The weekend ahead kicks off this evening at The Valley with Instigator in the 2040m Open Handicap, before our European representative What If takes on the 3yo’s in the 2300m Class 2 at Angers in France. Both looking to improve on their recent runs, we hope to see solid finishes from them tonight.
Saturday sees just the two runners, with Australian debutant Downdraft having a crack at the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup over 2500m. Interestingly, this will be Joseph O’Brien’s first runner outside Flemington in Australia and they team up with Irish jockey John Allen. A strong performance in this race will be required to gain penalty to secure a start in the Melbourne Cup. The O’Brien team is confident he has what it takes!
Gailo Chop disappointingly didn’t make the final cut for the Cox Plate, however, he will be on course Saturday to contest the Group 2 Crystal Mile. In what looks to be a strong field for the 1600m journey, the 2000m specialist will have blinkers applied in order to sharpen him up for the reduced distance. Trainer Matthew Williams is very pleased with Gailo leading into this week, he is fourth up and primed to make his mark at The Valley.
Sunday sees two runners heading to Sale for the Listed Sale Cup over 1600m. Lindsay Park trained Fastnet Tempest is looking to go one better in this year’s edition after placing second in 2018. He is primed to hit his straps fourth up and over the mile this start. The team are pleased with his condition and work leading into the race, so we are hoping to see a turn-around in his recent form.
Joining Fastnest Tempest is Romancer who has had an incredible preparation this time in. Since joining the Grahame Begg stables he has had 8 runs, with 6 of them being placings or wins. A horse that puts in 110% at every start, he finished a gallant second in the Paris Lane stakes, giving Begg the confidence to continue his campaign. With a little rain and his toe in the ground, Romancer should prove hard to beat.
Best of luck to each of their connections over the weekend and happy racing!