Andrew Balding: We're hoping Donjuan can triumph once more
The Betway ambassador previews his six runners at Ascot, Newmarket and Longchamp on Saturday.
It was a little bit frustrating that Kameko hit the crossbar again in the Royal Lodge, but he is a very exciting prospect and lost little in defeat. He was a little bit fresh and free, so didn’t quite see it out at the finish.
There’s a chance we might run him again this season. He’s in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at the end of the month and also a seven furlong Group One at Longchamp the same weekend. We’ll see how he works prior to that but he could take in one of those two.
Next year is a long way off but we might well consider a Guineas somewhere in Europe.
Good Birthday ran another excellent race to be third in the Cambridgeshire and he will be an even better horse with some more give in the ground.
He’s another lovely horse to look forward to next season and there are plenty of valuable handicaps to consider. I’d hope that he could develop into a stakes horse in time.
Ascot on Saturday
The ground is going to be pretty testing at Ascot on Saturday which is good news for both of our runners in the two Group Threes.
Morando takes his chance in the Cumberland Lodge (14:35) and even though he is favourite, he has a penalty to carry so it’s not going to be straightforward as there are some good horses in there.
The ground will be ideal for him and he’s shown in the past, like at Chester in May, that he’s a very good horse when he gets his conditions. On his best form he’s the one they all have to beat and it’s nice that Silvestre de Sousa is back.
Donjuan Triumphant is another who will love the ground in the John Guest Bengough Stakes (15:40). It’s a shame we couldn’t run in the Ayr Gold Cup, as I quite liked him for that, but this isn’t a bad replacement.
We’ve been very happy with him at home where he is one of the favourites with all the team at the yard. There is a stallion job for him in France at the end of the season so it would be lovely to win another race with him before he retires.
He was third in the Group One Champions Sprint last October and he’s in that again in a couple of weeks. That would be his likely swansong if he runs a nice race on Saturday.
Newmarket on Saturday
We run Angel Grey in the big sales race (14:15) whose last two runs have been very good, although I’m a little bit concerned about the ground. She’s a daughter of Dark Angel so might go on it but we just don’t know.
Under The Stars is the obvious favourite having run some good races at Group level, but they often split into groups in races like this and I wouldn’t want to be taking a short price about anything.
We’ve been very happy with Angel Grey since Goodwood and if she handles the ground she has a decent each-way chance.
Dutch Treat goes for the seven furlong fillies’ handicap (17:10). She has been disappointing so far this year, but I think we’ve got her somewhere back to her best in terms of both fitness and well-being.
The big question mark is the ground with her, as she disappointed on it earlier in the year. I’m not sure you can put that entirely down to the ground, though, there were a combination of factors. She is worth another go and we’re looking forward to seeing her run.
The big race at Newmarket is the Sun Chariot and I would love Laurens to win on her final start, she’s been an absolute star. It would be a fitting way to end a really impressive career.
If anyone hasn’t seen her in the flesh, she’s probably the best looking filly I’ve ever seen. She’s an absolutely stunning individual.
Longchamp on Saturday
We send two over to Paris on Saturday and first up is Dashing Willoughby in the Group Two Prix Chaudenay (16:00). The ground was a little quick for him at Doncaster and hopefully he’ll be much better suited by this surface.
The bookmakers believe he has every chance and he seems really fit and well at home. I suppose a slight worry is that this is at the end of a long season, but hopefully that won’t be a problem. On his Ascot form he’d have every chance.
Cleonte ran very well in the Doncaster Cup and we decided to have a go at the Prix du Cadran (16:35) rather than wait for the Cesarewitch next week.
He’s very versatile ground-wise and stays really well. It’s a Group One with great prize money, but obviously Dee Ex Bee is going to be very hard to be. I’d be delighted if he could get a place.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
Obviously it would be absolutely fantastic for racing if Enable could make history and win a third Arc. I really hope she does and on all known form she is easily the most likely winner.
Japan is a very good horse, though, and I would say he is the main danger.
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