Cunningham retains faith in Tyson Fury despite Doncaster disappointment

Thu 17 Sep 2020

Connections of the equine Tyson Fury retain faith in his abilities after taking plenty of encouragement from his performance in the Pertemps St Leger.

The Richard Spencer-trained colt – who is named after the world heavyweight champion – lined up for the final Classic of the season at Doncaster having only made one racecourse appearance, when he was the comfortable winner of a novice stakes race at the same track.

The son of Iffraaj was not seen again until taking his big-race chance on Town Moor last Saturday, when he finished an eventual ninth of 11 runners, beaten 12 lengths by Galileo Chrome.

However, co-owner Phil Cunningham was bolstered by Tyson Fury’s late progress in the race and pointed out his encouraging sectional timings.

“I suppose on one hand we were a little bit disappointed, because obviously we wouldn’t have gone there if we didn’t think we’d have finished closer,” he said.

“But I thought he ran a lovely race in hindsight. Kieran (Shoemark) looked after him – I thought he did the right thing, he showed up nicely from four furlongs out.

“His furlong from the fourth (furlong out) to the third, now we have the benefit of sectional timing, was the fastest furlong of any horse in the race. His combined time from the fourth (last) to the second was the fastest of any horse in the race.

“He’s a big baby, very immature and very green – everything we half expected. Like I say, I think Kieran looked after him. He could have finished closer if he wanted, but there was no point, we weren’t going to win.”

Cunningham anticipates Tyson Fury will make his next appearance in a less testing contest, perhaps stepping back down to the 12-furlong trip he won over on his racecourse debut.

“I think Richard will find a race for him in a couple of weeks’ time,” he said. “Maybe slightly back in trip, a bit of a confidence boost, but I think we’ve got a cracking horse to look forward to for next year.

“Obviously we’ll discuss it with Richard, but I’d love to see him back at a mile and a half next time. Off the back of that run, we’ll probably determine where we go after that, or indeed if we put him away until next year.”

Heartened by the promise shown in his two runs starts to date, Cunningham is looking forward to seeing how the colt matures and progresses next season.

“The positive thing is that there’s no harm done,” he said. “I’m just delighted to know we’ve got a horse that’s capable of competing at that level and I think we’ll be the biggest improver from the race for next season.”

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