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One for Royal Ascot 2010

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    <b class=”font-size-150″><b>Hayes thinks the world of Nicconi</b>

    By Robert Windmill – AAP

    MELBOURNE Sep 12 2009

    David Hayes has outlined an international program for Nicconi, hailing him as the best sprinter he has trained after a brilliant spring campaign launch at Moonee Valley.

    Hayes said Nicconi was his banner horse for the spring but was making long-range plans to take on the world’s best sprinters with the four-year-old in 2010.

    "He’s got a couple of Group Ones in his sights this spring but it is all about next autumn and going to Dubai (in March) and then Royal Ascot (in June)," Hayes said.

    "I think he is the best sprinter I have trained."

    Nicconi posted his first Group One win in The Galaxy in Sydney last autumn but made a stunning return on Saturday, flashing home from second last to win the Group Three McEwen Stakes (1000m).

    Hayes couldn’t hide his excitement after watching Nicconi "amble" up to the leaders and race away to a length win over Morgan Dollar and Secret Flyer.

    "I have a feeling that he is in for a very good spring," Hayes said.

    "He went around them pretty easily and I love horses when they amble up like that.

    "Normally they do that down in class, not up in class."

    Hayes said Nicconi would only be sparingly raced this spring with the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) under lights at Moonee Valley on September 25 his next assignment before the Group One Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the last day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.

    "It is very exciting," Hayes said.

    "He is two from two at the Valley and the way he raced today I think he will eat 1200 metres (in the Manikato). He will love it."

    Such was Hayes’ confidence on Saturday that he thought Nicconi might break Miss Andretti’s race record of 57.22s.

    With gale-force winds buffeting the track Nicconi went close with a time of 57.49s.

    Nicconi is a half-brother to Niconero whose five Group One wins include the Australian Cup (2000m) last March.

    Also prepared by Hayes, Niconero then finished fourth in the Dubai Duty Free (1800m).

    However, Hayes said Nicconi would be trained as a specialist sprinter and be aimed at a turf sprint in Dubai and races such as the Golden Jubilee and King’s Stand Stakes in England.

    "I think he can be invincible as a sprinter," Hayes said.

    • Total Posts 4293

    Williams dreams of Ascot

    4:00AM Tuesday Nov 04, 2008
    New Zealand Herald

    Leviathan Melbourne owner Lloyd Williams wants to turn the tables on the Europeans and target the 2010 Ascot Gold Cup with last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Efficient.

    Williams said it was

    his only international ambition

    and he believes Efficient, with his proven staying power, was the ideal type of horse for England’s famous 4000-metre race.

    "I would love to take Efficient over there for the Ascot Gold Cup," Williams told Fairfax Radio yesterday.

    "He would be perfect for the Ascot Gold Cup because when they race over 21/2 miles (4000m) they need to be pretty clean-winded.

    "I have had a lot of stayers over the past 30 years and he is the cleanest-winded horse I have ever had.

    "He is absolutely a natural stayer."

    Efficient was on target for today’s Melbourne Cup until he broke down last week with a strained fetlock joint.

    Williams said the injury cancels thoughts of taking Efficient to England next year but, with time, he would make a full recovery and the Ascot Gold Cup could be a reality in 2010.

    • Total Posts 4293

    Skychannel, Australia
    MELBOURNE Sep 17 2009

    Lloyd Williams’ focus is on winning another Melbourne Cup and his best two contenders, Efficient and C’est Le Guerre, take their next steps in the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield.

    Both stayers have already indicated they are on target with excellent first-up performances, Efficient running fifth to Mic Mac in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and C’est La Guerre fourth behind Vigor in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

    The pair are among 14 Group One winners engaged in Saturday’s 1800m weight-for-age feature which has attracted a full field of 16 plus three emergencies.

    "It’s going to be hot race. It is an important stepping stone for these two horses towards the Melbourne Cup," said Williams’ son Nick Williams who is the managing part-owner of last year’s Cup third placegetter C’est La Guerre.

    Lloyd Williams has been in the ownership of three Melbourne Cup winners, the Tommy Smith-trained Just A Dash (1981), the John Meagher-trained What A Nuisance (1985) and the Graeme Rogerson-trained Efficient (2007).

    "Dad has spent a lifetime trying to win the Melbourne Cup and that’s again our focus," Nick Williams said.

    "He has said, and I’d like to frame a market on this, that if Efficient won the Melbourne Cup again this year he’d consider taking him to England for (the) Ascot (Gold Cup) next year.

    "So we’ll wait and see if that does happen. I’ve seen him make those plans before and he’s come up with a reason why he can stay at home. But I’d love to see that happen.

    "I think Efficient has that X-factor if he really does come back to his best."

    Williams said the grey proved he was "a somewhat special horse" when he won the Victoria Derby and came back the following season to win the Melbourne Cup, a feat only achieved once since Phar Lap completed the same double when he won the Cup as a four-year-old in 1930.

    "It would be terrific to see him have the opportunity to take on the world’s best," he said.

    Williams said Aidan O’Brien, whose prepared Melbourne Cup third placegetter Mahler in 2007, suggested Efficient would do well in England.

    "He (O’Brien) was certainly impressed because the stayers over there don’t seem to have that turn of foot (that he has)."

    That’s a pity. it seems to have changed to only coming over if he wins the Melbourne Cup again.[/color:3rvzaxh6]

    • Total Posts 4293

    Efficient wins the Turnbull, so he is back in form.

    Adrian, get on the plane, with your suitcase of readies!

    • Total Posts 1041

    I’ll be going to Breeders’ Cup but Nick Smith, from Ascot, will be at Melbourne Cup. Hopefully there should be a good bunch coming over here next year.

    • Total Posts 4293

    Just read that after the Caulfield Guineas Saturday,


    will run in Australian Guineas next . . . then Dubai . . . then England next year.

    Given this is Godolphin/Darley, I presume this is correct.

    I wonder how many races there will be where he can get a 4yo Southern Hemisphere allowance of a lb or two.

    Irish Stamp
    • Total Posts 3177

    Just read that after the Caulfield Guineas Saturday,


    will run in Australian Guineas next . . . then Dubai . . . then England next year.

    Given this is Godolphin/Darley, I presume this is correct.

    I wonder how many races there will be where he can get a 4yo Southern Hemisphere allowance of a lb or two.

    He was beaten last night in the Caulfield Guineas – the race was won by Starspangledbanner

    • Total Posts 4293

    Yes, he ran three wide throughout. I haven’t investigated yet how much of an excuse that is.

    • Total Posts 4293

    I’d still like them to have a go at getting Efficient to run in the Ascot Gold Cup, particularly as he has now missed 3 Melbourne Cups, I think. At least we can tell Lloyd Williams that the BHA vets are very unlikely to raid his stables a couple of days before the race, and force him to withdraw the horse.

    I’ve read before that Starspangledbanner is quite likely to go for the sprints at Ascot, but can’t remember whether I posted that on this thread.

    I also read a couple of weeks ago that Denman (AUS) is likely to be one of half-a-dozen Godolphin horses going to Dubai, confirming what had been said a few months ago. From Dubai, it must only be a small logical step to Royal Ascot. Bit of a problem though is that the horse has just won over 6f, will maybe run in 2 7f races, plus the Australian Guineas, so I doubt he’ll actually do any running in Dubai, just have Sheikh Mo petting him.

    Whobe a Royal target[/color:f5pk56ae]

    Adrian Dunn
    Sunday, 24 January 2010

    EXCLUSIVE: WHOBEGOTYOU will top the hit list of Royal Ascot international scout Nick Smith when he arrives in Melbourne.

    Smith, speaking from London, nominated the Caulfield Guineas and Yalumba Stakes winner as the Australian horse he would most like to secure for June’s Royal Ascot meeting.

    He described Whobegotyou as the "ideal Queen Anne (Stakes) horse".

    "Whobegotyou was born to run in the Queen Anne. From what I can see the horse needs a stiff mile," Smith said.

    While admitting the Queen Anne was a harder race to sell than the King’s Stand and Golden Jubilee Stakes, given they are part of the Global Sprint Challenge, Smith said it needed a "very ambitious and very confident venture to put the race on the map".

    Smith said Coolmore Classic and Myer Classic winner Typhoon Tracy was another horse who would be suited by the Queen Anne.

    Apart from Whobegotyou, who is destined to do his autumn racing in Sydney, and Typhoon Tracy, Smith is keen to recruit sprinters for the King’s Stand and Golden Jubilee, but was mindful of securing genuine Group 1 horses.

    He said anywhere between three and six horses could be subsidised for the trip to England.

    "We want Group 1 horses. That’s the whole point of Royal Ascot," Smith said.

    Included in his catch-up list in Australia – he flies to Sydney next Monday – are Troy Corstens (Starspangledbanner), Grahame Begg (All Silent) and Colin Little (El Segundo).

    "Mind you, I had not heard of Scenic Blast before I arrived in Melbourne and he came out and won the Lightning in such stunning style," Smith said.

    "Whatever comes out of the Lightning becomes an automatic choice. That’s how far the race has come. No one had heard of the Lightning Stakes a few years back, but now it is the key race.

    "It’s produced four King’s Stand Stakes winners this decade, a remarkable record.

    " I’ll talk to as many people as possible to gauge interest levels in coming over. What’s good is that people now are already identifying the King’s Stand and Golden Jubilee as possible targets."

    • Total Posts 17716

    Whobe a very interesting target. The older miler division looks particularly weak to me this year.

    • Total Posts 4293

    Reported a couple of weeks ago that Kasbah Bliss will go for the Gold Cup.

    Doesn’t belong here, but I don’t like starting new threads:-

    The trainer of

    El Segundo

    , Colin Little, has said on the radio that it has been in the back of his and other connections’ minds to bring the horse over to Britain sometime.

    If the horse comes out of the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) well on Saturday, then the race that might appeal is the

    July Cup

    , on a stiff 1200m.

    Northern Hemisphere 9yo gelding who has won £1m , and £1.4m in total prize money.

    Don’t know whether the BHA and Newmarket Executive already know this, but I thought if they made a direct approach it couldn’t do much harm.

    Edit: Erm, just read a previous post in this thread, and the BHA contacted Little about Royal Ascot, so they probably already know about the July Cup alternative.

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