THE Grey Gatsby will seek Derby success in France – rather than Epsom – after confirming his potential by winning York’s Betfred Dante Stakes.
Kevin Ryan hinted after the Dante that the 10-furlong Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly, rather than the mile and a half Epsom Derby on an undulating track, was the likely target.
After consulting owner Frank Gillespie, the French mission has now been confirmed.
“He doesn’t go to Epsom, he goes to France instead,” the Hambleton trainer told The Yorkshire Post.
“The horse is grand. It is all systems go for France.”
Royal Ascot is the likely destination for Gillespie’s second York winner, That Is The Spirit, who made every yard of the running to win a competitive seven-furlong handicap at York under The Yorkshire Post’s Friday columnist Daniel Tudhope.
“He’s come out of the race in good form and to do what he did at York, he is obviously very good,” said the horse’s trainer David O’Meara. “We haven’t made any definite plans, but the Jersey Stakes is an option.”
Stablemate G Force also looked a sprinter of some potential at York on Friday after winning a five-furlong handicap. Nawton-based O’Meara said: “He won nicely, and the way he won gave every suggestion he should get six furlongs. The Scurry Stakes at Sandown (June 14) is an option and there is also a handicap back at York on the same day.”
Dubai World Cup runner-up Mukhadram is in the mix for the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland this weekend after his racecourse gallop at Newmarket on Friday. Trained by Skipton-born William Haggas, Mukhadram – the winner of last year’s Sky Bet York Stakes – is likely to face Lady Cecil’s Noble Mission after the full brother to Frankel was supplemented into Sunday’s race on The Curragh.
Silviniaco Conti, the winner of the 2012 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, has been named the highest-rated chaser of the 2013-14 season after the Anglo-Irish classifications were revealed.
The Paul Nicholls-trained eight-year-old earned a rating of 174 for his defeat of Cue Card (172) in the King George VI Chase at Kempton. He was subsequently beaten in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham but bounced back to win at Aintree. In 15 years of the classifications, Silviniaco Conti is ranked 12th equal of the three-mile chasers behind Kauto Star who reached a peak of 190, in 2009-10.
Gary Moore’s Sire De Grugy topped the two-mile chasers category on a mark of 172.
Racing cards: Page 21.