Hopes high for big Morando effort in Geoffrey Freer

Balding ace in good shape for Newbury feature

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Andrew Balding expects Morando to have plenty in his favour on his return to calmer waters in the Unibet Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.

The six-year-old tries Group Three company in the extended one-mile-five-furlong contest, having proved no match for Enable in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

It will be the first time the King Power Racing-owned gelding has raced at the level since landing the Ormonde Stakes at Chester in May on his seasonal return.

Balding said: “If the rain comes we know he handles that ground very well. He seems in good form.

“He was a little bit below par in the King George, but it was a race run at a strong gallop and it didn’t really suit him.

“It was a good effort in the Hardwicke before that on unsuitably fast ground so hopefully he will be all right here. He has won over this trip at Chester so we know that won’t be a problem.”

David Simcock feels the time is right to step Durston up to Pattern-race company after finding only one too good in his hat-trick bid at Glorious Goodwood.

Simcock said: “We are going down this route rather than the Melrose route. He will appreciate the ground and the trip is not a problem, but obviously he has plenty to find at the weights.

“We felt we would be taking this step up at some point so we decided to do it now rather than later.

“It was a really solid run at Goodwood. He was just beaten by a quite decent horse so we have no complaints.”

Martyn Meade hopes the return to a more conventional track can help Technician leave what was a below-par effort at Goodwood behind

Meade said: “It was a disappointing run at Goodwood. He didn’t have a lot of luck in running and I don’t think the track suited him.

“I think he wants a more galloping track. I think he will run well at Newbury as it is a similar sort of track to Longchamp, where he won before.

“I don’t think the ground will inconvenience him as he prefers it on the softer side of good and the extra bit of distance should not be a problem. Hopefully he will run a better race than at Goodwood.”

A trip to Doncaster next month for the William Hill St Leger could be on the cards for the son of Mastercraftsman, if all goes well.

Meade added: “We were thinking of the St Leger during the early part of the season for him.

“He has been unlucky a couple of times and not been able to show his best form apart from at Longchamp.

“He needs to go really well in this if he is to be a Leger contender.”

The field is completed by the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sextant and Sameem from the yard of James Tate.

Hopes high for big Morando effort in Geoffrey Freer
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