Cambridgeshire preview: Menuisier hoping Blue is the colour

Fri 29 Sep 2017

By Racinguk.com staff

David Menuisier is quite relaxed about being responsible for Thundering Blue, the ante-post favourite for Saturday's Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket.

The Pulborough handler reports his in-form four-year-old, who goes for one of the toughest handicaps in the calendar on the back of a hat-trick of victories, to be at the top of his game.

If Menuisier is slightly worried about anything, it is the simple matter of dropping down a furlong, after those successes came over a mile and a quarter.

"The horse is in very good form and I don't think the ground will be a problem," said Menuisier. "The only question mark is how he will handle coming back in trip, but at least it is a straight nine furlongs and they should go quick.

"It's great to go for a race like the Cambridgeshire with a horse who is the favourite, but I don't feel any pressure.

"We are very happy with how the horse is going into the race, he has a very good turn of foot and we are looking forward to it."

Mick Appleby could not have Big Country in better shape as his progressive campaigner returns to action for the fist time since finishing second to Ballet Concerto in the John Smith's Cup at Newmarket in July,

"He is in good order. I think the ground has hopefully come right for him and I think he has got a decent draw in 17," said the Rutland handler.

"He has got all the pace around him and hopefully he will be able to latch on to a few of the front-runners and get a nice tow into the race. The drop back in trip should be all right for him, as they always go quick.

"He is in good order, he had a work around Southwell a couple of weeks ago and worked very well."

Andrew Balding's two runners are drawn on opposite sides of the course, with Naval Warfare in stall three and Brorocco exiting from 33.

"They are different types of horses," said the Kingsclere handler.

Listen to Oisin Murphy, jockey of Naval Warfare

"Naval Warfare is a grand horse. He's run just one bad race in his whole life. He's a perfectly honest horse. He's very solid and he wouldn't mind if there was more rain as he likes to get his toe in a bit.

"Brorocco has been a bit unlucky this year not to have won more than he has. It was a good performance last time (at Newbury). Everything fell right for him. He does need things to go right in this, but he's a horse at the right end of the weights with a lot of ability.

"They are drawn on opposite sides of the track and hopefully if they run their race, they can go well."

Owners Al Shaqab Racing are doubly represented by the Hugo Palmer-trained Qassem and El Hayem from Sir Michael Stoute's stable.

"We've had El Hayem ready to run twice since his last race, but he had a niggle before Chelmsford and the ground went against him at Ascot," said racing manager Harry Herbert. "I think this is a race Sir Michael had targeted for him either way.

Listen to Josephine Gordon, rider of Qassem

"Qassem ran a really good race at York and I think Hugo has had this race in mind since. It's great to have two horses going for a race like this and they appear to have the right profile."

Henry Spiller reports Leader Writer in fine shape after the former French-trained gelding won for the first time in two and a half years at Ascot on his third start since joining the Newmarket trainer.

"I'm very happy with the horse's preparation for the race," said Spiller. "I think he's improved again since Ascot. It did the horse's confidence a world of good winning a race. He hadn't won for a quite a long time.

"Any further rain would be appreciated and the trip shouldn't be a problem. He's a big, strong-travelling horse. He's up a furlong in trip, but he wasn't stopping over a mile at Ascot. I think a strong pace over a mile and one will suit him better."

Saeed bin Suroor is happy with Carry On Deryck as last year's runner-up bids to go one better. 

"Carry On Deryck is doing well. He was second last year and has gone on to run good races at Group level. This is the right race for him in terms of trip and course and we are looking for another good result from him," he said.

"Very Talented physically looks much better compared to last year. This will be his first start for a year, but he has been working well and is ready to go."

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