Big plans for Tiger Cliff
Henry Ponsonby is eyeing an ambitious run on the Champions Day card for last week's Ebor winner Tiger Cliff.
Lady Cecil's four-year-old rattled home under Tom Queally to get up by half a length on the rain-softened Knavesmire turf, with the handicapper handing him a 6lb rise in the weights as a result.
While the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket on October 12 is still an option, he would now carry a big weight at Headquarters and owner Henry Ponsonby is considering letting his charge line up at Ascot the following week.
Ponsonby said: "He's come out of the race very well and he's gone up 6lb, which takes him to 104.
"He's not certain to run in the Cesarewitch. I wouldn't rule it out, but it is quite a gruelling race and we think he could be a good Cup horse next year, as well as going hurdling.
"The other option is the big stayers' race at Ascot on Champions Day. If the ground ended up firm there, we might go to Newmarket, but if there was a bit of cut then Ascot could be where we end up.
"We have also given him an entry in the Prix du Cadran at Longchamp on Arc day, so that's another option. The only race that is definitely ruled out is the Melbourne Cup as you need a fast ground horse for that, which Tiger Cliff definitely isn't.
"He'll have his one more run on the Flat and then have a nice break before going to Alan King's to go jumping."
While Tiger Cliff's Cesarewitch participation appears in doubt, Ponsonby is still likely to represented in the two-and-a-quarter-mile handicap by the Nicky Henderson-trained Lieutenant Miller.
The seven-year-old was narrowly beaten by Tiger Cliff in the Ascot Stakes, has since been touched off at Glorious Goodwood and appears feasibly treated off a mark of 91.
"He is definitely going for the Cesarewitch and hopefully he would have a good chance off 91," said Ponsonby.
"There was only a length between him and Tiger Cliff at Ascot. That is obviously very good form.
"The only thing Lieutenant Miller wouldn't want is desperately soft ground, but it rarely gets very soft at Newmarket."
Ponsonby also had news of First Mohican, who was beaten into eighth in Sunday's Grand Prix de Deauville.
"We were pleased with the run, he was only beaten just over six lengths, but I'm not sure he really stays in that soft ground," said Ponsonby.
"The plan is for him to go for the Doonside Cup at Ayr, back over a mile and a quarter.
"He'll love the track and should get his ground."