Defoe set for tests and break after Leger flop

Roger Varian
Roger Varian
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ROGER Varian has ruled out another run for Defoe this term, with the colt set to undergo a number of tests following his below-par effort in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster.

The son of Dalakhani suffered his first defeat of the season when finishing down the field in the final Classic of the campaign at Town Moor on his inaugural outing in Group One company.

Jack Hobbs

Jack Hobbs

Varian said: “We were very disappointed, but I don’t think he gave his true running.

“He has come back sound, but we will run a number of tests on him because I am convinced something is amiss.

“He won’t run again this season and he will have a good winter break now.

“He still remains a very exciting prospect for next year.”

Meanwhile John Gosden aims to have Jack Hobbs ready for a third shot at the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 21.

The 2015 Irish Derby winner has not been seen in competitive action since he suffered a setback when down the field in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Ascot in July.

Jack Hobbs has failed to fire in both his starts in Britain this season, but the son of Halling secured an impressive Group One victory in Dubai in March.

Gosden said: “He just had a little problem with his hock after the King George in that he had a tiny stress fracture near the top of a cannon bone.

“He has been off since the King George but hopefully we will get him back for the Champion Stakes.”

Ante-post favourite Shanghai Glory is one of a massive 184-strong list of five-day confirmations for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday.

Though only the top 25 in the handicap can run in the six-furlong cavalry charge, the Charlie Hills-trained Shanghai Glory is guaranteed a run.

The progressive horse was third in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon last month to Tim Easterby’s Mattmu who is an absentee.

The Great Habton trainer said his horse had sprained a joint. Of those declared, former winner Don’t Touch is set to represent Malton trainer Richard Fahey.

Former Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning rider Bryan Cooper was second at Worcester yesterday when he partnered Guiding Stars – his first ride in Britain for owner Andrew Brooks.

Marginalised since losing his job as first rider to Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud, Cooper, 25, played down reports that he was intending to ride on this side of the Irish Sea.

He even mocked the “stupid press” in an Instagram video on Saturday.

Yet, with limited opportunities in Ireland in spite of winning last year’s Gold Cup on Don Cossack, Cooper is set to ride the horses that Brooks has in training at the up and coming yard of trainer Harry Whittington.

“Bryan was in the yard earlier in the week and had a sit on Guiding Star and few other horses owned by Andrew.

“His feedback was top class and having him around can only be a good thing. It’s exciting,” said Whittington who confirmed Cooper will be riding for him in the meeting at Market Rasen on Saturday week.