Rock for Doncaster after York 'disaster'


RACING:SADDLER’S ROCK is likely to try and secure back-to-back wins in the Doncaster Cup as he attempts to return to winning form after a York weekend run his trainer John Oxx described yesterday as a “disaster”.

After leading to the straight, Saddler’s Rock faded right out of contention in the Group Two Lonsdale Cup won by Times Up and Oxx is prepared to write-off the experience. “It wasn’t the intention to be in front. He’s not a leader, so it was a bit of a disaster. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” he said. “He’s in the Irish Leger and the Doncaster Cup and Doncaster is more likely.”

Another Oxx stayer, Hartani, could still make the Irish Leger line-up in 19 days time despite getting beaten by Ursa Major at the Curragh on Saturday. However, the Aga Khan-owned grey will be taken out of the English Leger at tomorrow’s forfeit stage.

“If he runs in a Leger it will be here where he’s more likely to get slower ground. He would need to have done better than that to go over to Doncaster,” Oxx reported.

Before that the Curragh trainer will target Born To Sea at the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

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