Torcedor is set to be Jessica Harrington’s first runner at Goodwood when he bids to reverse Royal Ascot form with Stradivarius.
The Irish trainer is having her best ever season and is looking forward to sending Torcedor to the Sussex track for the Qatar Goodwood Cup.
The six-year-old was only beaten a length when third to John Gosden’s classy performer Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup, and Harrington is keen to have another try.
“I’ve never had a runner at Goodwood and at the moment it’s all systems go to bring him,” she said at a media lunch in London to promote the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
“He seems to be in good form and after Ascot it seems the next logical step.
“Dubai didn’t go to right. He travelled badly over there and lost a lot of weight. Luckily, Colm O’Donoghue looked after him and that was really the reason why we were able to send him to Ascot at the end of April (for the Sagaro Stakes) and win there, then go to Royal Ascot.
“He has won at Navan and Leopardstown. He has won at various different courses, so I think he is fairly adaptable.
“We probably won’t beat him (Stradivarius), but there is always a chance we could. We are going to be going back to two miles, as opposed to two and a half.
“I think Torcedor does stay, but I think he has got plenty of pace for a two-miler. I don’t know whether we will beat him, but if we run second to him again I’d be delighted.”
Connections of Stradivarius report the Gold Cup hero, who beat Big Orange in this race 12 months ago, to be on course to defend his crown after he returned lame following Ascot when pulling a shoe off.
“His preparation has gone smoothly so far. During that race he pulled a shoe and it shows how brave he is to get back up and fight it out like that,” said trainer John Gosden’s son and assistant, Thady.
“He has come out of it bouncing and hopefully it is all systems go for Goodwood.
“He is an absolute pleasure to be around. He is just push-button. He is always happy and playing around, never in a malicious way. The riders say he does anything you ask without any trouble at all.
“He is not a big horse, but he has definitely got a big heart. He takes his work well and is a pleasure to be around.
“I still think Torcedor is a very strong opponent. Idaho is a hard horse and is a tough horse.”
William Haggas has Call To Mind on target for the race after carrying the Queen’s colours to victory in the Grade Two Belmont Park Gold Cup Invitational Stakes in New York last month.
“He is in great form. He has got a bit to find on the back of what he has done, but is really doing well,” said Haggas.
“John Warren (the Queen’s racing manager) was up for the July Meeting and came and saw him. We think he is making good physical progress and John Warren confirmed that.
“He has got a bit to find with the best ones, but he stays well and is a very genuine horse and should run a good race.”
Harrington also had news of Alpha Centauri, who lit up Newmarket’s July fixture with an imperious performance to win the Falmouth Stakes.
“She has been great since coming back. She’s done nothing but walking and having a graze. She will be back ridden tomorrow (Tuesday),” said the County Kildare trainer.
“She seems to have put the weight back on already that she lost. She is such a laid-back filly, nothing takes much out of her.”