Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Brigadier Gerard Stakes

View from connections ahead of Thursday's Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.

Danadana: Ground concerns
Danadana: Ground concerns

The winner of three good handicaps last season, Danadana took his game to another level with an impressive last-to-first run when making a winning seasonal return in the Huxley Stakes at Chester earlier this month.
Luca Cumani is hoping conditions at Sandown do not deteriorate ahead of Danadana's bid for glory in the Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
He gives weight to each of his five opponents on Thursday - including last year's Investec Derby runner-up Main Sequence - and Cumani admits his charge may need to improve again to get back in the winner's enclosure.
"All has been good since Chester, the horse is very well," said Cumani.
"I am just hoping the ground isn't too soft. If it is like it was at Chester, that would be OK, but he wouldn't want it much deeper.
"This could be a tougher assignment with the penalty he has to carry, so we'll see what happens."
Cumani is keen to get this Group Three assignment out of the way before committing to future targets.
"Let's take it one step at a time," said the Newmarket-based Italian.
Trainer David Lanigan is also keeping his fingers crossed Sandown misses the rain ahead of Main Sequence's second appearance of the season.
The four-year-old was favourite to make a winning comeback in the Buckhounds Stakes at Ascot earlier this month - his first start since being gelded - but he was ultimately well held in third behind Ektihaam and Thomas Chippendale.
Lanigan is confident his charge will be a different animal at Sandown, provided conditions are in his favour.
"He came out of his race at Ascot very well and he needed the run badly that day," said the Upper Lambourn handler.
"I was very pleased with how he ran. We knew the two horses that finished ahead of him had already had a run and if you'd asked me where he'd finish before the race, I would have said he'd finish third.
"He was very fresh and I think he'll come on a lot for the run.
"He's coming back in trip, but it's a stiff 10 furlongs at Sandown and hopefully it won't inconvenience him too much.
"I just hope the rain stays away."
Clive Brittain is keen on the chances of Miblish, who encountered a troubled passage when fourth behind Danadana in the Huxley Stakes.
"I think we were very unlucky not to win at Chester, but you can get stuck there," said the veteran Newmarket handler.
"He came out of the race in good form and I think he's going to Sandown with a good, solid chance."
Mukhadram is an interesting contender for William Haggas, for whom he makes his first appearance since finishing a creditable fifth in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket in late September.
Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, expects the four-year-old to improve for the run.
Gold said: "He was working well early in the season and then he had a minor hold-up which set him back a couple of weeks, but he's ready to run now.
"He is a big, gross horse and William thinks he will need the run, but obviously we'd like to get him to Royal Ascot and we badly need to get a run in.
"William has always said if he stays a mile and a half he could be a very good horse.
"Richard Hills rode him work the other day and thinks a mile and a quarter is far enough for the time being, but I think he could get a mile and a half eventually.
"We always felt he would be a better horse as a four-year-old, so we're looking forward to seeing him start back."
The field is completed by Marcus Tregoning's Boom And Bust and the Clifford Lines-trained outsider Proud Chieftain.


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