World Trophy preview: David Griffiths hoping Take Cover can "do the job"

Fri 22 Sep 2017

By staff

David Griffiths is bullish about the prospects of Take Cover in the Dubai International Airport World Trophy at Newbury on Saturday following the 10-year-old's victory in the Beverley Bullet this month.

"Take Cover has come out of the Beverley Bullet well and it is all systems go for Newbury," said the Bawtry handler. "I was bit worried going to Beverley because of the stiff finish but he pulled out plenty and Tom (Queally) gave him a great ride.

"I was delighted because, although he should really be winning Listed races given that he is a dual Group Two winner, you have still got to get there right and well on the day.

"He can have a real go at these Listed and Group Three races and he should be really competitive without the penalty. Hopefully, he can do the job on Saturday."

William Haggas is happy to be able to run Muthmir in suitable conditions for once. The fast-ground-loving sprinter has rarely had the going to suit this season, resulting in an absence since finishing fourth to Battaash in the Coral Charge at Sandown 10 weeks ago.

The seven-year-old faced a tough task that day, having to give 10lb to the classy winner because of a Group Two penalty, but he was not disgraced.

Muthmir holds an entry in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Chantilly on Sunday week but the ground is currently soft there, so Haggas has opted to run at Newbury where the going is fine.

"He's been in great form this year, as good as we've had him, but I just haven't been able to run him because at all the major meetings it has been soft ground," said Haggas.

"He must have top of the ground, it's pointless running him if there's any cut.

"The options were run him here or wait for the Abbaye but it's been soft ground in France for a month now.

"It could still dry up and if it does there a chance he could run in both but we thought we'd run here, even though it's not ideal he's got to carry a penalty.

"He really is in top form, I've been desperate to run him."

Tony Coyle is another trainer delighted with conditions for Caspian Prince, who was inconvenienced by the very soft ground at the Curragh two weeks ago. The speedster had taken the scalp of subsequent Nunthorpe heroine Marsha on his previous start.

"He is in good order following his run at the Curragh and has not done a lot since. He does not take a lot to keep him ready," said Coyle. "It was just a shame the ground went against him at the Curragh, but he still ran a blinder in the circumstances.

"We will get Saturday out the way first, but the Breeders' Cup could be on his agenda as the owner (Stephen Louch) is keen to give it a go. This would be his last run before then because he would have to go into quarantine.

"He is eight years old and in the form of his life. He has had a brilliant year. He is a bit of a freak as people forget that he is by Dylan Thomas and yet is so quick over five furlongs. He is an incredible horse."

Clive Cox believes he has two serious contenders in Priceless and Go On Go On Go On, though he accepts it is a competitive contest.

"This looks another hotly-contested race. Priceless has a Group Two penalty but the ground is the main reason we are pleased to shoulder that penalty as she is a better filly on drier conditions," said the Lambourn trainer.

"She ran a blinder in the Nunthorpe (fifth) last time and has been at the top of her game all season. She looks fantastic for the time of year.

"Go On Go On Go On ran well at Doncaster last week. This is another step up, but we wanted to take advantage of the drier ground."

Conditions are unlikely to suit Rosie Briar, but trainer Andrew Balding is just keen to get going her again following a 106-day break.

"She's had a bit of a break. She loves soft ground, but this is the one place in the UK that is not going to be soft," said the Kingsclere handler. "I'll have a look at the ground, but we are gearing her to an autumn campaign."

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