Breeders’ Cup challenge remains on the radar for Roaring Lion team

Sun 23 Sep 2018

John Gosden is not ruling out a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Roaring Lion after a bid to win on Qipco British Champions Day.

Following previous triumphs in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and the Juddmonte International at York, the Qatar Racing-owned three-year-old completed a Group One hat-trick when getting up to beat old rival Saxon Warrior in a thrilling Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last weekend.

Roaring Lion is best-priced 9-4 for the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20, which remains the primary objective, but a trip to the Breeders’ Cup remains in the melting pot and Gosden is open to the idea of running his charge on the dirt for the first time at Churchill Downs.

Speaking at the Newmarket Open Weekend on Sunday, Gosden said: “I’m very happy with Roaring Lion and we are pointing towards the Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20. He has got some constitution as he has been on the go since February and I’ve been impressed with how he has taken his racing.

“The Breeders’ Cup comes pretty sharply after Champions Day. If it was heavy he wouldn’t run at Ascot, but if it was good to soft he would run as he has won on it before.

“If he went to the Breeders’ Cup, it could be the mile and a half on turf (Breeders’ Cup Turf) or we could have a look at the Classic. He is a mile-and-a-quarter horse so you would consider the Classic as well as the turf.

“The mile and a half around three bends is not that different to a stiff mile and a quarter uphill at Ascot. It is not like going a mile and a half around Ascot.”

Enable is reportedly in fine form ahead of her defence of the Arc crown
Enable is reportedly in fine form ahead of her defence of the Arc crown

Roaring Lion is a best-priced 4-1 for the Breeders' Cup Turf, but is currently not quoted for the Classic.

The Clarehaven maestro also provided a positive update on on the brilliant Enable, who is an 11-8 favourite to successfully defend her crown in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in a fortnight’s time following her foot-perfect comeback at Kempton earlier this month.

Gosden said: “She has been good since the race at Kempton and we are happy with her. She has been cantering away. We are just building her up to the Arc and we are happy with her progress and she seems well in herself.

“Hopefully they will get a bit of rain in Paris as I thought the ground was a bit fast there last week, which is not entirely her scene as she appreciates getting her toe in. She will do a couple of pieces of work between now and then.”

Enable is set to be joined in the Arc by stablemate Cracksman – provided conditions are in his favour.

Watch video analysis of Enable's return from The Verdict

The Frankel colt has not quite discovered his best form so far this season, but has enjoyed a break since suffering a shock defeat in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Speaking in the rain in Newmarket, Gosden added: “Cracksman is building up for the Arc as well. If we get the rain there he will be running there, if not we will wait for the Champion Stakes.

“He worked yesterday and he is coming back. He very much enjoys this type of weather.”

Ground conditions will dictate whether Cracksman will head to France
Ground conditions will dictate whether Cracksman will head to France

Gosden’s star juvenile Too Darn Hot is on course for the Dewhurst Stakes following last week’s scintillating display in the Champagne Stakes, while fellow unbeaten stablemate Beatboxer is set for a rise in class.

The trainer said: “He (Too Darn Hot) is a very talented horse and, all being well, he will run in the Dewhurst Stakes, that is the game plan. We will then put him away for next year’s Guineas. We may well go straight there or on the other hand he may have a prep race first.

“The plan for Beatboxer is to run in the Royal Lodge (Newmarket, September 29). He is a big, strong colt. I am happy with him and I think the mile will suit him.

“If he runs a big race and finishes in the first three, he will head to Doncaster for what was the Racing Post Trophy (Vertem Futurity Trophy, October 27).”

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