Melbourne Cup off the agenda for Giavellotto

By Sports Desk September 21, 2023

Giavellotto will head to Qipco Champions Day or be put away until next season after connections shelved the idea of having a tilt at this year’s Melbourne Cup.

A narrow winner of the Yorkshire Cup in the spring, Marco Botti’s stable star has since finished fifth in the Goodwood Cup and third in the Lonsdale Cup back at York last month.

Given Giavellotto’s preference for a sound surface, a trip to Australia appeared an attractive proposition – but with the stringent veterinary checks required to contest the Flemington showpiece seemingly a factor, he will not contest the ‘race that stops a nation’ in early November.

“He’s in good form and has come out of the race at York in fine shape, but we’re not going to Australia,” said Botti.

“There were a few niggling problems and it’s not going to happen this year unfortunately. He’s fine, but there were concerns we might get him there and he wouldn’t be able to run or whatever, so we just decided bypass it for this year.

“Hopefully next year if we still have him and everything is going well then we can think about it as the Melbourne Cup is a race the owners would love to go for, and the race and the track would suit him as he seems to go on left-handed tracks.”

With the Melbourne Cup ruled out, the only viable option left for Giavellotto this season is the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup on October 21, but the prospect of demanding conditions at Ascot is an obvious concern.

“We’ll keep an eye on the weather as he will only go to Ascot if the ground is not too soft. Good to soft is fine, but he wouldn’t want to run on anything softer than that,” Botti added.

“If he doesn’t go to Ascot we’ll just put him away for the winter.

“We haven’t discussed plans for next year with the owners yet. I wouldn’t rule out going back to Dubai World Cup night for the Gold Cup, but let’s see how he winters and how he is after a nice break.”

Related items

  • Derham delighted with Queens Gamble progress Derham delighted with Queens Gamble progress

    Queens Gamble is set to continue her hurdling education at Newbury over the Christmas period, with Harry Derham keen to run her in handicap company as he builds up her experience over obstacles.

    A high-class bumper performer when trained by Oliver Sherwood, she made it two from two over timber on her first run for Derham, winning comfortably in the hands of Johnny Burke at Kempton.

    A step up to Listed company at Newbury had been mooted following that triumph, but although connections are still planning to head to the Berkshire track next, they have decided to test the waters in a handicap on the course’s December 30 card.

    “She’s fine, everything is well and there are no problems at all,” said Derham.

    “As I said on the day at Kempton, Newbury was an option but I wasn’t going to commit to it and we brought her home and all of us thought about it and we’re going to run her in a handicap on Challow Hurdle day.

    “It’s a 0-125 and we think some experience in a handicap hurdle will help her. That’s our plan and she’s very well and we’re very happy with her. She won well at Kempton and hopefully she will keep progressing.”

    The ultimate aim for Queens Gamble will be a return to the Cheltenham Festival and Derham will test progressive Newbury scorer Young Butler’s suitability for a spot on the teamsheet for March when he lines up at Prestbury Park on New Year’s Day.

    Having won a Pertemps qualifier on his stable bow, Young Butler has the series final on his radar for the spring, but one horse set for an easy period is the Andy Mitchell-owned Dargiannini, who suffered a setback following his third win for the Derham operation at Kempton recently.

    “Dargiannini had a bit of a setback. He was fine after the race, then about a week after the race he went lame,” said the handler.

    “He’s having a bit of time off and hopefully he will come right in a couple of weeks. We’re just going to have to bide our time a little bit with him, which is a shame because he has been an absolute superstar for me and won three races in under a year and been great.

    “I wouldn’t think the Pertemps would be an option. Three miles round Cheltenham wouldn’t suit him. We tried three miles in the spring round Haydock, which is a much easier track, and Paul (O’Brien) didn’t think he got home, so round Cheltenham it will be much more difficult.”

    Derham went on: “We are hoping Young Butler, who won a Pertemps qualifier at Newbury, could be a Pertemps horse.

    “He’s going to run at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day to see if he likes it and can act round there. If he does, then he could be a candidate for the Pertemps and is at the right end of the handicap.

    “Poor Dargiannini is 143 now, which will make life really tough, but Young Butler is off 126 and he could still have a bit of improvement in his rating.”

  • Fahey eyeing Festival handicaps with The Big Doyen Fahey eyeing Festival handicaps with The Big Doyen

    Peter Fahey is targeting the Cheltenham Festival with The Big Doyen following an encouraging performance at the track during the November Meeting.

    The six-year-old has banked plenty of experience over hurdles and has been an improver since stepping up in trip in his most recent starts, winning at Galway in the summer before placing at both Limerick in October and when outstayed by two useful prospects in a Grade Two at Prestbury Park last time out.

    His handler has taken plenty of positives from that raiding mission and is now eyeing a return to Gloucestershire in the spring for a tilt at one of the Festival handicaps, with a drop back in trip for the County Hurdle a plausible option.

    “He ran a very good race (at Cheltenham) and what I really liked was how well he settled,” said Fahey.

    “He settled really well and it looked like he was just outstayed in the race.

    “He took the travelling over there really well and hopefully we can aim him back at one of the handicaps there during the Festival.”

    The trainer went on: “Even the County Hurdle (would be an option) because even though he was very keen in all his races (previously) over two miles, the way he jumped and travelled the last day, at two miles I think he was going best of all.

    “He definitely had more pace than his rivals that day and just didn’t get home.

    “I think definitely over there when it is a true run race, I think two miles might be as far as he wants.

    “He will have plenty of options and he will definitely have an entry in the Martin Pipe as well, and we will see what happens.”

    In the immediate future, Fahey is considering a tilt at the Grade One Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 27 and although he could face a stern test, it is a race that could allow The Big Doyen to add to his prize-money haul.

    “At the moment, we have done an entry and we’re just looking at how things are between now and then,” continued Fahey.

    “There is a good chance he will run there and he has a good bit of experience and it isn’t usually the biggest of fields. So, if he could get himself placed, he could pick up a good lump of prize-money and that would be great.

    “But I do think the future for him would be in those good handicaps.”

  • Cannock Park set to face Aintree test Cannock Park set to face Aintree test

    Cannock Park is set to have his sights raised over the Christmas period when he heads to Aintree for the Formby Novices’ Hurdle.

    The exciting prospect, who is the star of Borders handler Paul Robson’s fledgling string, was a convincing bumper winner at Bangor in October before immediately switching his attentions to timber and making a successful hurdling debut at Cheltenham the following month.

    He downed some well-regarded opponents when making all at Prestbury Park and Robson is confident that there is more to come following an interrupted build-up to his jumping bow.

    The handler is now keen to test the five-year-old’s big-race capabilities in Aintree’s Boxing Day Grade One, the feature of their newly-created Christmas meeting.

    “He didn’t have the easiest of run-ups to the race, he had a small infection in his leg and he had a bit of an accident two or three weeks before,” explained Robson.

    “He missed two or three weeks’ work going into Cheltenham, so I think there is definitely improvement to come on his fitness and he’s come back from Cheltenham all OK.

    “I imagine we will now run him in what was the Tolworth at Aintree, I think a flat track will suit him best.”

    In the immediate aftermath of Cannock Park’s Cheltenham victory, Robson was keen to keep things low-key and head to Wetherby for a simple novice event before thinking of bigger things.

    However, a second look at the fixture list and an urge to find out just what is lurking under the exciting youngster’s bonnet has seen the lofty festive target enter the picture and a race that could help map out the rest of the gelding’s season.

    Robson continued: “Looking at the race at Cheltenham, we think a flat track is going to be a lot better for his attributes and when we started looking at the programme, there wasn’t actually a race at Wetherby, funnily enough.

    “When we looked at the calendar and saw the Tolworth had been moved to Aintree, it gives him a good chance to go there.

    “I think we are right to say we would be dreaming to think he is a Supreme horse on the back of winning a Class Two maiden hurdle at Cheltenham, I think he certainly has to go and run in a high grade of race now to give us the nod whether he was good or not.

    “Even if he was good enough, I think I would sidestep the Supreme and probably take him back to Aintree again in April – I think that would be more likely, but we will see.”

    Despite shaping with real promise over the smaller obstacles, it appears the old cliché of ‘anything he achieves over hurdles is a bonus’ applies to Cannock Park and his training team are already looking forward to when their point winner jumps a fence in 12 months’ time.

    “Before he ran at Cheltenham, we knew what we had and he was always going to be a better chaser than he was a hurdler – and the way he jumps would suggest that,” said Robson.

    “So, we’re just along for the ride this season unless he turns out to be extra special, but we will find out in the Tolworth.

    “He’s a very nice horse and we’re lucky to have him, he’s been a real find.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.