Number Theory Going for Gold
John Holt's Number Theory will head for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot after his fine effort in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown on May 30.
His improvement has not stopped there, either, as even though he was only second to French raider Gloomy Sunday on his latest Group Three start, the handicapper raised him 10lb, effectively ruling out running in handicaps again.
"He's come out of the race really well," said Holt.
"As he's gone up 10lb to 108 he'll run in the Gold Cup at Ascot next as he won't run in a handicap with that weight.
"It was a great first run over two miles and I think he'll stay another half a mile, too. Obviously you can never be sure but he wasn't stopping.
"For a small yard like ours he's a great horse to have.
"Some might not have been fully wound-up at Sandown as they were having their first run whereas we'd had one, but nevertheless, it was a good run."
Shea Shea and Soft Fallen Rain are two of Mike De Kock's stable stars potentially bound for Royal Ascot. The latest on both from their trainer here:
Mick Channon's impressive Ripon winner Ambiance is likely to head for the Norfolk Stakes.
A half-brother to William Haggas' decent sprinter Heeraat, he was well fancied for a hot maiden at Newbury but ran poorly. However, the son of Camacho seemed far more streetwise at Ripon, on June 4, and is now Ascot-bound.
"I don't mind our two-year-olds getting beaten first time up, but his show at Newbury was a real head-scratcher," said Channon on his website, www.mickchannon.tv.
"He's very laid back and a bit lazy, I know, but I couldn't see Newbury being the non-event that it was.
"That's why we sent him (to Ripon). Sam (Hitchcott, jockey) got hold of him and made him go about his work and he did it as I thought he would first time up.
"He's our standout sharp two-year-old and I feel that we're just coming right now.
"On the whole they've shown glimpses of ability, but haven't been finishing their races, but this lad did and I'm a relieved man.
"We've kicked it around and he'll most probably go for the Norfolk at Royal Ascot now."
Lockinge winner Farhh is entered in both the Queen Anne on the first day of the meeting and the Prince Of Wales's Stakes 24 hours later, but the further shortening of the American raider is not due to any moves by the Godolphin camp.
Animal Kingdom is now just 6-4 with Ladbrokes from 11-4 at the start of the week and Graham Motion's chestnut seems to have settled in well at David Lanigan's stable, having arrived in Lambourn after his victory in the Dubai World Cup.
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: "We haven't made any decision and it won't be made until much closer to the Royal meeting, probably at the five-day stage."
With Farhh still at 11-4 and 10-1 bar the pair, David Williams of Ladbrokes said: "Animal Kingdom fever has really caught hold of ante-post punters. He was vying for favouritism at the weekend but we've barely laid a penny on any of his rivals this week whilst he has been heavily backed."
Trainer Rod Millman has had many good two-year-olds over the years but he feels there is one in his stable that is the best he has ever had, the Mastercraftsman colt Master Carpenter.
The juvenile recently won a Pontefract conditions event in great style and he is now heading towards the Chesham Stakes, in which Millman thinks the colt will take all the beating.
Interviewed by At The Races, Millman said: “Must be good for one of mine to win first time out, because we don’t wind them up. Tactically outgunned at Ascot, when he ended up making the running. This horse wants seven furlongs now but he was still smart enough to win next time at Pontefract. Won well and he now goes to the Chesham over seven at Royal Ascot. A very exciting horse for this season and one that should train on. Could put us back on the map, as good a two-year-old that I’ve ever had.”
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