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Force is with Curragh bid

Derby hero Workforce is far from certain to return to Epsom for the Investec Coronation Cup in June.

The Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 22 is seen as a more likely option for the colt, who ended his three-year-old campaign with a superb victory in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

"I'm not sure if he will go for the Coronation Cup. Michael (Stoute) is thinking about the Tattersalls Gold Cup among other races to start him off so he is not sure to go back to Epsom," Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, told At The Races.

"I have to sit down with Michael and talk to him to see how the horse is and how he's going. We will have to see, but at the moment the plan is probably not go to Epsom at this stage."

Grimthorpe revealed the owner could still be represented in the Coronation Cup by the Henry Cecil-trained Manifest, who has not been seen since he was well beaten in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

"Henry gave him a good break after the Gold Cup. He was a bit jarred up, but nothing serious," Grimthorpe said. "He has come back really well and looks great. Henry's pleased with him at this stage.

"He could have a similar starting off programme. He could go to Newbury and maybe think about the Coronation Cup, or the Yorkshire Cup, that type of area. Henry doesn't think he wants two and a half miles, so I don't think he's a certainty to go for the Ascot Gold Cup."

The multiple Group One-winning mare Midday could begin the new campaign in the Middleton Stakes at York in May, and Grimthorpe said: "She's done well over the winter. She's bloomed again. I would think she'd start off in something like the Middleton. Obviously the Breeders' Cup would be a nice option for her."


From Belfast Telegraph