Claymore primed for Brigadier Gerard return

Royal Ascot winner Claymore, off the track since July, will make his return in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on May 25, with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe a potential long-term target.

The Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained colt could face last year’s returning Derby winner Desert Crown in what is shaping up into a mouthwatering renewal of the 10-furlong Group Three race.

Claymore defeated the highly-touted Reach For The Moon in the Hampton Court at Royal Ascot in June, but suffered a setback after finishing fourth to Sir Busker in the York Stakes the following month, and was not seen thereafter.

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Chapple-Hyam said: “Claymore is going for the Brigadier Gerard. He just got very jarred up at York.

“We got him ready to run at the Arc meeting and then it went bog-soft everywhere. It went from one extreme to the other, so we decided to pull the pin and have a lovely four-year-old for this year.”

A son of New Bay, Claymore finished runner-up to subsequent Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Native Trail in the Craven on his first outing last year before a wide draw and very soft ground scuppered his chances in the French Guineas.

Should all go well at Sandown, Chapple-Hyam will likely return to Ascot and raised the possibility of an Arc bid.

She added: “We will see what we do in the Brigadier Gerard, but he is in the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot and I don’t know, is he a 50-1 shot for the Arc?

“The entries were on Tuesday and we’ve put him in – there’s no harm. You just don’t know if he’ll make the cut, but better to be there than having to supplement.”

Meanwhile, the Peter Harris-owned Mill Stream could head straight to the Commonwealth Cup.

The Gleneagles colt was narrowly defeated by subsequent Gimcrack scorer Noble Style in a Newmarket novice last season, before going on to finish fourth to this season’s 2000 Guineas winner Chaldean, over seven furlongs, in York’s Group Three Acomb last August.

However, his trainer believes he is a sprinter and will send him straight to the Royal meeting.

Chapple-Hyam said: “We are dropping him back to six furlongs. He could go straight to the Commonwealth Cup. I don’t think there is a race available for him, so he’ll probably tootle off for a racecourse gallop somewhere.”

Jane Chapple-Hyam/Ascot
Jane Chapple-Hyam is targeting the Royal meeting again (Simon Milham/PA)

Royal Hunt Cup runner-up Intellogent will bid to go one better in the same race next month and will have his prep run in a Newbury handicap on Saturday week. The eight-year-old was fourth to Ottoman Fleet on his return in a nine-furlong Group Three contest at Newmarket last month.

“He just got tired in the Earl of Sefton,” said the trainer. “He’s probably not a Group horse any more, but he likes these big fields.

“He did well at Ascot and was then third in the John Smith’s York. He’ll do the Hunt Cup and John Smith’s again.”

Meanwhile, the full-brother to Chapple-Hyam’s Group One winner Saffron Beach, who was sold for 3.6million guineas at the end of last season, arrived with the Newmarket handler on Tuesday morning.

Granger Bay, who fetched €450,000 at the Goffs Orby Sale, will run in the colours of Fiona Carmichael, having been in pre-training with Malcolm Bastard.

Saffron Beach won two top-class races for the trainer, who will also condition her full brother
Saffron Beach won two top-class races for the trainer, who will also condition her full brother (David Davies/PA)

“I am a very lucky lady to be given the honour to train him,” said Chapple-Hyam. “He was bought from the Goffs sales and sent to Malcolm to be broken in.

“We felt we didn’t want to rush him into a training yard in January or February as is the normal time slot, we said wait until after the Guineas, so he arrived on Tuesday morning.

“Fiona also has Intellogent and Aplomb in the yard. It was really nice to get the call and I’m very happy with the squad I’ve got this year.”

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