George Margarson ready to take handicap option with Ropey Guest

Tue 29 Sep 2020

George Margarson may test Ropey Guest in handicap company for the first time at Ascot this weekend.

The Newmarket trainer is favouring Saturday’s Challenge Cup for his smart three-year-old, but he has also put him in the John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes at the Berkshire track and the Racing TV EBF Stallions Guisborough Stakes at Redcar.

Margarson is likely to wait until near declaration time on Thursday morning before deciding which race Ropey Guest will tackle.

The Cable Bay colt got off the mark at the 13th attempt when dropped in class for a novice event at Chelmsford last month, following a host of creditable efforts which included being placed in four Group races.

“I’m keen to try him in a handicap – I think he’s well handicapped on what he’s been doing,” said Margarson.

“I was going to wait until next year before he went into those sort of races, but there aren’t a load of options left for him off his mark.

“There’s either that or the mile race at Ascot on Champions’ Day (Balmoral Handicap). That’s the one I was aiming at, so if the ground is on the soft side he might go to Ascot for the handicap.

“I can see Redcar being heavy, looking at the weather forecast.”

Ascot is therefore the likeliest destination as Margarson mulls which race to choose.

He added: “It’s 50-50 – I am keen to try out his handicap mark, but it is tough for three-year-olds taking on those hardened handicappers.

“He’s held his own in some rough races there, though – the Jersey Stakes and the Coventry – and a big field wouldn’t worry him.

“He comes out better in that race than in the others. I’ve been going through all three races.”

Margarson has not totally ruled out the Bengough Stakes, because it is sponsored by Ropey Guest’s owners John Guest Racing.

“I was keen to try to win the boys their money back, so I wouldn’t say no, but I wouldn’t want to take Judicial on,” he said.

“He’s a proper sprinter a 110-rated horse. We’re not well in with him.

“I’ll be waiting until Thursday morning, but favouring the handicap at the moment.”

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