Morrison hopeful of big Medici bid
Thursday 11 October 2012
Hughie Morrison feels Cosimo De Medici could have sneaked under the radar ahead of the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket on Saturday.
This time 12 months ago the Medicean gelding was heading for the marathon event as one of the more fancied runners, having won the Cesarewitch Trial over the same course and distance three weeks earlier.
He could fare no better than 16th last season, but Morrison believes that came at the end of a busy campaign and, as a result, he has kept him purposefully fresh this time around by giving him only three runs.
"He had a busy year last year and lost his edge so we're hoping to get him there in the same sort of form in which he won twice there last season, including the trial," said Morrison.
"I think he'd want it soft to be at his best. It's not raining in Newmarket now but it is half an hour down the road, so there is rain about. His last run was decent enough and that was deep ground like you'd never get at Newmarket, I think he struggled in it a bit but he ran a nice little trial and I hope that put him straight for this.
"He ran a nice race first time out this season but came back all wrong after Ascot, he wasn't right in himself so you can put a line through that run. If he runs his race I'm confident he'll be involved."
John Quinn's Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame made a winning return to the Flat at Chester last month, picking up a 4lb penalty that guaranteed him a place in the field. Jimmy Quinn is booked to ride from stall seven and he has hardened as favourite this week.
"Countrywide Flame is very well in himself and we are very happy with him," said Malton-based Quinn.
Market rival Hurricane Higgins is drawn in stall 19 for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning, while Irish raider Olympiad is even higher in 33. Other leading contenders in a wide-open contest include Motivado (13), Aidan O'Brien's I Have A Dream (36) and Tominator (3), who has his first start for trainer Jonjo O'Neill.
The top weight and 2010 Cesarewitch hero Aaim To Prosper is drawn lowest of all in stall one. Connections of Montaser (20) face an anxious wait to see if he will make the field as he is currently first reserve.