OWNER Peter Savill is looking forward to seeing whether his prolific mare Moonrise Landing can transfer her tremendous all-weather form to the grass in today’s weddingmates.co.uk Grand Cup at York.
Ralph Beckett’s inmate secured her first turf victory at Newmarket last autumn, and she has since struck gold on the artificial surfaces at Kempton, Wolverhampton and Lingfield.
The daughter of Dalakhani completed her hat-trick in the Marathon on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield and could earn herself a ticket to Royal Ascot on the Knavesmire this weekend.
Savill, a former British Horseracing Authority chairman, said: “It will be good to see her running again. She’s been fine since Lingfield and we’ve just been waiting for the right race for her.
“We just want to take it step by step. She’s done very well on the all-weather this winter and we want to see whether she can transfer that level of form back to the turf. She’s coming back two furlongs in trip, which might not be ideal. I think the further she goes, the better she is. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot about her.”
Moonrise Landing holds an entry in the Gold Cup at the Royal meeting next month, a race Savill won twice with Royal Rebel in 2001 and 2002. “It would be great to have another (Gold Cup horse). They don’t come around very often,” said the owner.
Beckett’s charge features in a field of 10 runners, headed by Roger Charlton’s Northumberland Plate winner Quest For More, due to go to post for the one-mile-six-furlong Listed contest.
Yorkshire hopes are represented by Brian Ellison’s Seamour and Richard Fahey’s Angel Gabrial.
However, all eyes will be on Ireland today when Fahey’s Don’t Touch, unbeaten from six starts, lines up in the Group Two Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh.
Owned by Nicholas Wrigley and Kevin Hart, Don’t Touch made a winning seasonal reappearance at Haydock under jockey Tony Hamilton who said: “It’s a step up in class, but he’s entitled to go for it.
“His form’s solid. I didn’t really know how he’d run at Haydock as he’s such a laid-back horse at home. We didn’t really know where we were with him, but he only ever does enough. Everything they put in front of him, he seems to find a way of beating them.”
The race is the precursor to a compelling weekend of Classic action in the Emerald Isle which begins today when Galileo Gold, winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on April 30, looks to add the Irish equivalent. The fact that the Hugo Palmer-trained colt, the mount of Frankie Dettori, is sticking to a mile virtually rules out a tilt in next month’s wide open Epsom Derby.
Tomorrow sees the fabulous filly Minding bid for a Classic double after surprisingly starring among 14 fillies declared for the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas. The daughter of Galileo led home a one-two-three for trainer Aidan O’Brien at Newmarket.
It had been expected that she would miss this race because she’s hot favourite for next month’s Epsom Oaks and still in the mix for the Derby. However, she appears to be in a class of her own and an early contender for horse of the year honours.
O’Brien’s Found also stands in the way of The Grey Gatsby as the 2014 Yorkshire horse of the year, trained at Hambleton by Kevin Ryan, looks to make a winning comeback in tomorrow’s Tattersalls Gold Cup.