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Newmarket preview: Andre Fabre seeks Group glory with Trident

Wed 22 Sep 2021

Trident is a hot favourite to provide Andre Fabre with his second victory in the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket.

It is 30 years since the French maestro landed Thursday’s Group Three contest with the Pat Eddery-ridden Tertian, and Trident will be a short price to add his name to the roll of honour after filling the runner-up spot in last month’s Prix Morny at Deauville.

The Wootton Bassett colt will step up to seven furlongs for the first time on the Rowley Mile, and Fabre is in confident mood.

“The step up in trip looks sure to suit him,” he said.

“I see they had rain on Sunday at Newmarket. But it should have dried by now – and in any case, whatever the ground is it won’t bother him.

“He got a bump in the Morny just when he was quickening. The extra distance this time will be in his favour, and he’s going to run well.

“He’s a very reliable colt.”

The home team includes the Martyn Meade-trained Cresta, who made a big impression when making a successful start to his career at Leicester in early August.

That form has been boosted by the subsequent Doncaster success of Charlie Appleby’s Modern Games, who reopposes.

Meade said of Cresta: “We were really pleased with him last time. Obviously this is a step up, but he’s in good form and is ready to take his chance.

“I think this is the right sort of race for him.

“Andre Fabre’s horse was obviously second in the Morny and you can’t take that away from him, but you shouldn’t be worried about one and we’ll take him on.”

Harrow has won his last three starts for Andrew Balding, completing his hat-trick with a lucrative sales race success at Doncaster.

He turns out a fortnight later for his first start at Pattern level.

Harry Herbert, manging director of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “Andrew has always held the horse in high regard – and with every race, he’s taken a big step forward.

“I think having won that valuable sales race at Doncaster, Andrew desperately wanted to move into black-type company, so we’ll see.

“It’s a big leap, as we know – taking on Andre Fabre’s horse, Trident.

“But he’s very tough, and we need to see where we are in the big picture.”

Eileendover will return to a marathon trip as she bids for a first black-type victory on the Flat in the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes at Newmarket.

The four-year-old was hugely impressive as a bumper horse, winning three consecutive National Hunt Flat contests before finishing fourth in the Grade Two mares’ bumper at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.

A switch to the Flat has seen her gradually find her feet, taking a handicap at Newmarket in August and then finishing fourth in the Group Two Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes.

This time, the granddaughter of her trainer Pam Sly’s 1000 Guineas winner Speciosa will receive weight all round as the only filly in Thursday’s race.

Sly noticed too that Eileendover has stayed on with purpose of late at distances up to an extended mile and six furlongs.

“I think the step up in trip will help her a bit,” she said.

“She’s been staying on every time she’s run.

“I know it’s going to be quite competitive, but of course she’s got a 5lb allowance for being a girl against the boys.

“Last time she gave 10lb to the winner (Free Wind) and the third (Yesyes), and that’s a lot of weight.

“I know that the winner is decent. The third-placed horse beat us two and half lengths when we gave her 17lb at Haydock, and she only beat us a length the other day with 10lb, so we’re getting there gradually.

“She should stay, she’s another six months older and she’s gradually improved running on the Flat – I hope she carries on that way.

“She had a few days off after Doncaster, and this will be her last run of the year – there’s nothing else to run her in now. She’ll have a long Christmas holiday and then she should be back to start again in April.”

Heather Main’s Island Brave will also step back up in trip after his victory in the one-mile six-furlong Old Borough Cup at Haydock, when he gamely regained the lead three furlongs from home and eventually prevailed by half a length.

Main’s seven-year-old has form over this two-mile trip also, and will appreciate the drying ground.

“He ran a brilliant race at Haydock,” said the Oxfordshire trainer.

“He was really game – his name definitely suits him! The trip will be fine for him – he’s flexible in that way.

“I’m hoping that the ground will suit. It looks like it’s not going to be too soft, so hopefully he’ll have his conditions.”

William Haggas’ Roberto Escobarr is towards the head of the market after his sixth in last month’s Ebor at York – where he previously won the Listed Race To The Ebor Grand Cup and was fourth in the Group Three John Smith’s Silver Cup this summer.

He moves up to two miles for the first time, and Haggas said: “It will be interesting – it looks like he wants the trip, so let’s see if he does.

“He ran a very good race in the Ebor. He’s really solid, and he’s in good form while there are a few out of form in that race, so I hope he’s not one of them.”

Elsewhere in the field of 10 is Emmet Mullins’ Crowns Major, who has been a model of consistency all season since beginning his campaign with a triumphant run in a Punchestown bumper in April.

The four-year-old has since turned his attention to the Flat and won a valuable mile-and-a-half handicap at Galway in July.

Ralph’s Beckett’s Max Vega will run for just the third time this season after a valiant fifth place in the Ebor, with Mark Johnston’s Group performer Nayef Road also in opposition after his third to Stradivarius in the Doncaster Cup.

Stuart Williams’ Rhythmic Intent was a winner last time in a Doncaster handicap – with Andrew Balding’s Morando, Richard Hannon’s Noonday Gun and Roger Charlton’s Sleeping Lion completing the field.

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