Wednesday 13 December 2017

Options open for Sudirman

SUDIRMAN, David Wachman's Group One-winning juvenile, has several big-race options for the rest of the season.

The Henrythenavigator colt followed up his victory in the Group Two Railway Stakes over Big Time by beating the same rival in the Group One Phoenix Stakes on Sunday at the Curragh.

Most Phoenix Stakes winners progress to the National Stakes at the Curragh on September 15, but races like the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on October 12 or the Dewhurst Stakes over a furlong further on the same afternoon could be on the agenda.

"It was wonderful and quite unexpected with War Command (in the race), but I guess you can never be scared of one horse and we took him on," Alex Cole, racing manager to Sudirman's owners, Jim and Fitri Hay, said.

"David's always told me he's probably going to be better over seven, which is quite nice, so the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes, the Middle Park or the Dewhurst are the options.

"He broke the two-year-old track record over six so he's got enough speed over six. I don't know what he'll be doing next year, we'll see."

Leading French jockey Stephane Pasquier has had his three-month riding ban confirmed by an appeal committee of France Galop.

The stewards of France Galop issued the ban after Pasquier tested positive for a prohibited substance at Longchamp on April 11.

Pasquier's agent Herve Naggar confirmed that the ban had been upheld by the appeal committee but declined to make further comment at this stage. The ban commences on August 14.

Pasquier, 35, won the 2006 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe aboard Rail Link and was successful in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket three years ago when Special Duty was awarded the race in the stewards' room at the expense of Henry Cecil's Jacqueline Quest.

Special Duty and Pasquier also won the French Guineas after passing the post second to Liliside, who was disqualified.

His most recent Group One triumph came when Maxios prevailed in the Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp in May.

Mars, who finished third in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, is to leave Aidan O'Brien and join Mike de Kock.

A syndicate including Bernard Cantor, who owns horses with William Haggas, has acquired a majority share in the three-year-old but the Coolmore triumvirate of John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith will retain a interest in the Galileo colt.

As well as running well at Ascot, Mars finished sixth in both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby and finished fourth in the Eclipse but was disappointingly beaten at odds-on in the Meld Stakes by Scintillula.

South African De Kock, based in Newmarket, has fared well with horses who have joined from O'Brien with the likes of Archipenko, Eagle Mountain and most recently David Livingston all winning decent races.

"From what I've seen this is a serious racehorse and I can't wait to train him," said De Kock. "This is a wonderful opportunity to compete at the highest level with a top horse and my thanks go to Coolmore and the syndicate."

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