Dascome hopes Panther can pounce in Freer
Friday 17 August 2012
By Ashley Wishaw
Trainer Tom Dascombe hopes Brown Panther can go one better in the Saturday's Betfred "The Bonus King" Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.
Last season's St Leger runner-up was below-par on his seasonal return in Chester's Ormonde Stakes, but bounced back with victory at Pontefract and a creditable seventh in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
"He came out of Ascot bouncing and fresh and didn't lose much weight. It's an interesting little race. Our horse was second in it as a three-year-old and it would be nice if he could go one place better," said Cheshire-based Dascombe.
"I've been really happy with him since the King George. He actually came out of that race better than he did his previous race,"
"He's not a horse you have to worry about too much regarding ground. He ran very well in the Leger on very fast ground and handled very soft ground in Germany. We have to go into Saturday pretty hopeful."
Brown Panther has been installed as the 2-1 favourite by William Hill, who make Luca Cumani's Mount Athos the 9-4 second favourite.
Cumani is targeting a top-three finish for Mount Athos with the Melbourne Cup in mind.
He said: "I've been told his weight would not be high enough to get into the (Melbourne Cup) field because there are so many horses going from Europe that are rated a bit higher than him.
"In order to make sure we get in, we need something more."
The former Sir Michael Stoute-trained Modun made his debut for Saeed bin Suroor in last year's Melbourne Cup, finishing last of the 23 runners.
He has his third start since then here and trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "He is a horse who has disappointed us in the past but his last piece of work was very good."
William Hill - Geoffrey Freer Stakes: 2 Brown Panther, 9-4 Mount Athos, 4 Masked Marvel, 7 Harris Tweed, 10 Modun, 14 Arrigo, 100 Dartford. Each-way 1/4 1,2