Sky Lantern blazes Kempton trail in Breeders' Cup prep

 

European trainers saddling two-year-olds at the Breeders' Cup next week have welcomed the prohibition of Lasix, in the juvenile races, as a significant levelling of the playing field. In other respects, however, the local racing environment may remain sufficiently alien to drive their inexperienced charges – almost literally – round the bend.

Sure enough, both the Wiltshire youngsters listed as favourite for the division's respective turf races have undertaken a specific schooling gallop round a turn. Roger Charlton took Dundonnell to Wolverhampton last week, and yesterday Richard Hannon sent Sky Lantern for a similar spin round Kempton – where she worked left-handed under Richard Hughes.

The original intention had been to take her up the road to Manton, where Brian Meehan had made available a special gallop that simulates American track configuration. "Unfortunately, it was too soft to take her there, so we went to Kempton instead," Richard Hannon Jnr, assistant to his father, explained. "She worked 'the wrong way' around the bends – and worked very nicely indeed. Hughesie was very pleased with her. We've never had much luck with the draw, but this filly probably represents our best chance yet at the Breeders' Cup. Hopefully, she'll get the fast ground she loves."

The weather that caused Sky Lantern's diversion also accounts for the very fact that Dundonnell is heading out to California. With soft ground historically guaranteed for the Racing Post Trophy, Charlton felt that the American-bred colt might prefer conditions at Santa Anita. His chief concern was that Dundonnell had never raced round a turn. "[So] I took him to Wolverhampton last week and he worked round the bottom bend," the Beckhampton trainer said. "He seemed to come round there very easily. Had he been disappointing, I think we'd have scratched the idea."

Many American professionals are unhappy about the ban on Lasix, an anti-bleeding medication, and small fields will contest the main juvenile events on dirt. The record-breaking Todd Pletcher does have a strong hand in those races, but is also expressing reservations. "One of my concerns about the removal of Lasix in general is it can be a disadvantage to the betting public," he told The Blood Horse. "As an industry, it is something we have to look closely at. It will be a concern not racing them on Lasix for the first time, but hopefully they'll perform up to their standards. I'm hoping that because they're younger horses they have had less stressful campaigns, and are less likely to bleed."

Aidan O'Brien describes the ban as "good for the breed, good for everybody". The Ballydoyle trainer is hoping that Starspangledbanner can earn his passage to the Turf Sprint in a Listed race at Dundalk this evening. Top-class in his prime, he finished last in the Prix de la Forêt this month – his third start since a failed stint at stud. "But he hates soft ground," O'Brien said. "And it's all played a part in getting his body shape back."

John McCririck is among several familiar names missing from the new roster of presenters when Channel 4 takes over exclusive coverage of terrestrial racing next year. A team headed by Clare Balding has now been finalised, with Nick Luck in a key role. The excellent Graham Cunningham will be a welcome addition for all those familiar with his work on the subscription channel, Racing UK.

The Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

English Summer (6.40 Wolverhampton)

Back in the groove for his latest trainer, arguably shaping best in each of his last three starts.

Next best

Paramour (5.30 Doncaster)

Quietly running into form since his return to David O'Meara.

One to watch

Well Painted (William Haggas) was making only his fourth start when finishing nicely out of midfield at Ascot last Saturday and can make up for lost time next year.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific