Wells still has distance to go says trainer Easterby

Tim Easterby's Wells Farhh Go
Tim Easterby's Wells Farhh Go
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Wells Farhh Go is unlikely to return to action until halfway through the season following an injury that forced him to miss the St Leger in September.

Trainer Tim Easterby reports the four-year-old to be back in training, but he will not be ready to make his comeback for some time yet.

El Astronaute in action at Chester.

El Astronaute in action at Chester.

“He’s good and is back cantering now, but he won’t run until the middle of the season,” said the Great Habton handler.

“I’ve no race in mind for him yet.”

Wells Farhh Go had been a leading contender for the world’s oldest Classic, after winning the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket’s July meeting and staying on well for fourth place in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York in August.

However, the colt sustained a stress fracture on the gallops in early September when being prepared for Doncaster.

One of Easterby’s stars that is set to get an early start is dual Listed scorer Vintage Brut.

He has pencilled in the smart sprinter, winner of the Sandown’s National Stakes and Rockingham Stakes as a juvenile, for a trip across the Channel.

“He’s going to France for a Group race all being well next week.

“He’s in good form,” he said.

El Astronaute will swerve an option in Ireland this weekend in favour of the Borderlescott Conditions Trophy at Musselburgh.

Malton-based John Quinn’s speedster, who began last season rated 95, bagged two big York handicaps and signed off his campaign with a win in a Listed event at Maisons-Laffitte.

He holds an entry in the Cork Stakes at Navan on Saturday, but Quinn will stay closer to home.

“He won’t go to Ireland – he’ll go to Musselburgh on Tuesday instead,” said the North Yorkshire trainer. “There are many examples of sprinters improving with age – he’s six now, and could be reaching his peak.

“We were very happy with him last year and have been delighted with his training, so we’re looking forward to Tuesday.

“He had 12 runs last year, held his form all year and won a Listed race on his last start – so that speaks volumes about his constitution.”

Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor is bullish about Thunder Snow’s bid to become the first dual winner of the Dubai World Cup.

The trainer has already mapped out an overseas campaign for his charge after tomorrow that could take in races in New York and Saratoga ahead of another shot at the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

He said: “He won from stall 10 last year, and so I was disappointed that he got 12 this time, but what made me relax is that he can jump.

“That’s what I said to Christophe (Soumillon, jockey) last year – whatever happens, you have to jump – and he must do it again. The one thing you know is that this horse is very professional wherever he runs and whenever he works.

“He’s a fighter that has always tried hard, ever since he arrived, and will give you everything. It would be a great piece of history were he to win, and a ninth World Cup for me even, though we had to wait eight years after 2006 until African Story.”

The Levy Board has provided a welcome £6.5 million boost to prize money for 2019 to help offset the expected fall in income for racecourses because of decreasing media rights.

With the number of betting shops expected to be reduced following a cut in the maximum stake on FOBTs from £100 to £2, revenue from media rights to racecourses will drop.