staying handicap.

After snipping the five-year-old’s odds, Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths said: “Quick Jack is trained by the man the bookies fear and everything points towards a big run on Saturday. He’s the best-backed horse in the race and is already an ugly result in our ante-post book.”

Quick Jack spearheads a strong list of confirmations, with 52 horses standing their ground.

The five-year-old gelding would be in opposition against a typically powerful field, with the well-fancied Ray Ward still in contention for the David Simcock operation.

Others of note left in include Nearly Caught, Swnymor, Moidore, Big Easy, Brass Ring and Rhombus.

In addition to Quick Jack, Irish hopes could be further bolstered by the presence of the Dermot Weld-trained Hidden Universe, El Salvador from the Aidan O’Brien stables and Willie Mullins’ duo of Digeanta and Clondaw Warrior – though the latter is a long way off from making the 34-runner line-up.

Nicky Henderson landed the Cesarewitch with Caracciola in 2008 and this year he could be represented by Earth Amber.

Fellow jumps trainer Jonjo O’Neill is responsible for the former John Oxx inmate Saddler’s Rock, who would have to shoulder top weight on his first start for the Jackdaws Castle handler.

Meanwhile, Treve (pictured) was the centre of attention at her Chantilly stables yesterday as she wound down after her historic second consecutive victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

“It was amazing – I’m still not on planet earth yet!” said Criquette Head-Maarek.

“She’s fine today, she has eaten everything. I think that’s definitely it, Sheikh Joaan wants to retire her. She’s going to go to Sheikh Joaan’s farm. I don’t know to what stallion, maybe Galileo.

“She’s going to stay here for a few weeks, I’m not letting her go yet.”

An appearance on Champions Day at Ascot appears the only remaining option for Taghrooda following her fantastic effort in defeat in Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc.

John Gosden’s Epsom Oaks and King George winner lost her unbeaten record and some of her aura when suffering a shock reverse in the Yorkshire Oaks, but she restored her reputation in Paris.

Despite having been handed a wide draw, Paul Hanagan’s mount stuck to her task admirably in the straight to finish third behind Treve.

With owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum having already booked Taghrooda a place among his band of broodmares for the next breeding season, the only decision left to make is whether to give her one last hurrah in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

The owner’s racing manager, Angus Gold, said: “Everyone was thrilled with her. She ran a fantastic race.

“Sheikh Hamdan wasn’t there on Sunday, so we’ll need to sit down and decide what we’re going to do.

“Other than Ascot, there are very few options left for her, unless Sheikh Hamdan wants to go to America (for the Breeders’ Cup), but I would have thought that is very unlikely.”

If the owner does decide Taghrooda’s racing days are over, he has a ready-made replacement for the same Ascot Group One in the Roger Varian-trained Hadaatha.

The daughter of Sea The Stars performed superbly on her debut at the highest level when third in the Prix de l’Opera, finishing ahead of the owner’s more fancied runner, Tarfasha.

“Hadaatha ran a fantastic race. She can be a bit slowly away and she was again,” said Gold.

Reflecting on Tarfasha’s slightly disappointing effort, Gold said: “She was in a great position all the way, but Pat (Smullen) said she just didn’t pick up like she can and ran a bit flat.

“Dermot (Weld) suggested that she was possibly coming into season, but I’m not sure.”

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