Marnane waits on Zalty for Galway Races

Elleval (right)  will try to get back on track in the Desmond Stakes

Elleval (right) will try to get back on track in the Desmond Stakes

David Marnane will wait until later in the week before deciding whether to turn out Zalty at Galway following his good effort at York on Saturday.

Initial indications are that the four-year-old has taken his run, when fourth behind Muthmir in the Skybet Dash, in his stride.

However, the County Tipperary trainer will see how the horse is in a couple of days closer to the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ahonoora” Handicap on Sunday.

“He’s come out of the race really well and we’re very happy him,” said Marnane.

“He was bucking and squealing. We’ll see how he is over the week and speak to his owner. We’ll give it a couple of days.

“We were very happy with the run. I don’t think the draw (two) was very favourable as he had to race a bit on his own. I don’t think he’d have beaten the winner, who I think is a Group horse.

“I was delighted he’d put two good runs together (after his second at the Curragh) and one of these big days is in him.

“He could end up being a Dubai horse, as well. I think he’d love it there and is probably a seven-furlong horse.

“The stiff six (furlongs) at the Curragh suited him, but the six at York is a different ball game. They went quicker and he had no cover.”

Meanwhile Elleval will try to get back on track in the Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown on August 14 following an unsuccessful trip to Pontefract on Sunday.

The four-year-old, a winner at Meydan in February, did not take to the undulations of the West Yorkshire track and was only fifth to Custom Cut in the Listed Pomfret Stakes.

Although disappointed, trainer Marnane has put the experience behind him and has not lost any faith in the son of Kodiac.

“I liked Pontefract, but Elleval didn’t,” said the County Tipperary handler.

“After 100 yards, we knew. I was disappointed because he just looked so well before the race and he was in great form.

“He is definitely up to that level but he never got going.

“When we look back on it, he likes flat tracks like Meydan, Dundalk and the Curragh. We learnt a valuable lesson and we’ll move on.

“He’ll probably show up next in the Desmond Stakes.”

Pique Sous will be prepared for next year’s Royal Ascot after a season-ending injury ruled the grey out of the Galway Hurdle.

Willie Mullins’ Queen Alexandra Stakes winner was ante-post favourite for the Galway feature, and was also strongly fancied for the Betfred Ebor at York next month, but he will now be put away until the new Flat campaign.

“The prognosis is good, long term, as it’s just a stress fracture,” Mullins told At The Races.

“It’s six weeks standing in (his box) and then he can start training again, but it comes at the wrong time of year for him so we’ll probably give him a break and concentrate on next season.

“He’ll probably be back next spring. We’ll probably try and go back to Ascot again, that might be the first plan.”

 

O’Brien’s Magician can go close in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Top class: Aidan O'Brien's Magician

Top class: Aidan O’Brien’s Magician

Magician can spring a minor surprise and bounce back to his very best with victory in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

Despite being the top-rated horse in the field, he comes into the race a little under the radar as much of the attention is focused upon Hardwicke Stakes victor Telescope and Oaks winner Taghrooda, both of whom hold excellent claims.

Magician has not quite hit the expected heights so far this term, with Aidan O'Brien clearly anticipating plenty from a colt who won the Breeders' Cup Turf at the end of last year.

Nothing went right for him in the Sheema Classic at Meydan in March, while he failed to really sparkle when narrowly defeating Parish Hall in a Curragh Group Three.

Heads were then down after Noble Mission beat him on very testing ground in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

He put up a perfectly respectable show at Royal Ascot, though, finishing just under two lengths behind when second to The Fugue in the Prince of Wales's Stakes over what could well be a slightly inadequate 10-furlong trip.

Magician just lacked the necessary extra gear when The Fugue challenged but that effort represented a return to something like his best form and a switch back up in trip can see the Galileo colt shine once more.

King Torus just sneaks into the Longines International Stakes at the bottom of the handicap and he can make good use of his comparative feather weight at long odds.

The six-year-old was a dual Group Two winner back in his juvenile days but he lost his way a bit before departing the Hannon team to join Jamie Osborne last year.

He won a couple of minor events for that handler but has really stepped his game up since joining Ruth Carr this year, winning each of his three outings for the North Yorkshire trainer.

Narrow wins at Newcastle and Ripon were supplemented with success at Doncaster recently, and while none of those events were as competitive as this, King Torus has certainly been making strides and arrives in top form.

His Pattern successes show he has a touch of class and though King Torus has plenty to find with the horses at the top, he arrives in fine heart and will have the fast ground he so clearly relishes.

Osaila impressed when beating the colts at Doncaster recently and can strike Group Three gold in the Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes.

She was beaten just over six lengths in the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting last month before going on to claim a confidence-boosting three-length verdict on Town Moor with the minimum of fuss.

Osaila turns out again just over a week later but Richard Hannon is clearly confident a quick comeback will present few problems for a filly held in high regard.

Danadana can finally score a first victory in 2014 in the Skybet York Stakes on the Knavesmire.

The six-year-old is finally free of the penalty he incurred for winning a Turkish Group Two last year, a race which only equates to Listed level in British terms.

That extra bit of weight saw him firmly anchored on his reappearance in the Earl of Sefton, while he was beaten over 10 lengths at Chester on his latest start in May.

However, he was up against Noble Mission and Telescope that day so a hefty defeat can be forgiven and he is back in with a chance in this Group Two.

Zalty just lost out in one of Ireland's most competitive sprint handicaps last time but compensation awaits in the Skybet Dash.

He was drawn in an unfavourable low stall on that occasion but still turned in an excellent effort in first-time blinkers to be beaten just half a length.

He has to race off a 6lb higher mark here but David Marnane is pretty shrewd and would not be making the trip if he did not think Zalty was in with a proper shout.

Athenian made a successful seasonal bow at Newmarket earlier this month and can follow up again for Sir Mark Prescott in the Adnams Ghost Ship Fillies' Handicap back at Headquarters.

Tap Your Toes in the choice in the Bathwick Tyres Maiden Stakes at Salisbury, while Fairy Mist can go well in Lingfield's Mark's "Final Furlong" Handicap.

At Newcastle, Crisis Averted can earn top honours in the Collingwood Fleet Insurance Handicap.

SELECTIONS:

ASCOT: 1.30 Peacock, 2.05 Osaila, 2.40 Kafeel, 3.15 King Torus, 3.50 MAGICIAN (NAP), 4.25 See The Storm, 5.00 High Master.

LINGFIELD: 5.30 Rock Follies, 6.00 Elizona, 6.30 Born to Fly, 7.00 Fairy Mist, 7.35 Mister Bob, 8.05 Daydreamer, 8.35 Censorius.

NEWCASTLE: 1.55 Ythan Waters, 2.30 Crisis Averted, 3.05 Repetition, 3.40 Rayadour, 4.15 Wilhana, 4.50 I'll Be Good, 5.25 Lil Sophella.

NEWMARKET: 2.10 Future Empire, 2.45 Ajmany, 3.20 Athenian, 3.55 Greeb, 4.30 Fanciful Angel, 5.05 Lawyer, 5.35 Mymatechris.

SALISBURY: 5.45 Galatian, 6.15 Rough Courte, 6.45 Joyous, 7.15 More Drama, 7.50 Tap Your Toes, 8.20 Air Squadron, 8.50 Alzanti.

WEXFORD: 2.15 Dash, 2.50 Longton, 3.25 Renown, 4.00 Millington, 4.35 Hangar Five, 5.10 Gun Shoot, 5.40 Black Spot On.

YORK: 1.50 Kleo, 2.20 Short Squeeze, 2.55 Danadana, 3.30 Zalty, 4.05 Must Have, 4.40 Itlaaq, 5.15 Pillar Box.

DOUBLE: Magician and King Torus.

Art of Logistics and Golden Wonder are live chances for Galway Plate

Trainer Dessie Hughes

Trainer Dessie Hughes

Dessie Hughes feels he has two live chances in thetote.com Galway Plate with ante-post favourite Art Of Logistics and Irish National runner-up Golden Wonder.

Hughes has had the valuable handicap as the aim for both of them for some time and while Golden Wonder has not run since his brave effort at Fairyhouse, Art Of Logistics won at Punchestown last month.

Hughes told At The Races: "Both of them are well. I'm not sure about the trip for Art Of Logistics but Golden Wonder will definitely get it.

"I gave them three weeks off after Punchestown, about as much as I could afford to give them, and then they came back in, they're ready now.

"Golden Wonder should run well, he won his beginners' (chase) there so he likes the track.

"They could both do with some rain but they do a good job of watering."

Meanwhile Thomas Edison is likely to spearhead Tony Martin's team for next week's Galway Festival in the Guinness Galway Hurdle.

The seven-year-old won a valuable handicap on the level at the Curragh when last seen in May but he has only won one race over hurdles to date.
Martin enjoyed a hugely successful meeting 12 months ago but does not believe his team has as much strength in depth this time around.

"We've probably got 10 or 12 to go, a couple each day but not as strong as last year. We have a few nice ones that should give a good account of themselves and with luck we might get a winner or two," Martin told At The Races.

"All going well, Thomas Edison will go for the Hurdle. He's in good order, he worked the other morning and he seems well and right.

"He has options in a Flat race there too but we'll have a look what weight he ends up with and what the ground is.

"I wouldn't be too worried if Quick Jack missed the cut (for the Hurdle). I have him in a Flat race earlier in the week and later in the week and he could run in the consolation hurdle on Friday. I think we'll probably head for the amateur race on Monday night."

John Ferguson will wait until early next week before deciding on running plans for the Guinness Galway Hurdle.

The Cowlinge-based trainer currently has six horses entered for the feature event on day four of the Galway Festival, with the weights for the 150,000 euro contest headed by Purple Bay following his victory in last weekend's Summer Hurdle.

Stable companion Parlour Games was a runaway winner in novice company on the same Market Rasen card and Honour System, Dubai Prince, Bordoni and Manjakani are also among the entries for the yard.

Without naming names, Ferguson revealed he has whittled his team down to a quartet, but is in no rush to finalise his raiding team.

He said: "We have four possible runners at this stage, two of which ran on Saturday (Purple Bay and Parlour Games).
"We'll see how they all are early next week and make a decision from there."

 

 

Tony McCoy equals Martin Pipe’s record with his 4,191st winner

Tony McCoy after equaling Martin Pipe's record yesterday

Tony McCoy after equaling Martin Pipe’s record yesterday

Tony McCoy equalled Martin Pipe’s career tally of 4,191 winners with a typically powerful ride to get On The Record home first at Uttoxeter.

Pipe's record was achieved as a trainer, while McCoy's is as a jockey.

The record-breaking jump jockey drove the evens favourite over the line first in the 32Red On The App Store Handicap Hurdle, but only after a tough tussle with Bangkok Pete.

The 25-1 outsider pushed On the Record all the way and the race could have gone either way from the final flight.

However, McCoy got the Jonjo O'Neill-trained six-year-old, owned by his boss J P McManus, home by a neck much to the delight of his supporters.

"I made hard work of it. I was a bit conscious we went steady. Down the back I thought I'd better get him a bit closer because he's not a quick horse," McCoy told At The Races.

"Then he just started to wander about and have a look and was probably going to win over the last but decided to stop and it was only when a horse came by him that I got him going again in time thankfully. It's nice that he won.

"I've had a few steering jobs and I was hoping one would win and this horse was appropriately named. It's nice that it's one of Jonjo's and one of JP's.

"The thing with me and Mr Pipe is that it's just a personal thing. We've a lot of friends and there's been a lot of banter for a long time.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he went to Newmarket for a trainer's course. I hope I've driven him mad!"

On The Record was McCoy's second ride of the afternoon at the Staffordshire track after Zip Wire had failed to trouble the judge in the 32Red Casino Novices' Hurdle won by Nathans Pride.

McCoy recorded his fastest-ever 50 last month at Worcester and the 19-times champion is pushing towards 300 winners this season having recorded 289 victories in 2001-2.

McCoy has been targeting Pipe's all-time tally since chalking up his 4,000th winner at Towcester in November.

The record-breaking rider was formerly Pipe's stable jockey but has been retained by owner J P McManus since 2004.

Pipe was champion trainer 15 times until he handed over the reins to his son David in April 2006.

The latter tweeted: "Could there be a more appropriate way for @AP_McCoy to join my father in the 4191 club than success aboard On The Record?!"

McCoy could not overtake Pipe with his last ride at Uttoxeter as his mount Dashing Over faded out of contention behind Bumble Bay (12-1) in the £10 Free Bet At 32RedSport.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

He then left the track by helicopter for Worcester's evening meeting where he has four chances to surpass his former boss.

McCoy has to wait a little longer to beat Pipe's total after he drew a blank at Worcester's evening meeting.

The closest he came was when finishing second on Old Pals Act for the McManus/O'Neill combination in the Tonbrie Construction Handicap Chase.

He was third on My Nosy Rosy in the Green Lighting D-Lux Led Dimmable Downlights Mares' Maiden Hurdle, unplaced on Crannaghmore Boy in the Lifeboats Saving Lifes At Sea Selling Handicap Hurdle and last of four on Think Out Loud in the Green Lighting P-Lux Led Lantern Handicap Hurdle.

Still no Hamdan Oaks decision

Leading owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum

Leading owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum

Leading owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum will wait until later in the week before deciding whether to let star fillies Taghrooda and Tarfasha lock horns for a second time in Saturday’s Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

The John Gosden-trained Taghrooda got the better of Dermot Weld's Tarfasha in the Investec Oaks at Epsom in early June and both are among 15 horses still in contention for this weekend's Group One feature.

Asked whether both fillies could run, Sheikh Hamdan's racing manager Angus Gold said: "I honestly don't know and as is always the case, those decisions will be made by Sheikh Hamdan.

"Both fillies have been left in at this stage and we'll make a decision on running plans later in the week.

"Both trainers are keen to run and tell me their fillies are in good form, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens."

Aidan O'Brien has saddled three previous Irish Oaks winners and is mob-handed this time around, with Ribblesdale Stakes heroine Bracelet joined by five stable companions in Beyond Brilliance, Just Gorgeous, Marvellous, Palace and Tapestry.

Taghrooda is not the only potential British challenger, with Luca Cumani's Volume, the Mick Channon-trained Nancy From Nairobi and Richard Hannon's Lustrous also in contention.

Weld has also left in Vote Often.