Riley Mott ‘extremely happy’ as Long On Value ‘totally relaxed’ with Royal Ascot surroundings
Newmarket, England// Connections believe that American raider Long On Value is in much better form than he was when touched off in Dubai in March ahead of his bid for next week’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Long On Value left the United States on Tuesday and had his first sighter of the myriad gallops at Newmarket on Thursday under the watchful eye of Riley Mott, son and assistant of Dubai World Cup-winning handler Bill.
Long On Value cantered about four furlongs en route to a leisurely leg stretch over a straight mile on the famous Limekilns gallop under Megan Johnston.
Many international horses have found the tranquil surroundings of Abington Place, where Mike de Kock houses his Dubai World Cup Carnival horses in transit from South Africa to Dubai, beneficial and Long On Value is clearly no different.
“He is a very relaxed horse and at home he is great,” Mott told The National. “In Dubai walking from the international quarantine centre to the Meydan track he got a bit warm and a little keen for whatever reason and he never quite got over that during his stint there.
“Compared to what we saw today he is completely different. He was totally relaxed and at one with his surroundings. I am extremely happy by how he handled it today. So far we are very happy.”
Long On Value came from the rear of the field with what appeared to be a winning run in the 1,200-metre Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan only to be held off by The Right Man by a nose.
The two are set to clash again over the same distance in the Group 1 sprint, in which Godolphin’s Jungle Cat, is also entered.
No World Cup night sprint winner has kicked on to win at Royal Ascot, although several have tried. When Shea Shea and Ortensia won the 1,000m Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in 2013 and 2012 respectively, they were pointed at Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes over the same distance and finished second and ninth. JJ The Jet Plane won the last Al Quoz Sprint at Nad Al Sheba in 2009, over 1,200m, and he ran a huge race to finish fourth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Krypton Factor, who won the Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2012, was sixth to Black Caviar months later in the Diamond Jubilee.
Paul Messara, Ortensia’s trainer, made sure his filly arrived in Newmarket in good time after her Al Quoz win so that he could build up her muscles to better tackle Ascot’s rising finish, which is 20m higher than at the start.
All Long On Value’s form has been on flat tracks so his ability to handle Ascot’s rising ground has to be taken on trust, although he has won twice at Graded level in America over 1,600m or further.
“I think the horse will either take to it or he wont,” Mott said. “At this stage there is not much we can do. We weren’t sure how he would handle the straight in Dubai, but he handled it.
“Obviously an incline is a totally different story. There is a gallop here called the Golden Mile that has an incline, so we are aiming to have our last work over that.”
Long On Value, who will be ridden at Ascot by Joel Rosario, was part of a huge US raiding party headed by subsequent World Cup winner Arrogate that descended on Dubai in March, and he will form part of America’s biggest ever challenge of 14 horses next week.
A year on from Tepin’s sensational victory in the Queen Anne Stakes, Todd Pletcher is pointing American Patriot at the same race.
Graham Motion is to decide between running Miss Temple City either in the Queen Anne or the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, while Tepin’s trainer, Mark Casse, is bringing over turf specialist La Coronel for next Friday’s Coronation Stakes.
That is in addition to Wesley Ward’s 10 horses, who worked at Ascot on Wednesday.
American Patriot also worked on the Limekilns on Thursday and assistant trainer Ginny DePasquale is dreaming of her stable maintaining its astonishing form this past month.
Pletcher won the Kentucky Derby last month with Always Dreaming and then followed up last weekend with Tapwrit’s Belmont Stakes victory.
“Winning the Kentucky Derby, which is the real premier race of the United States for three year olds, and then the Belmont Stakes means it has been an amazing six weeks for the stable,” she said. “We are hoping American Patriot runs the best he can. Winning at Royal Ascot is very prestigious – the ultimate racing in the world as far as we are concerned – so it would definitely be a feather in our cap.
“This is our second trip to Royal Ascot – we came with two horses six years ago – and we will give it a shot when we have the right horse or horses.”
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Updated: June 15, 2017 04:00 AM