David Wachman hopes to bow out in style with Rekindling Grade One success
In August Wachman announced he would hand in his licence at the end of the season and has indicated Rekindling will be his final runner. Photograph: Getty Images
Twenty years after saddling his first winner in a hurdle race at Clonmel, Wachman hopes to bow out in style by sending the impressive Gowran maiden winner for the €250,000 Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud this weekend.
In August Wachman announced he would hand in his licence at the end of the season and the 45-year-old classic-winning trainer has indicated Rekindling will be his final runner.
“We are also leaving him in the Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday as a precaution but the intention is to go to France. I’m happy with him and he’s in great form and he is entitled to take his chance,” said the Co Tipperary-based trainer.
Asked about the chances of the High Chaparral colt providing a perfect final day at the office, Wachman replied: “It’s probably most unlikely – but we’ll give it a go!”
“White Satin Dancer is going to continue her career in France with Nicolas Clement and a few others are going here and there, but the majority of the horses are going to go to Ballydoyle,” said the man who has trained extensively for the Coolmore syndicate headed by his father-in-law, John Magnier.
Wachman has won Group One races in five different countries, including France where Bushranger landed the Prix Morny in 2008. The last of his 11 top-flight successes came with Curvy in the EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine in Canada.
Rekindling, who races in the colours of the Australian, Lloyd Williams, won the second start of his career at Gowran over a month ago and is set to run into an old rival from his Galway debut during the summer.
Aidan O’Brien’s Capri beat the Wachman runner by two and a half lengths at Ballybrit in July and after skipping last weekend’s Racing Post Trophy, Sunday’s mile and a quarter Group One has been nominated as a target for Ballydoyle’s Beresford Stakes winner.
With O’Brien stuck on 21 Group One’s for the year – still four shy of Bobby Frankel’s world record haul of 25 – Sunday’s Saint-Cloud action could be vital in any record pursuit as the programme also includes the seven furlong Criterium International.
O’Brien has won the International on four occasions, including with Johannes Vermeer a year ago, and he has a large entry still in the race ahead of today’s forfeit stage, including the fillies Hydrangea and Promise To Be True, both of which have been Group One placed already this season.
Four successesCriterium de Saint-CloudJohn LaveryDerbyGalileo
The Ballydoyle team send seven juveniles to Dundalk’s evening card today and the experience War Secretary picked up from his debut could prove crucial in the seven furlong maiden.
The champion apprentice-elect Donnacha O’Brien will also be on board Pennsylvania in the six-furlong maiden and this one should appreciate the change in surface from his last run in Limerick. Ice Canyon though has 4lbs in hand on official ratings.
Intrepid Prince landed a gamble at the Galway festival in the summer and followed up under a mandatory penalty at Naas. At Leopardstown on Sunday he missed the break but wasn’t beaten far behind Beau Satchel. A quicker break from stall one in the mile handicap can make Intrepid Prince a major contender.