Goldie sweet on Euchen Glen’s November Handicap claims

Jim Goldie believes Euchen Glen has plenty in his favour as he bids to end a successful season on a high in the Betfair November Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday.

The seven-year-old has taken a brace of Group Three races – the Cumberland Lodge and the St Simon Stakes this autumn – but won a handicap as recently as September.

That success came in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock, and he has gone up 8lb in the ratings since then to 109.

“It’s a proper old-fashioned handicap with top-weight of 9st 10lb down to 8st, you don’t usually get those these days,” said Glasgow-based Goldie.

“It’s back to the days of old when horses on 8st used to get in these races.

“He’s going to have a lump a lot of weight again, but he is a Group horse in a handicap and is rated accordingly.

“He’s in good order. He should like the ground, he’s won over the course and distance so it should all be fine.

“He won’t know he’s got the weight on. Win, lose or draw, he’s had a great season. It will take a decent horse to beat him.”

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Tim Easterby’s three-strong team is headed by Ebor runner-up Glencadam Glory as he bids for a first win in the big race on the card that brings the curtain down on the turf season.

“He’s a very good horse. He’s in good form and he goes on the ground,” said the Great Habton handler.

“We’re claiming 7lb off him (with Ella McCain) which will be a big plus. He should run well.”

Easterby has booked dual champion jockey Paul Hanagan for Aasheq, who makes a quick reappearance after finishing second at Redcar on Tuesday.

Paul Hanagan has been snapped up by Tim Easterby for Aasheq
Paul Hanagan has been snapped up by Tim Easterby for Aasheq (Tim Goode/PA)

“He was a little unlucky the other day,” said Easterby.

“He just got shut in a little bit and he didn’t get a run, but he gets the trip and he should have a good chance.”

Bollin Joan, the mount of Duran Fentiman, completes Easterby’s trio. The five-year-old mare steps up in class after winning for the third time this season at Catterick last month.

“She is a few pounds out of the handicap, but she goes on the ground, gets the trip and has a small weight so she could have a chance,” he said.

Joe Tuite landed this prize with Litigant in 2015 and expects Surrey Pride to put up a good show.

“He seems good. I think the ground was too soft at Newbury last time, he didn’t seem to handle it. He couldn’t get his feet out of the ground,” said Tuite.

“We’re hoping for a better performance this Saturday.

“It’ll be his last run of the season, so let’s hope he can run a nice race.”

He added: “Litigant was different class, a legend of a horse. They are hard to follow, but this is a good horse and he’s one for next year.

“I’m not worried about the trip at all. We’re hopeful.”

Ian Williams reports Kingbrook to be in prime condition as the three-year-old bids to follow up last month’s Newmarket success.

“He’s in good shape, His preparation has gone well and we couldn’t be happier with him,” the Alvechurch trainer told Sky Sports Racing.

Kingbrook is one of two November Handicap runners for Ian Williams
Kingbrook is one of two November Handicap runners for Ian Williams

“I was worried about him during the race as he looked to be running a bit too free, but Richard (Kingscote) gave him a great ride. He managed to hang on to enough and he finished very strongly. It was a nice step up in trip and one that suited well.”

William also saddles Everything For You, whose last race came over hurdles on this course in January.

“We were getting him ready for the race last year and it was abandoned due to the flooding at Doncaster,” he said.

“He went hurdling and we were unlucky not to get a prep run into him at Doncaster recently. He takes his chance and he finished ninth in the race in 2018, so we’d be hopeful of a nice run from him.”

Euchen Glen in November Handicap mix

Euchen Glen, a Group Three winner on his last two starts, is among 31 entries for the Betfair November Handicap at Doncaster.

Jim Goldie’s seven-year-old has taken the Cumberland Lodge and the St Simon Stakes this autumn – but won a handicap as recently as September.

That success came in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock, and he has gone up 8lb in the ratings since then to 109.

He would have to carry top weight of 9st 10lb in Saturday’s Town Moor feature, on the final day of the Flat turf season, should he take his chance.

Rated just 1lb below is Raymond Tusk. The Richard Hannon-trained five-year-old was well-beaten in seventh place behind Euchen Glen at Newbury last month, but that was his first start since January.

“Until we get him back into form, we are a little unsure about what is his trip,” said Tim Palin, syndicate manager for owners Middleham Park Racing.

“He’s out of form, and the handicapper has dropped him 3lb.”

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“We’ve got (all-weather) finals’ day at the back of our minds, but there is no point going anywhere unless he’s in form.

“The little niggles he had were a poisoned foot after Wolverhampton in the winter, and he cracked a rib in his box in the summer, which stopped us going to the Ebor. It’s not like he’s had a tendon or a leg to explain why he’s not running his races.”

Palin is still hopeful, however.

“He’s had a lovely break,” he added.

“We can’t argue for fitness this time, and he’s been flying at home.

“At this moment, he’s not telling us that he should be retired – but he’s just not been in form for 12 months.

“If the ground is really bad, we might give it a swerve and wait for a fast-track qualifier. If the ground is decent we might take our chance. We are just trying to get him back into form.”

Middleham Park may also be represented by Glencadam Glory, sixth in the St Simon, and Beechwood Jude – who is not guaranteed a run.

“Glencadam Glory has run some belting races. He actually beat Raymond last time,” said Palin.

“Things are absolutely spot on for him, and going down in grade could be exactly what he wants.

“I know we were flattered when second in the Ebor. He got the run of the race in front, and it was a Group horse that hunted us down. (But) if he could put in a performance like the Ebor, he should be there or thereabouts.

“He’s a likely runner, and Beechwood Jude is a definite runner if he gets in.

“He’s in the form of his life and he will love one mile four furlongs and the really soft ground.

“It was a bit of a punt putting him in, because we didn’t think he’d necessarily get in. In a normal year he’d never get in, but we thought there might be a chance he’d sneak in at the bottom.”

Glencadam Glory is one of three possibles from Tim Easterby’s stable – along with Aasheq and Bollin Joan.

Hughie Morrison’s Whitehaven and Roger Charlton’s Win O’Clock have both been in good form of late.

Other possibles include Ralph Beckett’s lightly-raced but well-fancied Sam Cooke, John Ryan’s Hiroshima, the Ian Williams-trained Kingbrook and David O’Meara’s Eagle Court – while John Queally’s Arcadian Sunrise is the sole Irish-trained entry.

Euchen Glen better than ever at Newbury

Euchen Glen is proving to be better than ever as a seven-year-old – and confirmed that impression with victory in the Pravha Stakes at Newbury.

Jim Goldie’s stable star won the John Smith’s Cup at York in 2018, but injury then kept him off the track for more than 700 days before he returned this season and went on to claim victory in a valuable contest at Haydock in September.

He had last been seen causing a surprise in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes on the Knavesmire – a race in which Logician was the hot favourite – and he was sent off at 9-2 to defy his Group Three penalty in a race better known as the St Simon Stakes.

Moving into third place rounding the bend, Paul Mulrennan sat motionless for much of the journey up the straight – before getting the perfect response when he asked his mount for an effort.

A cosy length and three-quarters was the margin of victory over Natural History, and Goldie – who decided against running at Ascot’s Champions Day meeting to wait for this event – said: “He’d surely have gone close to winning at Ascot, looking at that!

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“We needed £20,000 to supplement (at Ascot), though, and waiting for this gave him an extra week. He’s certainly an improving seven-year-old.

“Whether he runs again (this season) will depend on the handicapper – in the old days, you’d have gone for the November Handicap with him.

“He’s won that with a penalty, so it just depends how much he goes up – (but) the temptation is to strike while the iron is hot.”

Without the travel restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, Euchen Glen might have been in a different hemisphere – rather than merely a few hundred miles south from Goldie’s Scottish base.

“I know he goes through bad ground, but he did win a John Smith’s Cup on good to firm,” added the Renfrewshire trainer.

“We were originally thinking the Melbourne Cup this year – he should be in quarantine now, but because of covid we abandoned it.

“Maybe we should train him for next year’s race – he’d get in now – but should we aim him at the Cup races here?

“I don’t know – we’ve a thousand dreams at the minute for next year.”

Mujbar (5-1) ploughed through the heavy ground to take the Molson Coors Beverage Company Stakes, more familiar in its guise as the Horris Hill.

Fourth last time out in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, the Charlie Hills-trained youngster got into it from two out and really stuck his neck out for Dane O’Neill to score by a length from the gallant Percy’s Lad – who had been in the firing line throughout.

Love Is You continued her progression with victory in the Racing TV Stakes, registered as The Radley Stakes.

Successful over six furlongs on her debut at Ascot in September, the Roger Charlton-trained filly took the step up to seven and Listed company in her stride.

Briefly engaged in a tussle with Gift List, the Kingman filly asserted more than a furlong out under Jason Watson, and was well on top at the line for a three-and-a-half-length victory as the 9-4 favourite.

Newbury next for Euchen Glen

Euchen Glen is heading for more Group Three glory in the St Simon Stakes at Newbury following his surprise victory at York.

Jim Goldie’s versatile seven-year-old left last year’s St Leger winner Logician trailing home last of four as he lifted the Cumberland Lodge Stakes, which had been rearranged from Ascot’s abandoned meeting at the start of this month.

In beating Desert Encounter by half a length, with Highland Chief another nine lengths back in third, he defeated good yardsticks as he opened his Pattern-race account.

Goldie said: “It was good. You can only beat what comes up – and he certainly beat them.

“We rode him positively and won the race. It’s gone below the radar. The handicapper wasn’t impressed – he’s put him at 109.

“We’ll probably head to Newbury for the St Simon Stakes (next weekend). He’ll have a Group Three penalty of 3lb.

“He’s been fine since York. He’s a good horse.”

The dream for connections has been to run in the Melbourne Cup one day, but Goldie is trying not to think too far ahead.

“We’ll get this year out of the way before we think of the Melbourne Cup,” said the Glasgow trainer.

“With Covid, we didn’t fancy it this year. It might still be a nightmare next year, but we’ll be a bit wiser.”