Trainer Fawzi Nass is quietly confident that Krypton Factor can turn the tables on his Royal Ascot conquerors in the July Cup on Saturday afternoon at Newmarket.
Horse racing: Krypton Factor plans to hit back in July Cup
Newmarket, England // Fawzi Nass is quietly confident that Krypton Factor can turn the tables on his Royal Ascot conquerors in the July Cup on Saturday afternoon.
The 2012 Dubai Golden Shaheen hero faces a daunting task in the Group One contest, which features five other Group 1 winners in the field of 12 runners.
Krypton Factor finished on the heels of the front-running Lethal Force and Society Rock at Royal Ascot this past month in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes having had a troubled preparation but has been given a clean bill of health by Nass, his Bahraini trainer.
Alongside that trio in the six furlong race is Mike De Kock's Shea Shea, who was edged out of the King's Stand Stakes, run over five furlongs at Ascot, by Sole Power, his old rival who finished behind him in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan Racecourse in March.
Other notable runners are Havelock from America, Shamexpress from Australia and Aidan O'Brien's Gale Force Ten from Ireland in what is one of the most cosmopolitan fields assembled in Europe's joint-most valuable sprint at £500,000 (Dh2.75 million).
"He is in very good form, although this is one of the toughest races he has faced" Nass said at Newmarket yesterday, having saddled Punk to finish down the field in a maiden.
"If everything goes his way it is possible to overturn Ascot. There is a lot more pace this time. Lethal Force will not get such an easy lead as there are a few other speedsters in the race.
"Krypton Factor likes to run off a fast pace so that should really help him."
Nass is not the only one who fancies his charge to gain revenge. De Kock took the defeat gracefully at Royal Ascot but the South African's eyes gave away his disappointment.
Shea Shea simply ran out of running partners in the final furlong under Christophe Soumillon and was scythed down by Sole Power in the final strides.
"He ran a cracking race at Ascot, but he's a hold-up horse," the South African said. "He likes to go at them and when he gets in front he likes to prick his ears and relax. He did that in Dubai and when Christophe stopped riding him he put the brakes on straight away. He's the type of horse that wants a challenge."
Shea Shea beat the subsequent Group 1 winner August Rush over six furlongs in a Grade 1 at Scottsville in 2011 and has proven form at Listed level over seven furlongs at Turffontein.
Despite this there remains a question mark as to whether Shea Shea will stay an extra furlong up a more sustained incline than at Ascot, but De Kock had few hesitations.
"We have to delay his challenge as late as possible," he added. "He likes to do that and plus we are going an extra furlong. He has won at that trip but not at this level.
"He's pretty good at five furlongs, six is uncharted territory at that level but we have to hold him up and Christophe is going to have to hold his nerve for as long as possible."
BUICK GETS WIN AND A 3-DAY BAN FOR WHIP USE
Newmarket, England// Elusive Kate held on to win the Falmouth Stakes from Sky Lantern by a neck on Friday but the result was not without controversy.
William Buick elected to set the pace on Elusive Kate with Richard Hughes in his slipstream on Sky Lantern.
Buick kicked for home two furlongs from home but Elusive Kate started to drift off the rail markedly and carried Sky Lantern into the middle of the track.
At the post there was only a neck in it, and replays of the Group 1 race showed that Buick's whip struck Sky Lantern's nose in the driving finish.
The stewards' inquiry continued for at least 15 minutes in which Hughes argued his case cogently and although Buick received a three-day ban for careless riding the result stood, much to Hughes's chagrin.
"I thought I had a chance [in the stewards' room]," Hughes said. "I'm waving the white flag because the other horse is under my nose and there's nothing I can do.
"She got whipped in the face as well. It's a shame, as she's the one who has the bad habit [hanging] and I'm the sufferer."
The two fillies could meet once again in the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown in September.
Godolphin flew the flag for the UAE on the second day of the July meeting when Saeed Bin Suroor saddled two maiden winners in the form of the two-year-old True Story, who appears to be a miler for the future, and Urban Dance, a three-year-old colt who won on his first start over ten furlongs.
The Group 1 UK Purebred Arabian Derby was won by Djet Taouy from Muntasar and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid's Sivit Al Maury.
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