HAMBLETON trainer Kevin Ryan believes conditions are likely to favour The Grey Gatsby in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 10
The five-year-old needs fast ground to perform at his best and the going was yielding when he was sixth to Golden Horn in the 10-furlong showpiece last season.
The Grey Gatsby’s last victory came in the Irish Champion two years ago when he got the better of Australia.
Since then, he has been a regular at the top level without quite getting his head in front.
His latest effort came in the Juddmonte International when he was sixth to Postponed.
“He’s come out of his race at York really well,” said Ryan. “It looks like the ground is going to be okay for him in Ireland.
“He’s got a few good targets before the end of the year, so as long as the ground comes for him, hopefully he’ll get his head in front. Dermot Weld is concerned the ground is going to be quick for his horse (Harzand), so they know what the forecast is going to be over there for the next 10 days or so.
“It looks likely it’s going to be top of the ground.”
Danny Tudhope replaced Jamie Spencer at York, but who gets the leg-up in Ireland has yet to be decided.
Ryan said: “It’s a bit early to say who’s going to ride him. We’ll see who’s there. He’s a simple horse to ride. We’ll have to discuss that with Frank (Gillespie, owner).”
Connections are eyeing a trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup meeting for what could be The Grey Gatsby’s swansong before he retires to stud.
“We’re hoping to go to the Breeders’ Cup. We’d like to run him in the Arc, but it depends on the ground,” said the North Yorkshire handler. “I’ll have to discuss it with Frank, but I think this will possibly be his final season.”
HAYDOCK: 2.00 Arthur Mc Bride, 2.30 Roaring Character, 3.00 Alqamar, 3.30 Hanseatic, 4.00 Dark Emerald, 4.30 Stars Over The Sea, 5.00 Correggio (next best).
SALISBURY: 1.40 Deningy, 2.10 Inner Circle, 2.40 Contentment, 3.10 Argenterie, 3.40 Elliptical, 4.10 Stellarta, 4.40 SUNNY FUTURE (NAP), 5.10 Knight Of The Air (treble).
SEDGEFIELD: 2.20 Luccombe Down, 2.50 For Goodness Sake, 3.20 Blake Dean, 3.50 Gabrial The Great, 4.20 Prince Khurram, 4.50 Pixiepot, 5.20 Crakehall Lad.
CHELMSFORD: 5.40 Charlie Rascal, 6.10 Ray Donovan, 6.40 Schottische, 7.10 German Whip, 7.40 Buckland Beau, 8.10 Satish, 8.40 Sarsted, 9.10 Dream Dana.