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Monday 18 December 2017

Rock seeking glorious trail

A trip to Glorious Goodwood is on the cards for Saddler’s Rock following his excellent run in defeat in Thursday’s Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

The John Oxx-trained four-year-old pulled fiercely in the early stages of the two-and-a-half-mile feature, but still finished third behind Godolphin duo Colour Vision and Opinion Poll.

Oxx feels the result may have been even better with a strong pace from the outset, and is looking forward to a possible assault at the Goodwood Cup on August 2.

“We were delighted with the horse. He ran a great race, but we were disappointed with the result,” Oxx said.

“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The rain came, then there was no pace, and he just doesn’t quicken quite as well on softer ground.

Relaxed

“He pulled quite hard and he’s normally quite relaxed, but the pace was so slow.

“He tugged along for about a mile, so it was a good effort to run as well as he did.

“He and Colour Vision were the only two four-year-olds in the race and they are two good prospects. No doubt they’ll cross swords again in the future.

“We’ll just plan the fairly obvious Cup route.

“We’ll go to the Goodwood Cup next and after that you have the Lonsdale Cup at York, the Doncaster Cup and the Irish St Leger, and the Prix du Cadran and the Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October.

“There is a nice programme for a horse like that and we’ve a fairly busy campaign mapped out for him.”

Another Oxx inmate who ran with credit at the Royal meeting was Born To Sea.

Although not quite up to the same level as his esteemed half-brother, Sea The Stars, the three-year-old looks as though he could win a Group One prize after staying on to finish fourth in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

“He’s been doing well without having anything to show for it. Every time he’s run he’s run better than the previous time, except for the Guineas in Newmarket,” Oxx said.

“He’s obviously going to be suited by a step up to a mile and a quarter.

“I felt he was a miler as he’s very sharp at home, but he’s staying on at the end of his races and I’m not sure if he’s too asleep now in the hood.

“We have to have a conversation about it.

“He’s bounced of Ascot very well – he looks like he hasn’t had a race.

“He’s on the upgrade and hopefully his day will come.”

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