SHEA SHEA aside, Mike de Kock has entered three other runners in races to be staged in the UK on Friday. Assistant trainer Steven Jell submitted some pre-race comments for readers who fancy a ‘tickle’ on English racing.
Game six-year-old Rerouted (Christophe Soumillon) takes on a Listed field in the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes over 1400m (16:05 SA time). He’s versatile and made the frame in two decent pipe-openers recently, but Jell feels this will be a true test. He said: “Rerouted is race fit and very well for this one, but there are some well-performed rivals to contend with, he will be stretched and we’ll be happy with a place.”
Shea Shea and Soumillon line up shortly after this in the Gr1 Nunthorpe Stakes over 1000m (16:40 SA time) and a good run is expected. Jell commented: “There was a noted reason for his disappointing last run at Ascot and if one ignores that, Shea Shea has as good a chance as he’s ever had. His work has been good, he is in fine shape.
Pat Cosgrave, big chance on Batrana at Newmarket.
“We’ve tweaked a few things in Shea Shea’s preparation for this sprint and he’s responded well, I’d say he’s near the level he’s been at before some of his best runs. So yes, we do give him a chance of contesting the finish but he will have to face the usual hard knocker Sole Power and a few other younger sprinters coming through the ranks. He’s seven years old, older horses can win Graded sprints like these but it won’t be easy.”
Jell’s biggest hope lies with Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s three-year-old filly Batrana (Pat Cosgrave), who has only five rivals to beat in a Maiden Stakes over 1600m to be staged at the Newmarket meeting. The race is off at 17:30 SA time and Jell said: “Batrana was narrowly beaten on a good debut and barring Godolphin’s entry her rivals have moderate form. She’s a fair sort and should go close to winning.”
Earlier at the meeting, Cosgrave will partner Irish-bred newcomer Tannaaf in a full Maiden field over 1400m (Race 4, 16:20 SA time). He’s a two-year-old colt by High Chaparral and will race in the same silks as Batrana. Jell said that Tannaaf has shown some promise in his home gallops. “He’s a nice colt, if he can reproduce what he shows us at home he may just have a say in the finish, but we can’t predict with confidence what to expect. There are a number of well-bred runners from top stables coming to the track for the first time. It looks like a race full of class, a strong field of Juveniles, if Tannaaf can get near or within a couple of lengths off the final call we’ll be happy.”