By Simon Jackson.
Jamie Spencer hopes for faster ground for recent Newbury winner The Corsican in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot on October 17.
The four-year-old travelled well for Spencer throughout the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup on good-to-soft ground at Newbury on Saturday and stuck to his task well to score by a length and a half.
The victory in the 11 furlong contest was The Corsican’s fifth in nine starts and follows on from a luckless second place at Goodwood in late July.
Connections are now eyeing the Champion Stakes for The Corsican who is priced at 10-1 (Coral) for the valuable 10 furlong contest where the betting is headed by Investec Derby winner Golden Horn at 7-2.
“We were a bit disappointed with The Corsican at Goodwood but I wasn’t going to blame the jockey in any sort of way – it just happens there,” winning trainer David Simcock said.
“This was the next alternative and he was quite a fresh horse today with the gap but he has done it very well.
“The Champion Stakes is the likely target. There is no question at all in my mind that he is better over a mile and a quarter and Jamie said that he was treading water for the last half-furlong today.
“He travelled very well and handled the ground – I am not sure that he wants it at all – but we will have a go at the pot at Ascot.”
The manner of the Corsican’s victory impressed Spencer, who added: “The Corsican won today despite the ground. I rode him in work last weekend and was pleasantly surprised with how good he was.
“All week I have been worrying about the ground but David said he was going to run him regardless today because, if he wanted to go for the Champion Stakes, he wanted to get a run into him.
“He’s a good horse but I can’t emphasise how much he wants faster ground.”
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