sport

Botti wants rain at Ascot

Marco Botti is praying for rain ahead of Tac de Boistron's bid for Gold Cup glory at Royal Ascot next month.

The seven-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic run of form since joining the Italian handler last summer, winning three of his six starts including the Group One Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp last October.

He made an impressive return to action in Ascot's Sagaro Stakes at the end of April and ran with huge credit when narrowly beaten in Friday's Yorkshire Cup back over a shorter distance on faster ground.

Botti said: "He has come out of race well and I am very pleased with him. He is a really tough horse.

"Considering we were dropping back to a mile and six (furlongs) and the ground had dried out a little bit too much, I thought he ran a very good race.

"If the race had been run on the Tuesday, it would have been perfect, but the ground dried out during the week and by the Friday it was just a bit quick for him.

"We know he will be better at two miles and further, so we will aim for the Gold Cup and if we get some rain that would be perfect.

"After that we will probably aim for the Irish St Leger."

Given Tac de Boistron carries the colours of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, he would appear a likely candidate for the Melbourne Cup.

However, while Botti is not ruling it out, he is keen to keep him in Europe were conditions will be more in his favour.

"Because he ran so well the other day on good ground, I wouldn't say it's impossible (he will go to Australia) but I think it is probably unlikely as he does prefer it softer," said the trainer.

"The owners are from Australia, but they already have Dandino for the Melbourne Cup and if Tac De Boistron was to go as well, it would mean giving up on some good races in Europe where the ground would suit him better."