Sergeant may head back to France

Sergeant Cecil may try for more Group One glory in France in the Prix Royal-Oak later this month after raising the roof at Longchamp.

Sergeant Cecil may try for more Group One glory in France in the Prix Royal-Oak later this month after raising the roof at Longchamp.

The seven-year-old added another chapter to his amazing story with a magnificent victory against the cream of Europe’s stayers in the Prix du Cadran.

In 2005, he made history by becoming the first horse to win the Northumberland Plate, Ebor and Cesarewitch in the same year and this season he showed he could mix it with the very best, winning the Group Two Lonsdale Cup and Doncaster Cup immediately prior to his successful jaunt across the Channel.

His proud trainer Rod Millman is now considering taking his stable star back to Paris for the French St Leger on October 22.

“If he’s okay we might go for that. Our first impressions were: 'He’s won a Group One and we’ll rest on that now,' but there aren’t going to be many races for him next year with him carrying a Group One penalty,” said Millman.

“He’s obviously in good form with himself and a lot of the other horses are worn out at the moment. If he’s okay we’ll have a go at the Royal-Oak.

“He won’t run unless we think he’s A1. We’ll pay the first instalment (of the entry fee) on Wednesday, although it will be too soon to say we’re definitely going.”

Next year’s objective is the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, in which Sergeant Cecil was only fifth behind Yeats this summer.

“The Gold Cup is obviously the main target next year, but we might change our pattern a bit,” the Cullompton trainer continued.

“He’s better when he runs regularly and he’d had quite a long break for him before Royal Ascot this season.

“He’ll be another year older and we’ll have to make sure he’s still good enough but he’s not gone backwards yet.”

With regular partner Alan Munro currently sidelined, Frankie Dettori has been on board Millman’s star for his last three victories and the popular Italian was also quick to praise his partner.

“He’s just a fantastic horse and it’s a fairytale story really with what he’s done,” he told Racing UK.

“Winning those big handicaps and working his way through the ranks to capture the Group One in Longchamp, the Cadran, is just amazing.

“He actually ran the last furlong in 11.3 seconds and to do that as a stayer after two and a half miles you have to be some horse.

“It’s the third time I have been on him and I’m getting to know him a little better.

“He hits a flat spot and then finds a tremendous turn of foot but once he gets there he just stops, so the timing is quite crucial,” he explained.

“I made a mistake at York when I grabbed hold of him and he got there too early and just idled in front.”

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