Borderlescott aims to roll back years
Contrary to many perceptions about the Flat game, there are some horses who hang about long enough to acquire a faithful fan base, much in the way that jumpers do. One such is the sprinter Borderlescott, who first raced in June 2004 and is set to have his 63rd contest at Beverley on Saturday.
The tough 10-year-old, pride of Robin Bastiman's family yard at Cowthorpe, near Wetherby, will seek compensation for being denied a tilt at a third Nunthorpe Stakes last Friday with a drop in class to the Betfred Beverley Bullet, in which he was beaten inches five years ago.
The winner of the Nunthorpe in 2008, when it was transferred from York to Newmarket, and in 2009, Borderlescott failed to make the cut with this year's safety limit of 20. While the gelding is not as good as he was, and the last of his 13 wins came more than two years ago, he has run with credit in defeat recently and his omission from the Group One dash on the Knavesmire rankled with his trainer.
"We were really disappointed not to get in," Bastiman said yesterday. "He's in great form and I don't know how a dual Nunthorpe winner couldn't get in. But I have to run him somewhere – he was ready for last week – and he'll go to Beverley. He'll run no matter what the ground is like but we know he likes faster ground, so if it comes up quick he'll run really well."
Bank holidays boast quantity rather than quality – 465 horses were down to run at seven meetings yesterday – but plans and aspirations emerged for some better-class types. Bated Breath – already rated higher than Borderlescott has ever been, and a close runner-up four times at Group One – was sixth when joint-favourite in the Nunthorpe from a poor high draw and now goes to the Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday week.
The Ebor runner-up Royal Diamond is to be given an entry in the Melbourne Cup. The Melrose Stakes winner Guarantee is now in the St Leger lists but is not yet sure to run – connections said: "He's an exciting prospect but ... we'll let the dust settle for a bit."
Chris McGrath's Nap
Stand Of Glory (3.40 Ripon) Showed impressive speed to dominate when taking his maiden two weeks ago and, though this will be tougher, he is on an upward curve.
Signor Sassi (2.50 Epsom) Recorded first win 10 days ago with ease after being gelded, so current handicap mark may seriously underplay his new-found ability.
One To Watch
Kiama Bay (John Quinn) Sacrificed as a pacemaker at Chester last time, and now slipping down the ratings to a workable level.
Where the money's going
Deauville winner Jimmy Styles is 16-1 from 25s for the Ayr Gold Cup with Bet365.
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