Player eyes Caviar challenge

Player eyes Caviar challenge
Player eyes Caviar challenge
Sky Sports Racing News

A big run from Pastoral Player in Saturday’s Timeform Jury Stakes at Haydock can earn the gelding a shot at lowering the colours of none other than Black Caviar.

The Australian sensation, barely tested in her 21 starts so far, looms up on the horizon in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Trainer Hughie Morrison hopes this weekend’s event can get Pastoral Player into top shape for the summer showdown.

Third in last year’s Wokingham at Ascot and a winner of a valuable event in October, he returned to the Berkshire course for his seasonal reappearance, finishing sixth in the Victoria Cup.

“I thought it was an excellent run at Ascot for his first run of the year,” said Morrison.

“He had a blow a furlong out and we knew the run would bring him on, so hopefully it has.

“He goes to Haydock to hopefully put him right for Ascot and hopefully the ground is all right for him this weekend.

“I think if all goes well on Saturday, we’ll look towards the Diamond Jubilee.

“The form of the big Ascot handicap he won last year is really strong and something has to go and take on Black Caviar.”

Walkover

Pastoral Player hardly has a walkover in the Group Three heat, better known as the John of Gaunt Stakes.

Charlie Hills’ Red Jazz, a seven-furlong specialist who was second to Strong Suit in last year’s Lennox Stakes and third in the Godolphin Mile in Dubai, looked in decent fettle when taking a Listed event over course and distance three weeks ago.

Richard Fahey’s representative, Majestic Myles, who was third that day, is also in the line-up.

The Chris Wall-trained Royal Rock, a Group Three winner at six furlongs, takes a step back up in trip.

Trump Card

Six Of Hearts and recent Athasi Stakes winner Gossamer Seed are both set to travel across from Ireland.

Westmeath trainer Cecil Ross kept eight-year-old Six Of Hearts busy during the spring and brought him out last weekend to finish fifth behind Tiddliwinks in the Greenlands Stakes.

“He ran very well at the Curragh, he was only beaten a couple of lengths and although we’re taking a bit of a shot here, he’s entitled to be there on his best form,” said Ross.

“I’ve never had a runner at Haydock – he’s come over before to Ascot and Ayr and those were among his worst runs – but the travelling isn’t an issue.

“Good ground and seven furlongs is perfect.

“We need a couple of the top horses to underperform, but he’s got a bit of a chance.”

View the original article at Sky Sports Horse Racing News

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