Donjuan to fore as King Power return

Balding sprinter lined up for Wentworth Stakes

  • Friday 09 November
  • News
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Donjuan Triumphant would be a poignant winner of the Marathonbet Official Global Partner Of Manchester City Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster.

The Andrew Balding-trained five-year-old carries the King Power Racing colours of the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter crash less than a fortnight ago.

The Thai billionaire owned Leicester City Football Club and was leaving the ground after their match against West Ham United when he and four others were killed as the aircraft fell from the sky and burst into flames at the south east end of the King Power Stadium.

Donjuan Triumphant is one of three Balding-trained horses for the owners at Town Moor this weekend as the King Power Racing silks return to the track.

“As far as far as priorities go, I’m sure the horses are fairly low down at the moment,” said the Kingsclere trainer.

“We’re just carrying on as normal.”

Donjuan Triumphant would appear to have every chance of rounding off his campaign with a Listed success.

The five-year-old has his sights lowered after finishing fourth on his two most recent outings, in the Sprint Cup at Haydock and the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot.

Balding added: “He ran a great race at Ascot, and the more rain that falls the better for him.

“I’ve got a feeling the draw (stall 16 of 16) might have a part to play. We’ll find out on the day whether he’s got a good draw or not.

“He’s in good form and he deserves to win a nice race.”

Dean Ivory is double-handed in the in the six-furlong contest, with Librisa Breeze and Eirene both in contention.

Librisa Breeze claimed Group One glory in the British Champions Sprint last season, but has failed to rediscover that form this year – most recently finishing 11th when defending his Ascot crown.

Tom Hogan’s veteran Gordon Lord Byron is one of four Irish challengers in the field – along with the Willie McCreery-trained Downforce, Adrian Keatley’s The Broghie Man and Aidan O’Brien’s Could It Be Love.

Gordon Lord Byron has failed to add to his tally of 16 career victories so far this year, but has run some fine races in defeat – perhaps most notably filling the runner-up spot behind subsequent Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Expert Eye at York in August.

“He’s in good form. We’d just be hoping some of the rain avoids Doncaster,” said Hogan.

Gordon Lord Byron is in the twilight of his career at the age of 10, but connections are not considering retirement just yet.

“He went to Doha last February – and if we were lucky enough to get an invite again we’d probably give him a break over Christmas and then take him back there,” Hogan added.

The Wentworth Stakes is one of two Listed races on Saturday’s card, alongside the Marathonbet Sportsbook British EBF Gillies Fillies’ Stakes.

The likely favourite for this 10-furlong event is the William Haggas-trained Maid To Remember, who has been placed on her two most recent outings at this level at Newmarket.

Haggas said: “This will be her last run for us, and it would be great if she could go out with a win.

“She seems in very good form. There is some rain forecast, and I think any cut in the ground would suit her.”

Other leading hopes include Henry Candy’s Queen Of Time and Dermot Weld’s Irish challenger Bona Fide.

Balding’s Wingingit will be an outsider, but the trainer is hoping she can outrun her odds.

He said: “She was Listed placed earlier in the year and a little bit unlucky that day at Pontefract.

“I’d hope she’ll run well.”

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