Ballydoyle pair fall short at York
Published 20/08/2014 | 16:22
Aidan O'Brien's Granddukeoftuscany and Indian Maharaja failed to fire behind Postponed in the Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.
Granddukeoftuscany tracked the front-running Odeon into the straight before fading, while his stablemate was always in the rear on his return from an absence.
Ridden confidently by Andrea Atzeni, the 5-2 favourite Postponed took the lead off the free-going Odeon with two furlongs to run. Snow Sky had tracked Postponed along the straight and while Sir Michael Stoute's inmate beat the rest easily, he was two and a quarter lengths behind the winner. Odeon stuck on for third at 40-1 for James Given.
Postponed would need to be supplemented for the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster in September, but Cumani is cool on the idea of stepping him up to a mile and three-quarters.
He said: "I don't think he'll go to the Leger, I see him as a true mile-and-a-half horse. He travels well and quickens well, just like a mile-and-a-half horse, but obviously the owner will decide. He was good, but we've always thought he was. We just probably wasted too much time over shorter trips in the spring.
"I was thinking what there is left, and there isn't much, especially as he needs fast ground, so we will have to think long and hard about what we do with him."
Atzeni is confident there is more to come from Postponed, saying: "We always thought a lot of him. Mr Cumani always liked him. He's a good horse, an improving horse, a typical Dubawi.
"They went a nice gallop and that suited him nicely. The ground is very important to him - he likes fast ground. He's going the right way, which is the main thing."
Cumani mentioned races like the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Breeders' Cup Turf as possible targets for Postponed next season.
He said: "He's not a Leger horse. I don't want him to go further than this as I think he's a top-class mile-and-a-half horse."
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, said of Snow Sky: "We're very pleased with that, he was coming back at the winner at the end, and I think we'll look to Town Moor (Doncaster)."
James Given is also looking at the Classic for Odeon. The Lincolnshire handler said: "He will get better in time but at the moment it is like training a firework with the touchpaper already lit. It took two good horses to go past him and I thought it was a great run. We have to go to the Leger now."
Kingston Hill is likely to run in the St Leger without the aid of another run after his late withdrawal from the Voltigeur. Roger Varian left the decision as late as possible but after walking the course with owner Paul Smith, connections took the tough decision to pull their horse out.
"I walked the course before racing and my gut feeling was it was too quick," said Varian.
"It's been an agonising decision. We were very keen to run and it's not ideal to make a decision like this so late.
"It's very likely we'll go straight to the Leger now. It would have been lovely to get that run into him but that's not going to happen. It's very frustrating, but going off feedback of the lads who rode him and how he ran in the Derby you'd have to be hopeful he'll stay (the Leger trip)."