DAVID Loughnane believes the break he gave Go Bears Go ahead of the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday has done him the world of good.
The Railway Stakes winner, one of the horses that has taken rising star Rossa Ryan’s riding career to new heights, is one of 14 juveniles still in contention for the six-furlong Group One.
After the Railway, Go Bears Go headed back to Ireland for the Phoenix Stakes where he finished third, beaten a length by Ebro River with Dr Zempf in second, and the three are on course to meet again.
“We are exactly where we want to be, the ground looks like it’s going to be in great condition,” said Loughnane.
“We freshened him up and I think it’s done him the world of good, physically and mentally. He’s strengthened up loads and I couldn’t be happier.
“It’s a crucial time for two-year-olds. People might look and say ‘he’s only had four runs why does he need a break’, but he’s been on the go since last December for a breeze up.
“That’s a long time for a growing two-year-old to keep rocking and rolling and he’s done a lot of travelling, he went to Ireland twice in a short space of time. It’s all systems go.”
As well as Ebro River, the other Group One winner set to line up is Malton trainer Richard Fahey’s Prix Morny hero Perfect Power.
Richard Hannon has two live chances in Armor, winner of the Molecomb, and Lusail, the Gimcrack scorer who disappointed in the Champagne Stakes on soft ground.
Meanwhile Charlie Fellowes is keeping a close eye on the Newmarket weather after stumping up £20,000 to supplement Eve Lodge for the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes.
The Ardad filly struck Group Three gold last time out when landing the Sirenia Stakes on the Kempton Polytrack - form which received a huge boost when runner-up Wings Of War and third-placed Hierarchy finished first and second respectively in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury. Eve Lodge, who runs in the colours of Mathis Stables, may bid for Group One glory on Saturday, although Fellowes would not be keen to run if the ground is on the fast side.
He said: “The owners have been brilliant – they’ve put no pressure on her running but have said we’ll see what happens with the weather through the week and go from there.
“I was a bit worried about what she beat at Kempton, but it turns out I need not have been - with them being first and second in the Mill Reef.
“You don’t get to run in Cheveley Parks very often.
“She’s a very good filly, we’ve always felt that, so providing the ground isn’t too quick I see no reason why we won’t take our chance.”
The Ger Lyons-trained Sacred Bridge is among the leading lights for the contest, having won each of her four starts to date – including the Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh last time out.
She is one of four possible Irish raiders - along with Aidan O’Brien’s Naas maiden winner Tenebrism and Joseph O’Brien’s pair of Pennine Hills and Velocidad.
Zain Claudette brings some classy form to the table, having won three of her four starts, including the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot and the Lowther at York on her two most recent outings for trainer Ismail Mohammed.
He said: “She’s in very good form – she is flying. She’s in good nick up to now. She’s changed a lot and she’s doing very, very well. You will 100 per cent see her in the Cheveley Park next.”
Lowther second Sandrine is in the mix again for Andrew Balding, having won the Albany at Royal Ascot and the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on Newmarket’s July Course earlier in the campaign for in-form jockey David Probert.
Flotus was an impressive Ripon scorer for Simon and Ed Crisford and she is also among 15 confirmations.
Leyburn trainer Karl Burke has both Guilded and Illustrating to choose from.