herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Jack Hobbs warms up for Paris in style

William Buick on Jack Hobbs after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby last month
William Buick on Jack Hobbs after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby last month
Twilight Son (right), under Fergus Sweeney, edges out Strath Burn (left) to capture Saturday’s Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock

AS both Leopardstown and the Curragh are deep into their preparations for Irish Champions Weekend, Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs was in action on the all-weather at Kempton on Saturday evening as he prepares for a tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe next month.

The race of the year between Golden Horn and Gleneagles looks all set for Leopardstown on Saturday but Golden Horn's stable companion has a major assignment of his own when taking on the hat-trick seeking Treve in the Arc.

Jack Hobbs' task on Saturday evening was a pretty straightforward one on paper as trainer John Gosden picked out a rather low-key engagement against much inferior opposition but it was an outing which very much pleased the trainer who preferred this option than the more trying prospect of travelling to France for their Arc trials next weekend.

Gosden said: "I hadn't done a lot of work with him and he was fresh down to the start, but in the race William managed to switch him off and get him relaxed, and that is important.

"There's no reason why we won't go to France and he has won well today."

Jack Hobbs is now clear second favourite with the bookmakers for the Arc behind Treve.

"We were happy to get a nice prep race at home, rather than travelling over to France (Prix Niel) and then travelling over again.

IMPROVING

"I think he is an improving horse and like his father he will get better at four and five, there is no reason he won't improve with age."

Gosden had a busy day with his Derby winners as Epsom hero Golden Horn finished off his Leopardstown preparations at Newmarket with a racecourse gallop.

"I just wanted him to do some work where he joined with him (Dick Doughtywylie) at the two and a half and stayed with him in the dip, then quickened up the hill, which is what he did," Gosden added.

"I'm very happy to run him on good to soft, but if it goes soft he will not run."

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