Tony Coyle has Caspian Prince in Flying form for Curragh date

Fri 8 Sep 2017

Tony Coyle is dreaming of a possible trip to America should Caspian Prince do the business in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

The Breeders' Cup Sprint at Del Mar on November 4 is the ultimate objective for the eight-year-old speedster, who took the scalp of subsequent Nunthorpe Stakes heroine Marsha on his last trip to the Curragh in the Sapphire Stakes in July.

Coyle said: "He's in good order, he's ready to go and he's in good form. He looks well and he's working well so it's all systems go."

The Malton-based handler added: "We gave him a break and he was never going to go to York for the Nunthorpe. He doesn't seem to like it there. He's been there twice and not run very well.

"It's a serious pot at the Curragh and he goes on any ground, but we would rather have it firm. He rattles off it.

"If he wins on Sunday, he'll go to America for the Breeders' Cup. It's a win-and-you're-in race.

"That's why he's not even entered for the Prix de l'Abbaye. He can't do all three races. There's the quarantine as well. That's the plan."

Hit The Bid is another horse refreshed after having an easy time since finishing a creditable fourth behind Caspian Prince in the Sapphire Stakes.  

Trainer Darren Bunyan said: "He's had a break after the last day and he's improved again. The horse is in better shape than he's ever been.

"For a three-year-old sprinter doing the things he's done, it just shows you the level where he's going to be next year.

"The three-year-old year is usually a wipe-out for proper five-furlong horses and he's doing things he shouldn't be doing."

The field of 12 is headed by Caravaggio, who is on a retrieval mission following defeats in the July Cup and the Prix Maurice de Gheest since he lifted the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

His trainer Aidan O'Brien is strongly represented in the other Group Two contest on the card, the Moyglare "Jewels" Blandford Stakes.

Ballydoyle inmate Seventh Heaven reappears having been absent since winning the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in early May. 

O'Brien also calls upon Alluringly and Rain Goddess from his three-year-old fillies' division.

Luca Cumani's Rosental, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Smart Call and Sea Of Grace from William Haggas' stable fly the flag for the UK.

Sea Of Grace gained a comfortable and well-deserved Listed success at Haydock after fine efforts in the French 1000 Guineas and the Falmouth Stakes. 

Haggas told At The Races: "It will be a strong race, but I'm really looking forward to running her, especially over a mile and a quarter.

"She's in great form, I really couldn't have her better and I think she might find improvement, which she might need, over this trip.

"The one thing she has done is being on it early in her races so we've spent a lot of time trying to get her to relax, which we think we've managed, and soft ground is very important to her.

"If she relaxes and breathes properly, she'll have a good kick. She's going to run here and hopefully the Prix de l'Opera, and then we'll see about something else."

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