Raising Sand’s owners will be hoping to fell some big reputations in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions’ Day at Ascot on Saturday.
Nick Bradley Racing’s smart handicapper has bounced back from a setback to step into Group 1 company for the first time.
Already a winner of four races at his favourite track, the seven-year-old steps out of handicaps to take on the likes of improving French raider The Revenant, Quipco 2,000 Guineas hero Magna Grecia and Godolphin’s globetrotting Benbatl in the £1.1 million race for the Quipco British Champions Mile.
Bradley, who will have 24 shareholders supporting the gelding on Saturday, is fully aware of the enormity of the task but insists that Raising Sand is worthy of his place in an illustrious line-up.
“We’re playing at home and the heavy ground that he loves won’t necessarily suit some of the more fancied runners,” he tells In The Paddock. “They will no doubt go a strong pace which will also play to his strengths.
“I’ve been told that only the great Frankel and top sprinter Blue Wave have won more times on the new track at Ascot, so we’re optimistic for a good performance.”
“He did a nice piece of work on Monday and scoped clean so Jamie is happy for him to take his chance. It wasn’t a serious bleed and as this will be his last race of the season he can look forward to a long winter break whatever happens.”
Bought by Bradley at the Tattersalls July Sales for just 16,000 gns in 2016, the son of Oasis Dream has done his syndicate proud, taking his career earnings to just over £300,000 when winning the International Stakes at Ascot in the summer.
Raising Sand wins a close Moet & Chandon International Stakes @Ascot
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) July 27, 2019
Raising Sand also won last season’s valuable Balmoral Handicap on Champions’ Day and wasn’t disgraced when stepping up to Group 3 company at Haydock last month.
Nicola Currie, who has been his regular rider, is delighted to be on board.
For more information about Nick Bradley’s syndicates go to nickbradleyracing.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @NBradleyRacing.
Elsewhere in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes, victory for popular sprinter The Tin Man in Saturday’s Quipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot would be a momentous result for syndicate ownership.
James Fanshawe’s seven‐year‐old is out to emulate his triumph in the race three years ago for his owners Fred Archer Racing who are delighted with his well‐being ahead of the six‐furlong dash.
James’s wife Jacko, who runs the Fred Archer partnerships, tells In The Paddock: “We’re just as excited about going to Champions’ Day as we were the first time.
“This will be the fifth time he has run in the race and it would be amazing if he could win it again, but just for his 10 shareholders to have a runner in a race like that with a bit of a shot is something very special.”
The Tin Man, who rose to stardom by beating Growl in the 2016 renewal, will once again be ridden by Oisin Murphy, who will be officially crowned Champion Jockey for the first time on Saturday.
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) October 15, 2016
Murphy was in the saddle when the gelding bounced back to form in the Group 1 Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock Park in September, another race that forms part of the British Champions Series.
“We were delighted with him at Haydock and he goes into the weekend in cracking form,” adds Jacko. “He’s quite a lazy horse who tends to look after himself, which is why he’s lasted so long. “We’ll have to see how he will cope with bottomless ground at Ascot but he did win the Group 1 at Haydock on heavy last year so fingers crossed.”
Fred Archer Racing is named after the famous champion jockey of the Victorian era who was affectionately known as ‘The Tin Man’ and was associated with Fanshawe’s Pegasus Stables in the heart of Newmarket.
The partnerships have 11 horses in training this year including the exciting Archer’s Dream, who will run in a Group 3 in France before the end of the season, and the progressive Spanish Archer.
“All of our partnerships have 10 shareholders who meet on the last Friday of every month,” adds Jacko. “We believe in treating shareholders just the same as we look after outright owners and they’re always welcome to come and see the horses at Pegasus.”
To find out more go to fredarcherracing.com