Horse Talk with Simon Jackson: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
WILLIAM HAGGAS believes the drying ground will benefit Champagne Stakes winner Rivet in the £500,000 Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
Rivet is a rare runner in the Dewhurst for Haggas whose only previous runner was in 1990 when he saddled Bog Trotter to finish second to Generous, who went on to win the Epsom Derby and King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Haggas hopes to improve on that second place with Rivet, who has improved in each of his three starts that have returned victories at York and Doncaster after a debut second at Ascot in July.
The son of Fastnet Rock ran on well after starting slowly at his first start and improved on his first run to win over seven furlongs at York at his next start. His progression continued in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last month when he overcame a slow start to reel in the leaders and win by a head.
Rivet is owned by Haggas’s father-in-law, Lester Piggott, who races the colt in partnership with John Magnier, Michael Tabor and South African breeder, Des Scott. Rivet is taken to continue his trainer’s terrific current form by winning this valuable contest.
“Rivet has always been a very fluent mover, so he would appreciate dry ground on Saturday. He’s a very relaxed chap with a good temperament,” Haggas said.
“The Dubai Dewhurst is a Championship Group 1 race, the most prestigious two-year-old race in England and, possibly, Europe.”
“My only previous runner was Bog Trotter in 1990, who also won the Champagne Stakes. I was distraught afterwards, as he finished a close second to a seemingly exposed 50-1 shot, but that turned out to be the Derby and King George winner, Generous.”
“Rivet looked laboured when he won the Champagne Stakes but the ground was a bit loose and he and the runner-up, Thunder Snow, pulled a long way clear in a short space of time.”
“Andrea [Atzeni – jockey] felt that Thunder Snow got the run of the race and he said that he took a long time to pull Rivet up – he was only just getting going at the end of the seven furlongs.”
“I see Rivet as a miler of the future. Although his dam is by Galileo, I have trained most of her progeny and none have really stayed that well. Rivet is the most precocious member of the family by some way.”
“I have already run into [Dewhurst favourite] Churchill once, in the National Stakes (with third-placed Lockheed), and he was very impressive that day. But all of his form is on ground that was slower than good.”
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