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George Baker eyes Royal Hunt Cup with St Moritz winner Wargrave

Sat 18 Apr 2020

George Baker has set his sights on the Royal Hunt Cup for St Moritz winner Wargrave.

The four-year-old was a winner on the snow at the unique Swiss venue in February, making a perfect start for Baker having previously been trained by Fozzy Stack in Ireland.

Wargrave cost 100,000 guineas at Tattersalls last autumn and paid back over £41,000 when making all to win over 10 furlongs.

Baker will now target Royal Ascot, which is scheduled to be run behind closed doors if it takes place in June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “He’s in fantastic form. We did think about running after St Moritz, but in the end we decided to give him a little break.

“The aim for him would be the Royal Hunt Cup, if, obviously, it goes ahead.

“When we won it with Belgian Bill a few years ago, he won off a mark of 96 and I don’t think you would even get in the race off that now.

“It looks the right sort of race for him and hopefully we might look towards Group company with him eventually.”

Baker also has two new French recruits to look forward to when the Flat campaign eventually gets under way.

Graignes was bought for 600,000 euros last October before finishing fifth in the Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend.

He made his debut for Baker on the Saudi Cup card at Riyadh in February, where he was last of 14 runners, although the trainer recommends putting a line through that effort.

He said: “I have a nice horse called Graignes, who was an expensive purchase at the Arc sale and ran in Saudi Arabia at the Saudi Cup meeting.

“Things didn’t really work in his favour as he is a hold-up horse but was drawn in one, so he had no choice but to go forward.

“We will work back from the Prix de la Foret, which he ran well in last year when he finished fifth for his previous connections

“He’s a very exciting horse.”

Baker could also have a Classic contender on his hands in Les Hogues, another ex-French runner to have joined his team.

She was beaten a neck in a Group Three heat on her final outing for Jean-Claude Rouget last October.

Baker added: “Les Hogues is entered in the French Guineas, should it go ahead, and she showed some good form in France last year. She’s a nice horse to have.”

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