Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

One eye no hurdle for As I Am

Alan King hit the 1,000 landmark over jumps
Alan King hit the 1,000 landmark over jumps

Don Cantillon is looking to keep his remarkable one-eyed winning machine As I Am to mares' races for the time being.

The Newmarket trainer is targeting a Listed mares novices hurdle at Haydock on December 21 in a bid to give her a second success at that grade following her win at Newbury on Saturday.

Cantillon, who also owns and bred the daughter of Old Vic, said: "We'll just do exactly the same routine we did between Wincanton and Newbury.

"The race at Haydock is definitely on the cards. I don't know what the ground will be like or how it might affect her.

"It's two and a half miles, which shouldn't be a problem. It's exactly the same as what she ran in at Newbury, except that was over two miles.

"I love training fillies and mares. She's been amazing and the fact is she's missing an eye. She lost it as a foal.

"She has another mare as a companion and they do everything together. They are in adjacent stables just separated by a chain.

"We have her companion on her right side where she has her eye. Our mission is accomplished as she has black type. Anything from now on is really a bonus.

"In a year's time she might go chasing, which could be very exciting."

Meanwhile, Ulsterman Tony McCoy stepped up his pursuit of an incredible 19th successive champion jockey title with a double at Sedgefield on board Travis County and Fly Home Harry.

Alan King notched a nice personal milestone at Southwell yesterday when Sego Success provided the Barbury Castle handler with his 1,000th winner over jumps in England.

Sent off the 11-8 favourite for the 32Red.com Novices Hurdle, the five-year-old stayed on strongly under Wayne Hutchinson to win by two and a half lengths.

King, who has also had over 100 winners on the level, looks on target to smash his final total of the last National Hunt season when he only had 60 victories.

The trainer, securing his 46th winner of the campaign, said: "To be honest with you, I didn't know anything about it. Thankfully the staff had been keeping count. Obviously it is a nice landmark and something to be proud of."

King, though, has been left saddened by the news that one of his stable stars, Invictus, has badly broken down for a second time.

Invictus finished Saturday's Hennessy Gold Cup slightly lame and it has since transpired the injury is worse than first feared.

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