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The Grey Gatsby goes for Gold at HQ
22 May 2015 15:03
Kevin Ryan expects The Grey Gatsby to be suited by the Curragh as the four-year-old returns to Ireland for the Tattersalls Gold Cup on Sunday.
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The Mastercraftsman colt won the Dante at York, the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly and also lowered the colours of Australia in the Irish Champion Stakes during a stellar season in 2014.
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That last victory, in beating the Investec and Irish Derby winner, really brought him to the attention of European racing fans, and he was taken out to Meydan for the Dubai Turf.
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The Grey Gatsby ran a solid race to finish second behind Solow over a trip slightly short of his best, but Ryan feels the time spent in Dubai benefited him greatly.
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"We didn't go to Dubai all guns blazing and he hadn't come in his coat," said the North Yorkshire handler.
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"Coming back in trip wasn't going to be ideal on a sharp track, but the horse took no harm.
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"The 10 days out there did him good. It helped his coat to progress and he enjoyed it.
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"We have him in good shape and we've left a bit on him to go to Ascot.
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"The Curragh will suit him. It's a big, galloping track and hopefully he'll get some pace in the race."
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A lot of water has passed under the bridge since Al Kazeem won this race two years ago for Roger Charlton and James Doyle.
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That was the first of a hat-trick of Group Ones for the son of Dubawi, who went on to land the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Eclipse at Sandown.
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Three more meritorious performances followed at the highest level before he went off to stud, where he was found to be sub-fertile and returned to training with Charlton.
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The Beckhampton trainer deserves credit for bringing him back to his best as he was narrowly beaten in the Champion Stakes at Ascot last autumn.
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His two runs in France this season - he won a Group Two at Longchamp in April before finishing second to the ageless Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay - suggest he retains all his ability at the age of seven.
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Owner-breeder John Deer said: "I've been absolutely delighted with him this year.
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"He's pretty close, probably within two or three pounds, of where he was before he went to stud, which is amazing, really.
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"His first win of the year was a Group Two and the ground was very soft when he ran at Longchamp last time.
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"It's difficult to say whether he's improving with each run, but what we do know is the weight is slowly but surely coming off him. He's a horse that likes his food!
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"If he were to run a big race on Sunday, that (Royal Ascot) is certainly where I would like to go with him and I think that probably goes for Roger as well."
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Postponed won the Great Voltigeur last season and made a satisfactory return to action in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown, when second to Western Hymn on ground softer than he cares for.
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"Postponed is very well, I've been very happy with him," said trainer Luca Cumani.
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"It looks a tough race but you would expect that, with it being a Group One.
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"I hope the ground is suitable. He's a much better horse when it is good or faster but I understand it is supposed to dry out as the weekend goes on.
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"We're hoping for a good run."
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The field of six is made up with Dermot Weld's Fascinating Rock, a winner of a Listed race and a Group Three this season, Jim Bolger's Parish Hall and the Pat Flynn-trained Highly Toxic.
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