Rigueur targets Chester pot
Views from connections ahead of Saturday's Win £10,000,000 On Betdaq Colossus Chester Stakes.
De Rigueur will attempt to resume winning ways at Chester on Saturday just a week after unsuitable ground foiled his chance of completing the hat-trick in the Betfred Ebor.
Marco Botti's seven-year-old had gone to York on the back of victories in quite valuable handicaps at Newmarket and Haydock.
However, his bid for glory in one of the richest handicaps of them all was compromised by quick conditions and he trailed home well beaten on the Knavesmire behind Mutual Regard.
De Rigueur was not subjected to a hard race once his jockey Andrea Atzeni found his mount was not happy on the ground.
Botti reports the gelding to have taken those exertions in his stride and has no qualms about turning him out in the Win £10,000,000 On Betdaq Colossus Chester Stakes on the Roodee.
"He's come out of the race fine. Unfortunately, the rain never got to York for the right time so we ended up running on fast ground and he didn't let himself down. He needs a bit of cut in the ground," said the Newmarket trainer.
"We've decided to let him take his chance at Chester while the ground is still on the soft side. He seems well after York and Andrea said he didn't enjoy the ground so he looked after the horse. He didn't have a hard race.
"The key to him is the ground. There is another race at Haydock (the Betfred Old Borough Cup) next week, but looking at the forecast it might be a dry week."
Whiplash Willie was a late withdrawal from the Ebor as his trainer Andrew Balding felt the going was too fast for the six-year-old.
It was not the first time Balding has had to make that decision this summer but he expects conditions to be suitable for the six-year-old, who has not raced since finishing third to Brown Panther in the Group Three Henry II Stakes at Sandown three months ago.
"The ground, at last, should be fine for him. He has to give a bit of weight away but he's in great form and I'd hope he'd run very well," said the Kingsclere handler.
Noble Silk takes his chance in this limited handicap only because he failed to make the cut for the Ebor.
The Lucy Wadham-trained five-year-old has been a model of consistency this term but only has a victory in a Haydock handicap in May to his name.
He was fourth to Angel Gabriel in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle and third behind Van Percy, who was second in last weekend's Ebor, at Goodwood on his latest start.
"We were hoping to make the Ebor, but we missed the cut there so this is a fall-back position, but he's very well," said Wadham.
"I think he's been a bit unlucky in his last two runs not to finish a little bit closer.
"We are hoping it's going to be his turn but he has been consistent all season which has been great and he continues to be in good form."