IMPROVING CURTAIN CALL AMONG 63 REMAINING IN RACING POST TROPHY
Curtain Call will try and give his handler Jessica Harrington her first Group One success on the Flat in the £200,000 Racing Post Trophy, run over a mile for two-year-olds at Doncaster on Saturday, October 27.
The Sadlerís Wells colt, one of 63 horses still engaged after the latest forfeit stage for the final Group One contest of the British Flat season, showed promise on his first two runs in maiden company before finishing three lengths second to the unbeaten New Approach in the Group Two Futurity Stakes over seven furlongs at the Curragh on August 25, a neck in front of Henrythenavigator.
Returning to the Curragh over a mile in the Group Two Beresford Stakes on September 30, Curtain Call produced a most taking display, making every yard of the running under Fran Berry to record an easy four-length success over Domestic Fund, looking every inch a colt on the upgrade.
Trainer Jessica Harrington revealed today: "Curtain Callís target is the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
"I was absolutely delighted with his win last time. His form in the Futurity was very good, finishing behind New Approach and in front of Henrythenavigator, and he was entitled to run very well in the Beresford.
"We always thought he would improve with the step up to a mile, and ground with ease suits him very well. He hasnít run on quicker ground yet, but heís not a heavy topped horse and is a very good mover, so I donít think it would be a problem.
"Curtain Call seems grand now and has been cantering around for the last few days without a bother on him. The Racing Post Trophy is the logical step now he has won a Group Two."
Looking ahead to next year, Harrington is hoping that her charge develops into a top-class middle distance prospect, when he could be aimed at Epsom on the first Saturday in June.
The Co Kildare handler continued: "On his pedigree, he has to get a mile and a half. Heís by Sadlerís Wells out of a half-sister to Hernando. He may be a Derby horse in time - one can but dream!"
"I have only had one Group One runner on the Flat previously, in the 2005 Irish 1,000 Guineas (Jazz Princess, ninth to Saoire). I hope Fran Berry will be able to take the ride again on Curtain Call."
Curtain Callís opposition in the Racing Post Trophy could include the John Gosden-trained Ravenís Pass, unbeaten in three starts to date and who looked right out of the top draw when slamming the Brian Meehan-trained City Leader by seven lengths in the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown on September 1.
The runner-up franked the form on his next start when taking the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot on September 29, defeating Achill Island, trained by Aidan OíBrien, by three-quarters of a length.
Aidan OíBrien is responsible for 16 of the 19 Irish entries. Frozen Fire, a comfortable winner on his debut at Gowran Park in August, and King Of Rome, a facile five and a half length scorer at Tipperary on October 7, both look horses of considerable potential, while the un-raced Tale Of Two Cities is a full brother to 2001 Racing Post Trophy winner and subsequent Derby hero High Chaparral.
Godolphin has three entries going forward, headed by Iguazu Falls, who chased home River Proud in the Group Three Somerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket on October 5. Impressive Ascot nursery winner Ibn Khaldun and Emmrooz, seventh in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes last month, are also contenders.
Mark Johnston could run both McCartney, who ran away with the Group Two Urban-i Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on September 15, and Campanologist, who disappointed when unplaced behind City Leader in the Royal Lodge Stakes last time.
As well as City Leader, trainer Brian Meehanís four entries also include Fast Company, who showed a devastating turn of foot to take the Group Three Acomb Stakes at York on August 21.
Peter Chapple-Hyam, successful in the Racing Post Trophy last year with subsequent Epsom Derby victor Authorized, has nine entries going forward, including the unbeaten Winker Watson, winner of the Group Two July Stakes last time out, and Declaration Of War, second to Rio De La Plata in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on October 7. The Gone West colt Amaakin has yet to be seen on a racecourse but is already as low as 20/1 for next yearís 2,000 Guineas.
Other interesting contenders include the Henry Cecil-trained Kandahar Run, the ready winner of a mile Doncaster maiden in September, and Fifteen Love, trained by Roger Charlton, who landed a seven-furlong novice event in pleasing style at Salisbury on October 3.
TRACK IN GOOD ORDER AT DONCASTER
The track at Doncaster is in great condition ahead of the Racing Post Trophy Meeting on Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27.
David Williams, Estates Manager at Doncaster Racecourse, said: "The ground has recovered very well after the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival.
"There is an excellent covering of grass and the track is in good order. The response from owners and trainers was second to none and we are now looking forward to the Racing Post Trophy."