Cumani hoping step down in trip will suit Koora in Worthington’s Victoria Club Stakes on Newbury’s Flat finale
Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday concludes Newbury’s Flat racing season this Saturday, October 24. A terrific eight-race programme features two Group Three contests – the £70,000 Worthington’s Victoria Club Stakes (2.25pm, 9 runners), over a mile and a half for three-year-olds and upwards plus the £45,000 Worthington’s Whizz Kidz Stakes (1.50pm, 11 runners), run over seven furlongs for two-year-olds.
Godolphin’s Romsdal (John Gosden/William Buick, pictured right) heads the declared runners for the Worthington’s Victoria Club Stakes. The four-year-old was third in the 2014 Derby and runner-up in the St Leger in the same year, while his best effort this season came when third in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July.
There is a trio of progressive three-year-old fillies in the line-up. Melodious (David Elsworth) has been a consistent performer throughout 2015, putting up her best performance when going down by a neck in the Group Two Park Hill Stakes over an extended mile and three quarters at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting last month. Another filly to have contested the Park Hill Stakes was Koora (Luca Cumani/Jamie Spencer), who came home in sixth at Doncaster, while Moderah (James Fanshawe/Tom Queally) was an eye-catching five-length winner of a Leicester maiden on September 21.
Koora is a Pivotal half-sister to the 2001 St Leger winner Milan. Home-bred by trainer Luca Cumani’s Fittocks Stud, she has made just four starts. Successful in a Doncaster maiden on August 1, she preceded her Park Hill Stakes sixth by finishing second in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes over 12 furlongs at York on August 20.
“I think she just didn’t stay last time out in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster. It was two furlongs too far for her and the return to a mile and a half should suit her.
“Ground just on the soft side of good would be best for her. I just hope there is not too much rain as she wouldn’t want heavy ground.”
The Worthington’s Whizz Kidz Stakes has attracted 11 starters including Listed scorer Whitman (Mark Johnston/Franny Norton) and Zonderland (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby), who was a close fourth after not getting a clear run in the Group Three Sommerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket on September 24.
Opera Baron (Sylvester Kirk/Luke Morris) and Start Time (Saeed bin Suroor/William Buick) both step up in class having landed nursery handicaps while Crazy Horse (John Gosden/Robert Havlin) and Return Of The Mak (Richard Fahey/Paul Hanagan) both made impressive winning debuts.
The eight-race card at Newbury on Saturday runs from 1.20pm to 5.20pm. Other highlights include the £30,000 Bathwick Tyres Handicap (3.00pm, 14 runners) and the £30,000 Listed Al Basti Equiworld Celebration Stakes (3.35pm, 11 runners).
The ground at Newbury is currently Soft, Good to Soft in places.