Saddler’s Rock aiming to enhance his fantastic Series record
24 Aug 2012
Ireland's top stayer will make his fourth trip to Britain for tomorrow's Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup in which he will renew rivalry with several horses he has beaten before and meet for the first time a promising Godolphin-owned stayer.
Saddler’s Rock at Goodwood earlier this month. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.
A strong line-up for tomorrow’s Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup over two miles sees Irish raider Saddler’s Rock look to enhance his excellent record in the QIPCO British Champions Series Long Distance category both last season and this which currently reads WON-3rd-WON.
He contested just one Series race as an up-and-coming three-year-old last year, the two-and-a-quarter mile Stobart Doncaster Cup in September, and he ran away with the race, comfortably beating the winner of today’s contest a year ago, Opinion Poll.
He was ridden that day by Niall McCullagh who renews his association with the horse tomorrow following the recent injury to regular pilot Johnny Murtagh, which will keep him out of action for a few weeks.
This year Saddler’s Rock did not come over for the first race in the division, the Sportingbet Yorkshire Cup here over a mile and three-quarters at the Dante Meeting in May.
That race was won by the 2011 Melbourne Cup hero, Red Cadeaux, from Glen’s Diamond in second place and Times Up in fourth, both of whom run tomorrow.
Saddler’s Rock did, however, journey over from John Oxx’s County Kildare stable for race two, the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot over two and a half miles.
He did not appreciate the rain softened ground, but ran very well to finish third behind Colour Vision and Opinion Poll, beaten just three-quarters of a length.
He returned for the third race, the two-mile Artemis Goodwood Cup earlier this month when he scored a determined length success from Askar Tau, whom he takes on again tomorrow.
Three other of his rivals in tomorrow’s contest, Simenon, Times Up and Lost In The Moment, finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.
He looks a very worthy favourite even if the ground may not be quite as quick as he would ideally like it and it will take a strong performance from one of his ten opponents to defeat him.
Of particular interest is Cavalryman, from the Godolphin stable that also houses Colour Vision and Opinion Poll.
He shares the same 115 rating as Saddler’s Rock and although now a six-year-old, he is unexposed as a stayer and comes here in fine form having won his last two races.
The Stobart Doncaster Cup and Ladbrokes St Leger are the fifth and sixth races in the division at Doncaster next month, while of the eleven runners declared today, all bar Ibicenco and Thimaar are entered in the seventh and final race, the £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 20 October.
To view the race details for the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup and the full line-up, CLICK HERE.