Godolphin purchase of Pugin 'a shrewd move'


RACING: Godolphin's purchase of the Irish St Leger runner-up, Pugin, has been described as a "very shrewd move" by Vinnie Roe's trainer, Dermot Weld.

Sheikh Mohammed's organisation confirmed they had bought Pugin out of John Oxx's yard on Saturday evening and it is likely he will clash again with his old rival Vinnie Roe in the Melbourne Cup.

"Sheikh Mohammed is a very shrewd man and buying Pugin is a very shrewd move. He will get 12lbs from Vinnie Roe in Melbourne and any racing follower will tell you that means Pugin should beat him.

"I know that the handicapper here thinks Pugin is the blot in the race and that Vinnie Roe has a kilo too much. But the balancing factor is that Vinnie Roe never knows when to quit," Weld said yesterday.

Godolphin announced Pugin will join their team for the Melbourne Spring Carnival which also includes the Cox Plate hope Grandera.

Yesterday, punters appeared to pick up on the Godolphin hint and Pugin's Melbourne Cup price was slashed to 10 to 1. He had been 50 to 1 before the weekend.

The Godolphin spokesman Simon Crisford said: "Pugin has arrived at the yard in Newmarket and we hope he will be able to run a good race in the Melbourne Cup."

Weld also revealed yesterday that Jazz Beat will have his third American start of the season in Belmont's Jamaica Handicap, a Grade two race on turf this Sunday.

"He will again face the horse that nosed him out of first at Arlington last time (Chiselling) and he will fly out tomorrow morning. Pat Smullen rides," he said.

Chiselling just beat Jazz Beat by a nose in the Grade one Secretariat Stakes at Arlington last month. Before that, the Moyglare colt had also run on the Chicago track and finished second in the American Derby.

Killarney wind up their session with an eight-race marathon where the Co Cork born rider Wayne Lordan can pick up the second division of the mile and six handicap on Sophiyah.

The 5lb penalty for his Galway defeat of Fluttery Dancer doesn't look enough to stop the Morgan runner.

Springfield Guest ran into the in-form Mr Wong on his last start at Clonmel and could go one better in the second division of the handicap hurdle, while Avoir Du Cran can follow up his hurdles success at Tipperary on Thursday in the 11 furlong handicap.