Flame aiming to burn off Ces rivals
Friday 12 October 2012
John Quinn's Countrywide Flame will attempt to emulate the feat of Detroit City in 2006 by supplementing his Triumph Hurdle success at Cheltenham with victory in the Betfred Cesarewitch in the same year.
Countrywide Flame was a surprise winner of the juvenile hurdle championship in March but he has since proved that it was no fluke, going down with all guns blazing at Aintree when second to Grumeti and has since defied a 12lb higher mark when he returned to the Flat sphere at Chester on his only start this summer.
Quinn said: "We were expecting him to run well at Chester. If he hadn't run well we wouldn't be heading to Newmarket, but we were expecting a good run because he had been training well going into the race. He has been in good form since and we have been very happy with him."
He added: "He is going up in trip but I think he will get it all right and the ground shouldn't be a bother to him."
Some may believe master trainer Dermot Weld is on the verge of pulling off a long-held plan with his easy York winner Olympiad, but Barry Simpson, racing manager to owner Sir Robert Ogden has stressed that is not the case.
He said: "He's been a big, backward horse, that's why he's only had five runs. People might look at him and think it's all been a big plot, but I can assure you it hasn't.
"We only started to think of running him in this after he won at York. If it's absolutely bottomless, there'd be a question mark about him running but with it being his last run of the season, I can't see us pulling out."