No Leopardstown going concerns for Grey Gatsby

Kevin Ryan believes conditions are likely to favour The Grey Gatsby in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 10.

The five-year-old needs fast ground to perform at his best and the going was yielding when he was sixth to Golden Horn in the 10-furlong showpiece last season.

The Grey Gatsby’s last victory came in the Irish Champion two years ago when he got the better of Australia.

Since then, he has been a regular at the top level without quite getting his head in front.

His latest effort came in the Juddmonte International when he was sixth to Postponed.

“He’s come out of his race at York really well,” said Ryan.

“It looks like the ground is going to be OK for him in Ireland.

“He’s got a few good targets before the end of the year, so as long as the ground comes for him, hopefully he’ll get his head in front.

“Dermot Weld is concerned the ground is going to be quick for his horse (Harzand), so they know what the forecast is going to be over there for the next 10 days or so.

“It looks likely it’s going to be top of the ground.”

Danny Tudhope replaced Jamie Spencer at York, but who gets the leg-up in Ireland has yet to be decided.

Ryan said: “It’s a bit early to say who’s going to ride him. We’ll see who’s there. He’s a simple horse to ride.

“We’ll make that decision closer to the time. We’ll have to discuss that with Frank (Gillespie, owner).”

Connections are eyeing a trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup meeting for what could be The Grey Gatsby’s swansong before he retires to stud.

“We’re hoping to go to the Breeders’ Cup. We’d like to run him in the Arc, but it depends on the ground,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“We’d like to go to America with him. They tell me it should be very fast ground. We all know now he’s very ground dependent.

“If the ground in France goes against him he’d miss that and go to the Breeders’ Cup.

“I’ll have to discuss it with Frank, but I think this will possibly be his final season.”

Meanwhile Kim Bailey’s Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri could get his season under way in the Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Bailey won the Grade Two contest in 2013 with Harry Topper and is considering sending the eight-year-old north for his initial outing.

Another option is to return to Aintree for the Becher Chase.

Speaking to the Gloucestershire Echo, Bailey said: “So far I’m very happy with him.

“It’s hard to find suitable races. The most obvious ones are going to be the Charlie Hall and the Becher Chase.

“I hate coming second but it was a great run in the National.”

Like The Last Samuri another of Bailey’s stable stars, Red Spinner, is owned by Paul and Clare Rooney and he could have a crack at the Bet Victor Gold Cup at Cheltenham, formerly the Paddy Power.

“He’ll have a run between now and then,” Bailey said of the six-year-old.

“Like a lot of horses trained for The Festival his form tailed off after (Carlisle, beaten as 1-6 favourite). He’s much better than that.”


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