Phelan Aiming for Betfred Cesarewitch Glory with Ermyn Lodge 29/09/11
Recently crowned Epsom trainer of the year Pat Phelan is hoping to cap an excellent season as he bids to win the £160,000 Betfred Cesarewitch (3.40pm) with consistent stayer Ermyn Lodge.
A total of 72 horses remain on course following the latest scratchings deadline for the historic two and a quarter-mile heritage handicap, one of the highlights of Dubai Future Champions Day at Newmarket on Saturday, October 8.
Ermyn Lodge, a 20/1 chance with Betfred, chased home Betfred Cesarewitch co-favourite Veiled in the marathon Ascot Handicap over two and a half miles at Royal Ascot in June.
He subsequently suffered an interrupted preparation before coming home fourth in a two-mile handicap at the same course’s Shergar Cup meeting on August 6, when he also found the good to soft ground against him.
Phelan revealed: “The Betfred Cesarewitch has been the plan for Ermyn Lodge all year and it was no mean achievement to finish second to Veiled at Royal Ascot.
“We haven’t run him that much this season and his preparation for the Shergar Cup was a little bit rushed. Things didn’t go exactly according to plan and the ground was a bit dead, but he still ran well.
“He loves good, fast ground and that would be a big factor to him running well at Newmarket. It’s no secret that he will probably pop out, sit handy and try and make all of the running if he can. It’s a big ask, but that is the way he has always won his races.
“There’s not an ungenuine bone in his body but he takes a little bit of stoking up and the visor helps him concentrate. He won his first race as a three-year-old off a mark of 60 and he’s now rated 90, so we must have done a good job handicapping him.
“It’s a big ask for a small stable but we are not planning to be disgraced and we expect a big run.”
Other notable contenders for the second leg of the Autumn Double include Cosimo De Medici (12/1), who landed the Betfred Cesarewitch Trial over the same course and distance for trainer Hughie Morrison on September 17, and the Dermot Weld-trained Rainforest Magic (12/1), a dual winner at this year’s Galway Festival.
The maximum number of runners in the Betfred Cesarewitch is 34.
Betfred Cesarewitch – sponsors bet: 10 Keys, Tuscan Gold, Veiled, 12 Cosimo De Medici, Rainforest Magic, 14 Mount Athos, Ocean’s Minstrel, 16 Beyond, Big Occasion, Buy Back Bob, Colour Vision, 20 Aaim To Prosper, Dazinski, Ermyn Lodge, Kazbow, La Vecchia Scuola, Mystery Star, Pateese, Regent Street, 25 Ajaan, Ashbrittle, Becausewecan, Bernie The Bolt, Bow To No One, Diamond Boy, Gifted Leader, Hawk Mountain, Never Can Tell, Palomar, Sentry Duty, Tasheba, 33 Abergavenny, Alcalde, Blimey O’Riley, Dayia, English Summer, Eshtyaaq, French Hollow, Gordonsville, La Estrella, My Arch, Phoenix Flight, Regal Park, Rosewin, Wayward Glance, 40 Advisor, Braveheart Move, Halifax, Hawaafez, Spiekeroog, Trovare, Wells Lyrical, 50 Forrest Flyer, Jonny Delta, L Frank Baum, Magicalmysterytour, Montparnasse, Neptune Equester, Petella, Red Anthem, Right Stuff, Rosewood Lad, Sea Change, Soprano, Valid Reason, 66 Blackmore, Cotton King, Dark Ranger, Gogeo, Mohanad, Sancho Panza, Secret Tune.
“Cosimo De Medici has been the big mover for the Betfred Cesarewitch having proven he stays the trip when winning the trial at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago and Hughie Morrison’s gelding could be a big threat off a low weight” said Betfred spokesman George Primarolo.
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