Golden Horn on course for Irish Champion after York upset

John Gosden is keen to run Golden Horn in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes ahead of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe granted suitable conditions following his shock defeat at York on Wednesday.

Golden Horn on course for Irish Champion after York upset

The Newmarket trainer admitted he got the tactics wrong by not making the most of supplemented pacemaker Dick Doughtywylie as Arabian Queen stunned the Knavesmire crowd by getting the better of the Derby and Eclipse winner by a neck.

Gosden will now prepare his star three-year-old for the Group One over a mile and a quarter at Leopardstown on September 12.

“He’s absolutely fine. He ate up last night,” the trainer said.

“We’ll go to the Irish Champion with him and let’s hope it doesn’t rain too much. Leopardstown is a lovely track and it drains very well.

“I don’t want to leave a long gap top the Arc, having missed the King George — and I’m glad I didn’t run him there over a mile and a half on that ground. Having missed that the key thing is to have continuity between his races and the Irish Champion is where we go.”

Meanwhile a change of tactics instigated by Kevin Manning enabled Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach to return to her best in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on the Knavesmire yesterday.

Having won at the Curragh over a mile back in May, she looked guaranteed to be even better over further. However, she was beaten by Curvy in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot and could finish only fifth in the Pretty Poly Stakes over 10 furlongs.

Given that was her fifth run in quick succession, the Teofilo filly could be excused that and Jim Bolger gave her a 53-day break. Manning, though, felt she had been beaten the last twice because he was trying to hold her up in her races, breaking her stride in the process, and told connections pre-race that he would be letting her stride on.

That she did not have to make the running was down to Hugo Palmer’s Irish Oaks winner Covert Love, who benefited from a strong gallop in winning her Classic and when she kicked two lengths clear with two furlongs to run she looked certain to add another notch to her burgeoning C.V. But the wily Manning, who has as much big-race experience as anybody thanks to the champions his father-in-law keeps on producing year on year, got Pleascach rolling and the 8-1 chance got home by a neck with the same back to Francois Doumen’s Sea Calisi.

It was not all good news for Manning as he was hit with a two-day ban (September 3 and 4) for using his whip above the permitted level, but that was only a minor blemish on another Group One success. Bolger was winning the race for the first time since Lush Lashes in 2008. “Previously we tried to settle her a little bit and it meant breaking her stride, so Kevin decided whatever happened today he wasn’t going to break her stride,” said Bolger.

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