Veteran Elsworth not looking to make up the numbers

Sir Dancealot takes his chance in the Sprint

  • Saturday 08 December
  • News
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David Elsworth expects Sir Dancealot to make his presence felt in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin on Sunday if he runs to the best of his ability.

With a brace of Group Two wins already secured this year following victories in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood and in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, the four-year-old will now attempt to make it seventh-time lucky at the top table in the six-furlong contest.

Explaining the decision to tackle the sprint event, the Newmarket handler said: “We are strong at seven (furlongs) and in France we were held by a couple of the participants in the Mile, so we have plumped for the Sprint.

“It is just a bit of guesswork with the level of opposition and we will see if we come up short, but I’m optimistic he will run very well.

“He was strong at the finish in the July Cup and if he reproduces that form it gives us a good chance.

“He won the Lennox over seven when he met a lot of interference. He has won a couple of times around Kempton, so it seems he likes coming off a right-handed bend. That is another small pointer that will be significant.

“We need a bit of pace if we are going to pick them up. He has run to a good level of form all year, has earned his trip out here and we thought we would give it a whirl.

“He has got a great temperament and is a big, strong horse. Gerald (Mosse) rode him in the Lennox and Hungerford and he has ridden a few other winners for us. He has bags of experience and there is no substitute for that.”

Putting the son of Sir Prancealot through his paces during his Hong Kong adventure has been Ryan Holley, who is the son of Elsworth’s former assistant trainer and stable jockey, Paul Holley.

Elsworth added: “I trained the father and his son, and Ryan has been involved with my yard since before he left school.

“Paul was a terrific jockey and Ryan has plenty of his father in him, even though he doesn’t want to be a jockey himself. He’s a horseman down to his fingertips and I knew that Sir Dancealot would be in the right hands for this Sha Tin adventure.”

Ed Walker believes Stormy Antarctic should have no problems in getting the mile and quarter when flying the flag for Britain in the Longines Hong Kong Cup, provided he relaxes.

The Lambourn handler said: “He’s in good shape and he’s a much more relaxed horse than he used to be, which will help him get home over the mile and a quarter.

“James (Doyle) got him to switch off really well when he was second at the trip in Germany. He’s a much more settled horse since we gelded him.”

William Haggas feels Prix de la Foret winner One Master is more than capable of serving it up to ante-post favourite and defending champion Beauty Generation in the Longines Hong Kong Mile.

He said: “What I like about One Master is she’s a filly that always comes to hand late in the year. At the Breeders’ Cup her inside draw looked good, but the ground turned out to be slow on that part of the track.

“When James (Doyle) got her out she ran on very strongly. I respect Beauty Generation as a pretty smart horse, but I hope my filly can make a race of it with him.

“To me she looks better in her coat than she did at the Breeders’ Cup. She likes to travel and she’s fit and well.”

Connections of the Andrew Balding-trained Beat The Bank are optimistic he can leave his run in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot behind and claim a first Group One success.

Balding’s wife, Anna-Lisa, said: “He’s in good form and I hope he’ll run up to his best.

“This race has been a long term aim this year and he’s in good order.”

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