Sir Busker team set sights on more handicap gold over a mile

Wed 24 Jun 2020

More big handicaps over a mile beckon for Sir Busker after his victory in the Silver Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.

Connections are keen to go where the money is after the improving four-year-old, trained by William Knight, won for the second time since racing resumed following the lockdown.

“It was so thrilling. He’s a lovely horse. We were hoping to run him early doors, and of course you weren’t able to do that. William has done a great job with him,” said Sam Hoskins, racing manager for owners Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds.

“He won well at Newcastle (beating subsequent Royal Hunt Cup winner Dark Vision), and we always thought a straight mile going a fast pace would help him.

“It really did last week, and Oisin Murphy gave him a great ride.

“He’s just been put up 6lb by the handicapper to 102. I think we’ll probably have another crack at the big mile handicaps.

“The Golden Mile Handicap at Glorious Goodwood is usually worth a lot of money –  I don’t know if it will be this year. If it is, then I think we’d probably try to go there next.

“If it’s not worth that much money, we might think of something else, and then there’s big Ascot handicaps as well.

“It’s so weird this year – you don’t know what the programme will be, but handicaps are worth more than Group races, so I think we’ll stick to handicaps for the minute.

“It’s a nice problem to have.

“The good thing is he definitely handles soft ground as well. He’ll be very interesting for the autumn. The Balmoral Handicap would be the big aim.”

Kennet Valley have another exciting prospect in the Mark Johnston-trained Streak Lightning, who is unbeaten in two starts, both this month.

The three-year-old colt could be Goodwood-bound after eye-catching victories at Wolverhampton and Ripon.

“He’s really exciting. He was given an initial rating of 90 by the handicapper and I’d think, with the Johnston stable’s love for Goodwood, he might go there with a run in-between,” said Hoskins.

“There’s a one-mile handicap at Sandown on Eclipse day, which might be interesting, but I haven’t spoken to Mark or Charlie (Johnston) yet.

“With him, the way the programme is, I thought we might go down the handicap route, because we can chase some good prize money.

“He’s a lovely horse for the future, and we’re lucky to have him.”

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