TIM EASTERBY believes the St Leger could be the ultimate target for top prospect Wells Farhh Go.
The two-time York winner puts his unbeaten record on the line in Thursday’s Betfred Dante Stakes on Knavesmire.
This 10-furlong race is a noted trial for the English and French Derbies.
Yet Easterby, who won the 2002 St Leger with Bollin Eric, believes Doncaster’s one mile six furlong test in September could be tailor-made for a colt whose sire, Farhh, won Ascot’s Champion Stakes in 2013.
“He wants a mile and a half really,” said the Great Habton trainer who revealed that connections received offers for Wells Farhh Go after his Acomb Stakes win over James Garfield at last year’s Ebor festival.
“He is in good form. I’m very happy with how he looks. Basically, it’s his first run of the season and a stepping stone to the future. I never worry about them getting beaten. If you worry about them getting beaten you never run ‘em.
“He’s a very nice horse and has a great temperament. Ideally he’d want good ground but I don’t think any kind of ground would bother him, really.
“I’m looking forward to it. He’s an exciting horse to have and we’ve had a few offers we’ve had to resist.
“He’s a very adaptable horse – I can’t see any track bothering him. He’s a big, rangy horse and he will improve as the season goes along.”
Asked about the tantalising possibility of next month’s Epsom Derby, Easterby added: “Oh yes, definitely. He is also in the French Derby. But the Leger might be more of a race for him.”
The race could see Mark Johnston’s Mildenberger represent last year’s winning trainer as Yorkshire looks to maintain a strong record in the race that celebrates the county’s last Derby winner.
As well as Permian 12 months ago, Libertarian prevailed in 2013 for Karl and Elaine Burke before finishing second at Epsom.
Next month’s blue riband race is likely to feature Knight To Behold benefited from an enterprising ride by Richard Kingscote to win the Betfred Derby Trial at Lingfield. Kingscote took Harry Dunlop’s colt to the front once the field had settled down and got an uncontested lead.
Knight To Behold was at least six lengths clear entering the straight and, hard as though Ryan Moore tried to close the gap on the well-backed favourite Kew Gardens, the frontrunner was still three and a quarter lengths clear at the line.
Kingscote said: “He’s a proper horse. He showed a nice attitude.
“I was very pleased. I think he’ll learn plenty coming round that turn.
“It was a good learning curve for him.”
Yet, while Aidan O’Brien’s 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior is the clear favourite, Hazapour looks a genuine contender after taking yesterday’s Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown for Dermot Weld.
Sitting midfield for much of the mile-and-a-quarter contest, the outsider motored past the O’Brien-trained pair of Nelson and The Pentagon down the home straight before defeating fellow Ballydoyle inmate Delano Roosevelt.
Weld, who was winning the race for the ninth time, said: “He is a horse I’ve really liked. He is a very balanced colt.
“I thought he did it very nicely when he won his maiden at Galway.
“The horse he beat easily of Aidan’s has been running at a good level. He has developed over the winter and has progressed very nicely.
“He worked beautifully the other morning. He handles the ground well.
“He is a nephew of Harzand, so therefore there is only one logical way to go with him to see if he can emulate his uncle and that’s the plan.”
No trainer is in finer form than Malton’s Ruth Jefferson whose Robbing The Prey took Haydock’s handicap chase on Saturday. The victory under Sean Bowen was the trainer’s fifth success in a week that had begun with a double at Hexham the previous saturday.
Hey Gaman finished second in yesterday’s French 2000 Guineas for Harrogate-born trainer James Tate and jockey James Doyle after being denied by the fast finishing Olmedo.