Past two Gold Cup winners in QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup
10 Oct 2016
The past two winners of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot remain among 14 entries in the Group 2 £350,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup
Order Of St George, a gallant third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe eight days ago, is the only possible runner for Aidan O’Brien, who is enjoying a record-breaking season. A late decision will be made on whether Simple Verse, winner of the Ladbrokes St Leger last season, runs in this race or the Fillies & Mares Stakes, which she won 12 months ago. Forgotten Rules, the 2014 winner, could try and win back his crown, while other notable entries include Quest For More, the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup and Prix du Cadran winner, plus Sheikhzayedroad, who beat Quest For More by a nose in the 250th Doncaster Cup.
David Redvers, racing manager for Sheikh Fahad and Qatar Racing, on Simple Verse and Pallasator
“We’ve still got both options open but not we’ve reached the five-day and Sheikh Fahad and Ralph and I will sit down and make a firm decision over the next day or two. I suspect the O’Brien horse [Order Of St George] in the stayers’ race makes it a whole load more difficult for us but there is no such thing as an easy race on Champions Day and if it was it wouldn’t be living up to its billing.
“But we know that the mare is in great form, that she loves this time of year, and we know that she’s back to her best. I suspect that we will see the best of her over the two miles. But there are lots of other issues to be resolved – is she to stay in training next year, which obviously the racing public would love to see, and do we go the staying route or should we try and retain our crown in the Group 1. I think that it’s fair to say that if the staying race was Group 1, which I think that it now deserves to be, that she’d be going there, but that conversation will be had in the next few days.”
“Pallasator will definitely be running in the Long Distance Cup if Simple Verse doesn’t run there. Sheikh Fahad volunteered Pallasator to me for a charity race at Aintree on on October 23rd but I’m not sure Sir Mark would approve, or that I would, or for that matter my wife or children. He does seem to be mellowing with age, everybody always looks forward to seeing him go out onto the track and Oisin seems to have a very good relationship with him which is tremendous and it not remotely fazed by the horse so they are doing a great job.”
David Simcock fields Sheikhzayedroad who finally got his name on the board this season in the Doncaster Cup. He said,
“Sheikhzayedroad is a lovely old horse who’s extremely consistent. I’ve been delighted with him since his last run. He’s a very straightforward horse to train, he’s very clean-winded.”
“We decided at the start of the year to give him a two mile campaign and he’s been very consistent – he was third at Royal Ascot, third at Glorious Goodwood and won the Doncaster Cup so is fully entitled to take his chance here. But the whole race revolves around Order Of St George, if he turns up he’ll take a lot of beating. He had a hard race in the Arc but Aidan and his team are very good at backing their horses up.”
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