Eustace: War Artist Has Realistic Chance
Trainer James Eustace feels War Artist has solid claims for this Saturday’s Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The stunning six-furlong contest, worth £375,000, is the second leg of the Global Sprint Challenge staged at the Royal meeting, following Tuesday’s King Stand Stakes won by Equiano.
War Artist, a top-class performer in South Africa who was second to Assertive when carrying a 5lb penalty in the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes, looks well drawn in stall one of the 20-runner event.
Newmarket-based Eustace said: “I am delighted with the draw although I would not jump on the ‘You’ve got to be drawn on the stands’ rail’ bandwagon. I would chose the stands’ rail irrespective of ground. The firm ground is absolutely great for him and I would hope we don’t get too much rain before the race.
“He did his last piece of work on the Trial Ground last week on Wednesday. I was delighted with how he went. He also had a spin - just a pipe-opener on Tuesday - and he seems to have come out of that well. We go to Ascot with a realistic chance, which is fantastic.”
Drawn right next to War Artist is second favourite Takeover Target, who was runner-up to last year’s Golden Jubilee Stakes winner Soldier’s Tale - also declared for Saturday’s showdown. The Australian raider comes into this weekend’s showpiece race, having run a blinder to also finish second in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes.
Janiak said: “I am very happy with the draw. He has had an easy week since his race and is jumping out of his skin. We’re very confident.”
The international flavour of the race is underlined by the participation of New Zealand mare Seachange and the French-trained Marchand D’Or. The likely favourite is the Hughie Morrison-trained Sakhee’s Secret, whose seasonal reappearance saw him come second to Captain Gerrard in the Palace House Stakes. Another deserving maximum respect is last year’s Nunthorpe Stakes winner Kingsgate Native.
Peter Chapple-Hyam will be double-handed with his two-time Listed scorer Fat Boy and Aeroplane, who is taking a massive rise in class.
Chapple-Hyam said: “Fat Boy deserves to take his place, having done nothing wrong this season. He would not want too much rain. He’s drawn in 14 and you’d probably want to be drawn low which Aeroplane is in seven. It’s going to be very tough for him stepping up to this level but he has always worked like the best horse in the yard and so we’ll give him his chance and see how he gets on.”
Aidan O’Brien, trainer of three Group One winners inside the first two days of this year’s Royal meeting, has declared Astronomer Royal and US Ranger. Fellow Irish handlers Tommy Stack and Mick Halford field Myboycharlie and Snaefell respectively.
The field is completed by Assertive, Balthazaar’s Gift, Diabolical, Utmost Respect, Zidane, Sir Gerry, and Dark Missile.
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