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Fascinating Rock off to Windsor
28 Aug 2015 14:02
Fascinating Rock could earn himself a shot at a major autumn target if he can make a successful return in the Unibet Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor on Saturday evening.
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Dermot Weld's one-time Classic hope made an excellent start to his four-year-old campaign, winning the Listed Heritage Stakes at Leopardstown and the Group Three Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh before returning to the top level in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
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The son of Fastnet Rock turned in a career-best effort to finish a close second behind multiple Group One winner Al Kazeem, beating subsequent King George hero Postponed as well as top-class middle-distance performer The Grey Gatsby.
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Fascinating Rock, whose late-season engagements include the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and the Champion Stakes at Ascot, makes his first appearance since that late-May Group One this weekend and must concede weight to each of his nine opponents.
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The trainer's son and assistant, Kris Weld, said: "He's in good form and is well and enjoyed his summer break.
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"This is a nice start back from his run in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and hopefully he'll go well, although it's looking a very strong renewal this year."
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Stable jockey Pat Smullen travels from Ireland for the ride and feels a reproduction of that excellent effort in the Tattersalls Gold Cup would make him hard to beat.
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"He's in good form. It's a lovely race the boss picked out for him and it just fits into his programme well," Smullen told At The Races.
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"He's coming back after a long break, it was always the plan to have an autumn campaign, so this is the start of the second half of his year.
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"His form is rock solid. His best run was his last race to run Al Kazeem to a neck.
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"If he reproduces that form we're in business."
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