Media Hype seeking Ebor penalty
Wednesday 25 July 2012
By Ashley Wishaw
Media Hype could run at Deauville next week in an effort to get into the Betfred Ebor at York on August 25.
The son of Tiger Hill looked as though he might be suited by the Ebor trip when a staying-on third in the John Smith's Cup over an extended mile and a quarter on the track earlier this month.
The five-year-old has been allotted 8st 7lbs but trainer Elaine Burke hopes to pick up a 4lb penalty by winning a Listed race in France on Thursday week to help her charge’s chances of making the cut for Europe’s most valuable handicap.
“The weights are out for the Ebor. We'll have a look at them and if it looks like we need a penalty, then it's a good opportunity to get that plus it's just over a mile and a half, so the step up in trip will give us a chance to have a look at him over further,” Burke said.
“At this stage he'll probably need a penalty to get in, but he's not a definite runner in the Ebor. He's in and it's one of the options."
There are only 20 places due to restrictions and after a total entry of 108 today, numerous connections are having to look at alternative targets for their horses..
Highclere Stud are once such operation who are unlikely to have any runners after Valiant was give 7st 11 and Conduct failed to qualify.
Valiant has raced just three times but having been beaten 11 lengths by Shantaram last time out Galileo colt needed another run to get higher up the ratings.
“It doesn't look like Valiant is going to run,” Harry Herbert, racing manager at Highclere, said. “We are looking at dropping back to a mile and a quarter and going for a race at Goodwood next week, so at this stage we are unlikely to have any runners in the Ebor."
Conduct is also lightly-raced but the five-year-old has had ongoing injury problems and has yet to be allotted a handicap mark after only two runs for Sir Michael Stoute.
"Conduct had a tendon issue and we had to get a third run into him so that he was qualified to run in a heritage handicap,” Herbert added, in an interview with the Racing Post. “That was before the end of the last week but due to the bottomless ground we were not able to do that so I think you can rule him out of the Ebor now as he is not qualified."
Ante-post favourite Camborne has been given 9st 6lb for the 1m6f handicap.
The John Gosden-trained four-year-old was seen as a potential contender for the prestigious mile-and-three-quarters handicap when sailing to victory in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot. Gosden has a useful second string to his bow in Zuider Zee, winner of the November Handicap at Doncaster last autumn. High Jinx, who is also at the head of the market, has been allotted 9st 1lb. James Fanshawe's charge was runner-up to Mount Athos over the course and distance on his latest start.
Mount Athos heads the weights, but trainer Luca Cumani is unlikely to ask him to carry 10st 2lb and instead has his sights set on the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington in November. However, Cumani would still have a serious runner in Qahriman (8st 10lb) and also possibly Fiery Lad (9st 2lb).
Hammerfest (8st 13lb), trained in France by John Hammond, showed he deserved a chance at the Ebor when second to Camborne at Royal Ascot. Chantilly-based Alain de Royer-Dupre is also considering this race for Shahwardi (9st 9lb). After Danedream's success in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, the Waldemar Hickst-trained Lacateno (9st 5lb) could try to bring more glory for Germany.
Irish trainers are strongly represented with Dermot Weld having what would be a strong candidate in Galileo's Choice (9st 10lb), who had Jessica Harrington's Steps To Freedom (9st 9lb) back in third when winning at Leopardstown last week.
Simenon (9st 6lb), who completed the Ascot Stakes/Queen Alexandra double at the Royal meeting last month could try to give County Carlow maestro Willie Mullins a second Ebor triumph after Sesenta's win in 2009. Blackstairmountain (8st 8lb) is also a Mullins entry.
Number Theory (8st 11lb) has been a revelation for Leicestershire trainer John Holt and the Old Newton Cup winner could be headed for the Knavesmire.
Ebor Stakes - Betfred: 8 Qahriman, Camborne, 10 High Jinx, Simeon, 12 Hammerfest, Number Theory, Father OF Science, 14 Warwick Avenue, Blackstairmountain, 16 Ursa Major, Zuider Zee, Drive Time