Horse Racing: Smart stayer hoping for rain ahead of Gold Cup

Tac De Boistron.
Tac De Boistron.
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LAST year’s Yorkshire Cup runner-up Tac De Boistron is being aimed at an autumn campaign by trainer Marco Botti – irrespective of whether he runs in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot which begins two weeks on Tuesday.

The smart stayer will be aimed at races such as the Irish St Leger, the Prix du Cadran and the Prix Royal-Oak when he returns from a summer break.

Botti is praying for rain so Tac De Boistron can take his chance in the Gold Cup on June 18, especially after he was a late withdrawal from the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier at Longchamp on Sunday because the ground had dried out.

“We will wait for Ascot now after missing Longchamp,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“We didn’t enter him at Sandown (for the Henry II Stakes on Thursday) because we decided it was one or the other.

“We will see what happens with the ground. If it is too quick we will take our time and wait for the Irish St Leger and races like that.

“I don’t want to keep him in fast work all the summer with the uncertainty of the ground.

“He has a lot of options in the latter part of the season – the Irish St Leger, the Cadran and the Prix Royal-Oak.

“The Gold Cup is three weeks away, so we will keep him fit and see what happens with the weather at Ascot.”

Tac De Boistron is a 16-1 shot for the Gold Cup for which Dermot Weld’s unbeaten Forgotten Rules is all the rage at 9-4 favourite.

Brown Panther is next best at 8-1, ahead of Mizzou at 9s.

One horse who will definitely miss Royal Ascot is Richard Pankhurst who has had his seasonal comeback delayed even further.

The John Gosden-trained three-year-old was lined up to make his long-awaited return in the St James’s Palace Stakes, having been forced to miss the 2000 Guineas after suffering a problem in his hind quarter just days before his prep race in the Craven Stakes.

Goldolphin’s colt will now be taken out of the St James’s Palace, for which he was a general 16-1 chance, after taking longer than expected to recover from the setback.

The Newmarket handler said: “Richard Pankhurst won’t make Royal Ascot this year but we hope to have him back on track in the second half of the season.”

Richard Pankhurst has not been seen since winning the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot last June.