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Ben Haslam harbouring Cesarewitch hopes for Solo Saxophone

Mon 13 Jul 2020

Ben Haslam has identified the Cesarewitch at Newmarket as a potential long-term target for Solo Saxophone following his latest triumph at York on Thursday.

Following previous stints with leading Irish trainer Dermot Weld, and latterly prominent jumps handler Dan Skelton, the son of Frankel joined Middleham-based Haslam – and it has proved an inspired move.

Since making a winning debut for the yard at Thirsk in mid-June, Solo Saxophone has added facile wins at Haydock and York to complete his hat-trick – and Haslam now has his eye on bigger prizes further down the line.

Watch how Solo Saxophone scored at York last time

He said: “It was great to see him win again. He’s just kept improving and his races don’t seem to be taking much out of him.

“I think he’s probably gaining more confidence all the time. We hope there’s more to come from him and the way he’s winning gives us hope that there is.”

Considering future plans, Haslam added: “If he comes out of York well and we’re happy with him, we’ll probably look at running him in the Brown Jack Handicap at Ascot in a couple of weeks’ time.

“After that you’ve got the Ebor meeting at York. In a normal year he wouldn’t have a hope of getting in the Ebor, but whether he might creep in this year with the prize-money down and everything, we’ll see. If not, there’s a two-mile handicap for him at the same meeting.

“It’s hard to make long-term plans at the moment, with the programme only running up to the end of August, but the Cesarewitch would look an obvious target in the autumn. I don’t think he’d have any problem with the longer trip.”

While Haslam is not ruling out the possibility of running Solo Saxophone over hurdles in the future, his priorities are on the Flat for the time being.

“I think it all depends on how he gets on for the rest of the Flat season, to be honest,” said the trainer.

“If it looks like he’s going to be competitive in those big two-mile races on the Flat, then we’ll probably give him a break and bring him back next season for races like the Chester Cup and the Northumberland Plate.

“I think we’ll probably give him a break during the winter whatever happens. I suppose you could look at running him in one of the big handicap hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival or Aintree if it looked like he would get in, but we’ll see.”

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