Tusk's Saudi mission hangs in balance

Hannon stayer was below par at Wolverhampton.

  • Monday 27 January
  • News
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Raymond Tusk will be given three more weeks to recover from his moderate run at Wolverhampton before the decision is made whether to send him to Saudi Arabia at the end of next month.

If trainer Richard Hannon is not happy with Raymond Tusk then the five-year-old will sit out the Red Sea Turf Handicap over a mile and seven furlongs in Riyadh on February 29.

Should that be the case, then he would go straight for the Betway Marathon Championship on All-Weather Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday (April 10).

Raymond Tusk booked his place there when winning a fast-track qualifier at Newcastle in December – but he disappointed in a similar race at Wolverhampton this month.

“Nothing has come to light,” said Tim Palin, partner and director of racing for owners Middleham Park Racing.

“He just ran flat, in our opinion.

“He’s run pounds below his best. We might just have gone back to the well once too often.

“He’d been on the go all summer, went to Australia (for the Melbourne Cup) – then he won the fast-track qualifier (at Newcastle).”

Raymond Tusk had still appeared well in himself before his poor run.

“The second horse Funny Kid was a long way in front of us – and we beat him the time before,” added Palin.

“He was just as well at home beforehand as he had been before he want to Newcastle. (But) obviously his form dipped on the day.

“We’ve got the Saudi race in mind. It’s not a definite, but it’s a possibility. Richard (Hannon) says he’s going to give him three easy weeks, see how he is – and then make a decision whether we go there or not.

“If not, we’ll freshen him up for Finals Day at the end of the all-weather season. That will be his target.”

Tusk's Saudi mission hangs in balance
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