Inisherin right where connections want him for Commonwealth Cup

Inisherin (centre) winning the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock (Nigel French/PA)
Inisherin (centre) winning the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock (Nigel French/PA)

By PA Sports Writers

Kevin Ryan is fully focussed on Inisherin rather than the opposition ahead of his bid for glory in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on Friday.

The Shamardal colt was last seen running out an impressive winner of the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, galloping on strongly from the front to see off the reopposing Orne by three and three-quarter lengths, with star juvenile and hot favourite Vandeek back in third.

Having previously run with credit when sixth in the 2000 Guineas he looked very much at home over six furlongs on Merseyside, prompting connections to supplement him for the Commonwealth Cup at a cost of £46,000, and he is a firm favourite to strike Group One gold following the defection of Vandeek.

“His preparation has gone great. He’s in great form and I’m really looking forward to running him,” said Ryan.

“I don’t tend to focus on the other horses and you are always nervous about your own – you always have a little doubt about your own. I was (nervous) before I ran him on the (soft) ground at Haydock, because he’s a great mover.

“Trying the sprinting distance on that ground, I was wondering if I was doing the right thing, but hopefully I am right that this ground will suit him even better and if it does he hopefully has a great chance.

“He has a great mind and is a super horse to train, he is very easy.”

Newbury Races – Saturday May 18th
Elite Status ridden by jockey Clifford Lee winning at Newbury (Steven Paston/PA).

Inisherin was due to be one of two leading contenders for owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid along with the Karl Burke-trained Elite Status, who had Malc, Pocklington and Louis Barthas in behind when returning to action with a convincing victory in the Listed Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury.

However, last year’s Norfolk Stakes third now looks an unlikely runner, as Burke explained to ITV Racing after Shareholder won the opening race on Thursday: “Elite Status is an unlikely runner unfortunately.

“I’m just waiting to see him when he gets off the lorry, he’s on his way down now. He’s just given that joint a little bang again. He keeps knocking it and we’ve got to get to the bottom of it.

“I’ll have a look at it when he gets here this evening, but I’d say he’s unlikely.”

Clive Cox has been buoyed by Jasour’s work at home – and the arrival of summer ground at Royal Ascot.

The Lambourn handler knows what it takes to land this Group One contest, having saddled Golden Horde to victory on his seasonal debut in 2020, and his latest candidate is proven over the course and distance after getting the better of subsequent winner Adaay In Devon in the Commonwealth Cup Trial last month.

Cox said: “We’re very pleased with Jasour, he did really well in the Pavilion and then missed the Sandy Lane because of the very soft ground, but we’ve been very happy with his training at home and we’re looking forward to it.

“His form is pretty solid and he’s proven on the track, which is nice, plus he’ll be very much at home on the drying surface.”

Starlust steps back up in class and distance after powering home to land a York handicap over the minimum trip.

Trainer Ralph Beckett said: “The market expected it when he won at York last month, but I didn’t think he’d win the way he did, as it was really a prep for this.

“I’m not sure how deep a race it was, but he’s still taken them apart off a mark of 105. He’s training well and we are putting blinkers on because he tends to lose concentration over six furlongs.”

Givemethebeatboys with winning connections
Givemethebeatboys with his connections (PA)

Givemethebeatboys changed hands for £1.1million on the eve of last year’s Royal meeting at the Goffs London Sale and went on to finish a fine fourth behind River Tiber in the Coventry Stakes.

He was also far from disgraced in a couple of Group One contests as a juvenile and has made a solid start to his three-year-old campaign, winning a Navan Listed race before going down by just a head to Bucanero Fuerte at Naas.

French import Evade scored at Epsom on his first start for Archie Watson, while Military represents Aidan O’Brien, who struck with Caravaggio in 2017 and sent over last year’s runner-up Little Big Bear.

Author: iRace