SKY BET EBOR AIM FOR BLUE CUP
DAVID Menuisier is excited about testing the stamina credentials of his progressive Blue Cup in the Sky Bet Ebor at York.
The five-year-old has yet to race beyond a mile and a quarter, but he will be asked to run just shy of an extra four furlongs when he lines up in the £500,000 showpiece on Saturday 21 August – the fourth and final day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
While the Pulborough-based handler admits his charge is not a guaranteed stayer, he believes the set-up of the Sky Bet Ebor will give Blue Cup every opportunity to see out the extra distance.
He said: “The Ebor is a punt because he has never been further than a mile and two, but when he switches off he travels very sweet, so I don’t see why he couldn’t stay further.
“I would rather try now, before he’ll be too high in the weights, so this will be our last possible opportunity to run in a race like the Ebor.
“Despite the trip, you know they are going to go a good pace with 22 runners, which is why we think the Ebor is the right race to try him over further. I think it will be interesting to see how we fare.”
Blue Cup has improved in leaps and bounds since joining Menuisier’s stable from France last year. He won an Epsom handicap by five and a half lengths in June, while he followed that run with a career-best fourth in the Listed Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He finished last of eight on his most recent outing at Newbury, but Menuisier believes there are valid reasons for that defeat.
“The ground was too quick,” he explained. “He got away with it at Royal Ascot and at Newbury he travelled well, but when he came under pressure he didn’t find anything.
“He wasn’t able to put his best foot forward there, but he came out of the race absolutely fine and it turned out to be a very good race. There was no shame in defeat, especially considering he couldn’t let himself down.”
Reflecting on his Wolferton performance, Menuisier added: “The form of the race is very strong having finished just in front of Euchen Glen, who is a proven Group horse. As we all know, the Wolferton is a better race than a Listed race. I think he’ll be competitive later on in ‘normal’ Listed races and Group 3s.”
Menuisier is hoping for a wet lead-up to the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, with his main protagonists all best served by ease underfoot.
He said: “If the whole meeting could be run on soft ground, it would suit me well!
“In an ideal world, we could do with a bit of rain for Blue Cup. I also have Migration set to run in the mile and a quarter handicap on the Saturday and Wonderful Tonight holds an entry in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks.”
A dual Group 1 winner last year, Wonderful Tonight made a successful return in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, while she was last sighted taking out the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes by two lengths at Goodwood.
Menuisier said: “We have York and a couple of French options for her. We will go wherever we think suits best.
“She’s in good form and has come out of Goodwood very well. If the ground is on the easy side at York, the Yorkshire Oaks is definitely a race we are bearing in mind.”
The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 18 August 18 until Saturday, 21 August inclusively.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk