THE ASCOT Gold Cup-winning ‘dream team’ of jockey Graham Lee and trainer Ed Dunlop hope to continue their winning run when Red Galileo lines up in tomorrow’s £40,000 Totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes – the feature race at the West Yorkshire track.
Even though the horse has just one win from 16 starts to his name, he was fourth in York’s Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup to Lee’s mount Clever Cookie and Dunlop hopes the drop back in trip to a mile and a half will play to the strengths of Red Galileo.
It will not be easy. The select five-runner field includes John Gosden’s Gatewood who was victorious at Royal Ascot in 2012, but Dunlop has never been afraid to shirk a challenge and this was vindicated when connections paid a £35,000 supplementary entry fee just to run Trip To Paris in Thursday’s Gold Cup.
“Fingers crossed he will run well,” Dunlop told The Yorkshire Post. “He’s dropping back in trip and I’m sure his day will come, although Mr Gosden has a very highly-rated runner.”
As for Trip To Paris who won a handicap at Ripon earlier this year en route to Royal Ascot glory, Dunlop says no decisions have been made about the horse’s next engagement, although the Goodwood Cup, Irish St Leger and Melbourne Cup all remain options.
“It doesn’t get any better so let’s enjoy this success first of all. You wouldn’t know the horse has had a race – he only lost eight kilos in weight which is not a lot for a horse that has won a Gold Cup,” added Dunlop who was full of praise for Lee’s horsemanship after the North Yorkshire jockey gave up National Hunt racing in 2012 to pursue a new career on the Flat. “He’s ridden for me on many occasions. He’s very much a ‘go to’ man as a freelance and he has a very sensible head on him, as befits someone who has ridden at the top for a long time.”