Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Winkle a doubt for Ascot

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Fame And Glory, yesterday warned that another of his best colts, Rip Van Winkle, is “touch and go” to make the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on September 26.

He is still troubled by the foot problems that have plagued him all year.

His absence would be a big boost to Delegator — and so to Godolphin's hopes of winning only its second Group One prize in Europe since 2007. Saeed bin Suroor, the Godolphin trainer, reports Delegator to have come out of his impressive debut for the stable last weekend in good form.

“Physically he has done very well for the break he had when he first came to us,” he said.

“He can be the flagship we needed. I told everybody last December that I could see no classic horses among the group we had, it was very clear.”

The stable's juveniles have had an excellent summer and Al Zir, so impressive on his Newmarket debut, could run at the St Leger meeting next week.

“The horse has been working nicely,” his trainer said. “Nothing crazy, he's just a relaxed horse, easy to train. Some of the two-year-olds can win maidens, but may not be able to go higher — but the ones I really like, that I think can go on, are him, Poet's Voice and Emirates Dream, the Kingmambo colt who won at York.”