Look Here Aiming for More Epsom Glory in Coronation Cup
Look Here gave Ralph Beckett the greatest thrill of his career when storming to victory in last year’s Group One Oaks and the trainer is dreaming of further Epsom Downs glory on Friday, June 5, with the filly set to return to action in the £225,000 Group One Coronation Cup, the same day as a pair of her stablemates could attempt to emulate her Classic triumph.
Look Here was last seen finishing third to subsequent Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Conduit in the St Leger at Doncaster in September. The four-year-old would be attempting to become the first Oaks winner to succeed in the prestigious mile-and-a-half contest since Time Charter in 1984. The last victorious filly or mare was In The Groove in 1991.
Beckett revealed this morning: “Look Here is training well and we are on target for Epsom - she wintered well so I am very happy with her. We felt at the time that she did not stay in the St Leger and we are working on that basis. A mile and a half in the Coronation Cup should be ideal for her as she loves the track.”
Look Here triumphed in the colours of owner/breeder Julian Richmond-Watson and the Jockey Club senior steward could be represented once again in the £350,000 Oaks with the home-bred Blue Nymph, fifth on her sole start in a Nottingham maiden in October. However, Newmarket maiden winner Anice Stellato, owned by Clipper Logistics, could be this year’s number one hope from Whitsbury Manor Stables.
Beckett reported: “Anice Stellato and Blue Nymph are possibilities for the Oaks at this stage. Anice Stellato will run in an Oaks trial, probably the Lingfield trial, as did Look Here last year. Blue Nymph will run in a maiden at the back end of next week, so that will tell us more about where are with her.
“To win the Oaks two years in a row seems unlikely, but we will definitely do our best!”
The Oaks betting generally is headed by Wednesday’s impressive Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Fantasia and the brilliant Rainbow View, who defeated the former in the Group One Fillies’ Mile at Ascot last season.
CONNECTIONS HOPE 2009 IS YOUMZAIN’S YEAR
Youmzain, one of 32 entries for the Coronation Cup in which he finished second to Soldier Of Fortune last year, is a formidable likely rival to Look Here, having finished runner-up in the past two renewals of the Group One Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, latterly chasing home the exceptional Zarkava.
The Mick Channon-trained six-year-old, victorious in the Group One Grand Prix de Saint Cloud in 2008, showed his well-being when a slightly unlucky fourth to fellow Coronation Cup entrant Eastern Anthem in the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba on March 28.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Jaber Abdullah, revealed today: “Youmzain is a very probable runner in the Coronation Cup - that will be his main target for the early part of the season. He is a good horse running fresh so he is likely to go there next. We have no plans to run him beforehand.
“He came back from Dubai fine and I think his preparation out there was very good. He went out a little bit earlier this time and Richard Hills, who I think is one of the best assessors of a horse’s well-being, rode him daily work. He was really happy with the horse out there.
“The race itself was a bit of a scrummage. Along with the winner, he was in the right place, coming from behind, but unfortunately the winner got a good run on the outside whereas we got messed around going through the pack. That tends to happen with Youmzain but he is a very good horse with a lot of ability. His form is superb and he is extremely consistent, but he is one of those horses that is nearly always the bridesmaid. Hopefully, this can be his year.”
DERBY TRIALS SEASON FAST APPROACHING
With just over seven weeks until Derby Day, the trials season for the premier Classic is almost here.
The one opportunity for Derby aspirants to run at Epsom Downs takes place on Wednesday, April 22, when the Weatherbys Bank Blue Riband Trial Stakes takes places over 10 furlongs of the Derby course.
Sandown Park plays host to the Group Two Bet365 Classic Trial on Friday, April 24 while the following weekend the first Classic of the season, the stanjames.com 2000 Guineas, is held at Newmarket. New Approach finished second at Newmarket last year before his famous Derby victory.
York’s Group Two totesport.com Dante Stakes on May 14 is a probable target for Nehaam, winner of yesterday’s £400,000 Tattersalls Timeform 3-Y-O Trophy at Newmarket. The Dante Stakes has an excellent recent record as a trial, having provided the Derby winner in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
With trials also taking place at Chester, Leopardstown and Lingfield, the next few weeks are sure to hold plenty of Derby clues.