- Sire-Dam -
Not many horses reach the frame in a Group 1 race for the first time at the age of nine but that’s what front-running Take Cover did in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes of 2016.
It was a tremendous effort by the flagbearer at the yard of David Griffiths. He found only two exceptional sprinters too strong in Mecca’s Angel and Limato
Before the race Griffits had spoken with QIPCO British Champions Series and gave us an insight into the veteran, a dual King George Stakes winner at Goodwood.
“He’s generally got two speeds – stand still or flat to the boards,” Griffiths said. ““He’s got a bit better as he’s got older, or should I say a bit saner.
“He’s nine but you would never know it and he didn’t make his debut until late in the season as a four-year-old. I think he’s better than ever. He has just felt stronger and sharper in everything he has been doing – and he has been doing those things better and easier.”
Take Cover’s previous Nunthorpe experiences did not go to plan.
“Last year he had to be withdrawn after going underneath the stalls and getting loose around York for ten minutes,” Griffiths said. “The year before that he anticipated the start and hit his head leaving the stalls. He came back bleeding, very sore and with a headache. It must have affected him but he still ran a cracker to be beaten only two lengths.
Nowadays, he goes in the stalls last with a blind on, which is taken off just as the gates open.
Griffiths and his wife, Sophie, share riding duties on Take Cover at their yard in Doncaster. The latter also does a lot of other work with him, including walking him to the start on race days.
Take Cover showed his customary speed before fading in the Temple Stakes on his return in 2017. He showed he still had plenty of fire in his belly when a fine fifth to Lady Aurelia next time in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot before going on to take a Listed prize at Chester, the Beverlsey Bullet at Beverley, a Group 3 prize at Newbury and then another Listed prize at Dundalk.
There is plenty of life in the old boy yet!
BCS Career statistics
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