Tom Dascombe is hoping the application of headgear will inject some more verve and vigour to Angel Alexander’s performances ahead of his four-year-old’s Stewards Cup bid at Goodwood on Saturday.
The Ayr Gold Cup winner hasn’t got his head in front since his day in the sun last September, and according to his trainer, things haven’t gone as well as hoped since.
“His preparation has been slightly frustrating. We thought he’d run really well at Ascot; a stiff six furlongs, with a bit of cut in the ground, everything seemed to be perfect for him,” the Group 1-winning handler told the Tote.
“He travelled away but just didn’t get home, so we were pretty disappointed in that run.”
Prior to Ascot, Dascombe had taken the gelding to the Middle East in search of Group success. However the team returned empty handed, after Angel Alexander finished fifth in a Meydan handicap, before coming home sixth in both the Group 2 Meydan Sprint and the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint.
“He ran three tame races in Dubai, so we’re going to put a visor on him for the Stewards Cup to see if we can spark him up a bit more.
“He’d had a reasonably light campaign and I think the sun did him the world of good, but he just didn’t run quite as well as we’d have expected him to.”
Despite the disappointments of recent runs, Dascombe retains plenty of faith in the horse, and thinks there could be a win in him off his current handicap mark of 103, just 2lbs higher than his Ayr Gold Cup rating:
“Off 103, he ought to be able to win races off that sort of mark. At home he’s doing everything right, we just hope the visor can spark him back into life.
“He’s proved that the Ayr Gold Cup win was no fluke. We were second in a Group 2 in France, and we thought we were really on the up, but in 2020 things haven’t gone quite as well.
“Maybe he’s just a better horse in the autumn, but we’re looking forward to running him on Saturday.”
Team delighted with Company
The Manor House team were thrilled with the performance of their first runner at this year's Goodwood Festival, Devious Company.
A son of Fast Company, the colt kept on well in second behind the well-regarded Battleground in the Vintage Stakes on Tuesday, and Dascombe is positive in defeat.
“He was great, he’s a proper two-year-old. Only two horses have managed to beat him, and I think they’re both very, very good horses. I’m proud of the way our horse performed.”
Plans are yet to be formalised for the rest of the season, with potential trips across the Irish Sea on the horizon.
“He’s in quite a few different races. He’s in sales races in Ireland and at home. The owner is in Dubai at the moment, but when he’s back we’ll have a chat and see which way he wants to go with him.”
Whichever way the team opt to go with this exciting juvenile, there are surely big races to be won with him.