x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Trainer Derek Cruz concerned rain could spoil it for Joy And Fun

There are worries Tuesday's King's Stand Stakes will likely be run on ground worse than good due to rain.

Joy and Fun will run in the King's Stand Stakes at Newmarket. Pawan Singh / The National
Joy and Fun will run in the King's Stand Stakes at Newmarket. Pawan Singh / The National

NEWMARKET, ENGLAND // Derek Cruz led the chorus today over concerns at the state of the going for the international sprint challengers during Royal Ascot next week.

Cruz saddles Joy And Fun in the King's Stand Stakes at the Royal Meeting on Tuesday, when his nine year old renews rivalry with Ortensia, who won the Al Quoz sprint in March.

Joy And Fun missed the break in Dubai, and according to the Trakkus data at Meydan Racecourse he covered four metres further than the winner and was the only horse to break 70kph during the race.

Although Britain was bathed in rare sunshine yesterday Tuesday's Group 1 sprint is likely to be run on ground worse than good.

"When I turned up in England it was raining," Cruz said today. "If it rains really heavily we have no hope, but the horse is really well in himself and he should run a good race for sure."

Joy And Fun has never won over five furlongs, but came within a whisker of success in January over the minimum distance when second to Eagle Regiment by a neck at Sha Tin in Hong Kong.

"That day we lost by a small margin and it was raining that day. He ran a great race and this horse tries so hard.

"When he ran in Singapore in the Krisflyer Sprint [two years ago] it rained before that race as well and he was sixth."

Paul Messara also had concerns about easier going for Ortensia, and Fawzi Nass echoed those sentiments with regards to Krypton Factor's bid to dislodge Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee on Saturday week but Chris Stickels, the clerk of the course at Ascot, maintained that there was more rain to come.

"We had 55mm of rain between Sunday and Tuesday," Stickels said. "The track has taken it really well but it was good to soft on the straight course.

"We could have another 20mm by the end of the weekend so it looks like the meeting will start slightly easier than good."

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