France’s Vorda to be ridden by Olivier Peslier in Cheveley Park raid
• Vorda made hot favourite for Newmarket’s Group One
• Peslier takes over from regular rider Grégory Benoist
A French trainer who has never had a runner in Britain before was on Tuesday night expressing confidence that his filly Vorda will collect Saturday’s Cheveley Park Stakes, the Group One contest at Newmarket which has been won by many of the most brilliant two-year-old fillies in Europe.
“We are going there to win,” said Philippe Sogorb, a trainer who is certainly not a recognisable name in Britain. His stable is in the village of Pouydesseaux, near Mont-de-Marsan in south-west France. Bookmakers agree with Sogorb’s view and on Tuesdaymade Vorda the 7-4 favourite for the Cheveley Park.
“She will be my first runner in Britain,” said the trainer, a recently retired jockey whose previous visits across the Channel had been to ride Arabian horses at Newbury and Newmarket. “Vorda is being sent there because six furlongs is her right distance. I am very excited.”
Vorda, who is jointly owned by Qatari business interests and a leading French financier, Gérard Augustin-Normand, was unbeaten in her first three races. On the final occasion she took the Group Two Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte – quickening inside the final furlong to win readily. Then she was beaten in the Group One Prix Morny – but only a length by the American-trained rocket No Nay Never.
Grégory Benoist has partnered Vorda in her last three runs but Sogorb revealed that Olivier Peslier, who has far more experience in Britain, will be in the saddle on Saturday. “Vorda did her last piece of work morning and I am incredibly happy with her. She will travel by horsebox and will arrive in Newmarket at lunchtime on Friday. I am told that the ground is likely to be good and that will be perfect for her. She goes on anything but I would be a bit worried if it came up very soft.”
The French filly’s main market rival is Kiyoshi, who is also owned by Qatari interests, but is trained in Lambourn by Charles Hills.
David Redvers, the racing manager to her owners, Qatar Racing Limited, said: “Kiyoshi is entered in both the Cheveley Park and Friday’s Fillies’ Mile and, although the final decision has yet to be made, I have a strong inkling that we will choose the Cheveley Park.
“For her, everything is working back from our desire to run in next year’s Qipco 1,000 Guineas, and the Cheveley Park looks to be the best fit for her in that respect.”
Kiyoshi won the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot before finishing second – subsequently demoted to third by the stewards – to Rizeena in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh.
The Co Kildare track has a fascinating contest in store with Sunday’s Juddmonte Beresford Stakes. Johnny Murtagh is hoping that his Altruistic will take on a formidable team from Aidan O’Brien.
Altruistic, a Galileo colt, is unbeaten after his only start at Naas in early August and has entries in the Racing Post Trophy as well as next season’s early-closing Classics. “He’s in good form and the plan is to run,” said Murtagh.
The Group Two Beresford event is traditionally a stepping-stone for champions and has long been associated with Ballydoyle success, with Vincent O’Brien’s 14 wins including Nijinsky and Sadler’s Wells, and his successor Aidan not far behind with 12.
Conor Ring was hit with an 11-day ban after winning a handicap hurdle on Argaum at Newton Abbot. The stewards found the 7lb claimer had used his whip above the permitted level and suspended him from 9-13 October and 15-20 inclusive.