Solow sparkling ahead of QEII bid on #ChampionsDay
5 Oct 2015
Solow seems increasingly assured to be the shortest-priced favourite on the QIPCO British Champions Day card – but if the pressure is getting to trainer Freddy Head, it certainly isn’t showing.
Solow wins effortlessly at Royal Ascot. Image of courtesy of Racingfotos.com.
With just 12 days to go until the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the richest one-mile race in Europe with guaranteed prize money of £1million, Head was clearly feeling as relaxed as Solow, who has been rested since going four from four in Group 1s this season when taking the Qatar Sussex Stakes at the end of July.
Indeed, the popular grey five-year-old will be coming to Ascot on the back of an eight-race winning streak, and he already has course form to his name, having comfortably taken the Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal meeting in June.
His victory there and at Goodwood both came on good ground, but speaking on Monday to the British media, Head said he believed that a soft surface could see Solow produce an even better performance.
He said: "He is working well and he’s in his best form, I think, so there we are. He knows the course. I hope we get a little rain – that’s all.
"When he won at Goodwood it was quite firm, Dubai too, but it’s a plus, let’s say, if he gets his ground. We haven’t run him on the soft this year, but I know it’s a bit of a plus."
Solow has not run since that Goodwood triumph, but Head reports him to have sparkled in a recent racecourse spin.
He said: "I took him to a racecourse last Monday at Maisons-Laffitte. That was his first bit of good work since Goodwood and it went well.
"Last year he did great things. He was impressive in Dubai but still I think the opposition wasn’t as good as what he met later, so what impressed me was when he won at Ascot. He was very impressive that day, beating Esoterique. Everybody said ‘Oh, you beat nothing!’ But now that form looks good.
"Then at Longchamp he was very impressive again. He’s a real champion. A very versatile horse, he can turn, he can go anywhere. He’s a very, very easy horse, a lovely horse, beautiful, a good mover. He’s got everything. He’s had a few problems in the past but they’re all finished now.
"I think in the Queen Elizabeth we’ll get a bit of soft ground and he will be hard to beat.
"He is very, very well. He’s fresh too. In Dubai you have to start the season very early, then after that we went to Longchamp, then Ascot, so Goodwood maybe was the end of that run and he needed a rest then. I’m very happy, very happy."
To book your place at QIPCO British Champions Day 2015, head to the ticketing website.