Botti eyes Irish mission for Giavellotto after Newmarket test

The dual Yorkshire Cup winner will drop back to a mile and a half at Newmarket.

Marco Botti views the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday as the perfect stepping stone towards the Irish St Leger for Giavellotto.

The five-year-old entire won his second Yorkshire Cup on his most recent outing in May and, as something of a one-mile-six-furlong specialist, the Curragh Group One emerged as his main priority.

Given he showed a smart turn of foot at York, Botti has been tempted to drop back to a mile and a half on the July Course and provided conditions do not deteriorate further, he is happy to roll the dice.

“We’ve had quite a bit of rain, but at the moment today (Wednesday) looks dry and he’s not a horse who can’t run on good to soft or ground on the easy side of good,” said the Newmarket-based Italian.

“We don’t want it too soft, but at the moment the plan is to let him take his chance, especially as he is coming back to a mile and a half.

“It’s not like he won’t handle easy ground. Last year, when he ran in the Goodwood Cup (finished fifth), the ground got a little bit soft and just over two miles it found him out.

“Over a mile and a half, I think we’ll still run unless it gets very soft. He has an entry in Ireland next week (Curragh Cup), but ideally we wanted to avoid that.”

Trainer Marco Botti after winning the Yorkshire Cup with Giavellotto
Trainer Marco Botti after winning the Yorkshire Cup with Giavellotto (Mike Egerton/PA)

Botti went on: “He’s won on the July course before and it is quite a stiff mile and a half, which is why we felt we could drop back in trip there.

“We just thought this looked a nice race for him before the Irish St Leger, if all goes to plan.

“We want to just campaign him at around a mile and six this year, last year we took him to Goodwood and York over two miles, but we do feel it just stretches him and his optimum is a mile and three-quarters, which is the Irish St Leger.

“His York form looks good, Vauban ran well in the Gold Cup, he’s a stronger horse this year. He ran well in Saudi, we freshened him up and then he went to Dubai and ran well again.

“He’s still an entire. He used to run in a hood but he’s grown up a lot and is a mature five-year-old now. When he was three, he used to sweat up a lot before his races but he doesn’t do that now.”

Hamish is very hard to beat if the mud is flying
Hamish is very hard to beat if the mud is flying (Andrew Matthews/PA)

One who would love even more rain to fall is William Haggas’ grand campaigner Hamish.

He arguably ran a career best last time out in the Coronation Cup when second to Luxembourg.

“He ran a very good race, he kept going and it was generally noted that Ryan (Moore, on Luxembourg) was exceptional that day. Everyone knew he was going to do that (make all) and we couldn’t quite peg him back,” Haggas told Sky Sports Racing.

“Tom (Marquand) said he has never been round Tattenham Corner quite as fast as he did that day and the horse plugged on very well, we were thrilled to bits.

“It’s the same old team we’ve been running against in the past. Arrest is a very good horse, especially with a bit of cut in the ground, but we love that as well.

“We need lots of rain and if it comes it will be interesting, if it doesn’t and it dries up to good or quicker, he won’t run.”

This time Moore is on Harry Charlton’s Time Lock, who was supplemented for the Coronation Cup but failed to give her true running and she was eased once beaten.

“I am not sure why she didn’t run her race in the Coronation Cup last time,” Moore told Betfair.

“Maybe it was the track, maybe it was the first-time cheekpieces that are left off here, or maybe she simply had an off-day against Group One horses.

“If she returns to the form of her Group Three win for me last season, then she has a chance, but Hamish is probably the one to beat after the rain that landed earlier in the week.”

Last year’s St Leger runner-up Arrest, Outbox and Maxi King complete the field.

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