Evergreen Euchen Glen in Rose of Lancaster reckoning

Euchen Glen could be in action again in the MansionBet Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.

Jim Goldie’s stable stalwart is enjoying an excellent campaign, having bagged two big-race victories at Sandown in the Brigadier Gerard and the Gala Stakes.

He was only narrowly denied further success in Friday’s Group Three Glorious Stakes at Goodwood – flashing home under regular partner Paul Mulrennan but just failing to reel in Saeed bin Suroor’s 2-1 favourite Passion and Glory, who was completing a hat-trick for the season.

Goldie is pleased with how Euchen Glen has recovered from those exertions and is eyeing a swift return to action on Merseyside.

“He was back home on Saturday and has come out of the race grand, so I think he’ll be fine to run again,” said the Scottish trainer.

“I think he’d have got up in another few strides. He ran a good race and the winner is maybe a good horse.”

The eight-year-old could face another exciting Bin Suroor-trained horse this weekend, with Royal Ascot hero Real World among his 14 potential rivals.

Since winning the Royal Hunt Cup, Real World has impressed in a Listed event at Newbury and is the joint top-rated horse in this weekend’s field along with Euchen Glen.

Real World and Marco Ghiani winning the Royal Hunt Cup
Real World and Marco Ghiani winning the Royal Hunt Cup (David Davies/PA)

Goldie has his charge entered for the Sky Bet Ebor at York on August 21, but his participation could depend on how he fares at Haydock.

He added: “We’ll see about the Ebor. If he wins on Saturday we probably won’t go for the Ebor and if he’s second again we probably will.

“If he picks up a penalty, we’d probably think it would be too much weight at York and the Ebor is a hard race.”

Last year’s Rose of Lancaster winner Extra Elusive is in line to defend his crown for Roger Charlton.

Other contenders for the Group Three contest include Sir Michael Stoute’s Solid Stone, the Ed Walker-trained Stormy Antarctic, Foxes Tales from Andrew Balding’s yard and Brentford Hope, who is trained by Richard Hughes.

Champion Stakes option open for Euchen Glen

Euchen Glen could make an appearance in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot after his impressive performance at Sandown on Friday.

The popular eight-year-old was a three-and-a-quarter-length winner of the Listed Gala Stakes, a race that featured the return of the well-regarded John Leeper, who went off the 5-4 favourite but had to settle for third behind the 11-4 winner.

The victory follows the gelding’s convincing win at odds of 20-1 in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes, a Group Three event in which he came home four and a quarter lengths ahead of his nearest rival.

“He’s just an amazing horse,” Goldie said.

“The people that follow him think he’s wonderful because he always comes in at a big price as people assume there’s some young gun that will come and beat him, but it hasn’t really happened yet.”

Goldie had previously considered the horse to be most effective on soft ground, but his Sandown performance came on good going and the trainer is now open-minded as to his next step.

The Champion Stakes in October is under consideration, but the likelihood of soft autumn going inspired that idea and Euchen Glen’s triumph on better conditions may now open more doors.

Euchen Glen rolled back the years at Sandown
Euchen Glen rolled back the years at Sandown (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He’s nearly as good as you get on soft or heavy ground, and that’s (Ascot) when we’re liable to get it,” he said.

“But he’s not too bad with soft in the title and he’s not too bad even if there’s good in the title – he’s not doing too much wrong either way.

“We may go there (Ascot), but if it’s wet somewhere we might turn up somewhere else, we’ll just make a judgement.

“He’s in good order and he obviously had a good back end of last year, so hopefully he can keep his form to the end of the season.”

Evergreen Euchen Glen sparks Gala celebrations

Euchen Glen bagged his second major prize of the season at Sandown with a clear-cut victory in the Davies Insurance Services Gala Stakes.

A surprise winner of the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes over the course and distance in May, Jim Goldie’s charge had since finished a close-up fifth in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Conceding 12lb to Ed Dunlop’s promising three-year-old John Leeper, who was last seen finishing ninth in the Derby at Epsom, Euchen Glen (11-4) looked to have his work cut out under Paul Mulrennan, but ultimately got the job done in fine style.

The eight-year-old was settled at the rear of the five-strong field for much of the 10-furlong contest, with the free-going Father Of Jazz setting a furious pace and soon building up a substantial lead.

The latter was still clear rounding the home turn, but predictably faltered halfway up the straight and Euchen Glen powered down the centre of the track to win comfortably by three and a quarter lengths.

Fox Tal filled the runner-up spot, with 5-4 favourite John Leeper ultimately a shade disappointing in third.

Mulrennan said: “He’s just a legend of an old horse, it doesn’t matter what trip. He ran a hell of a race at Royal Ascot.

“I was happy all the way today but I won’t lie, two and a half from home I looked up and he (Father Of Jazz) did look a long way in front

“I was a long way back from a bad draw there otherwise he would have been a lot closer.

“The race fell in his lap today. Jim’s horses this season are flying and I seem to have struck up quite a good rapport with him.

“Jim isn’t afraid to run his horses over 10 furlongs, a mile and a half, two miles and he gives you confidence when you ride for him.

“It’s something they do in Australia quite a bit, but no so much here. I’ve ridden horses here over 10 furlongs that have gone to Australia and won over five furlongs and those that win over seven here can win over two miles over there

“Horses aren’t human, you just need to work out what suits them best and get inside their heads – Jim seems to be doing that at the minute.

“I was happy all the way today but I won’t lie, two-and-a-half from home I looked up and he did look a long way in front. But as soon as I gave him a squeeze I knew he’d pick them up.”

Richard Johnstone, son of owner William Johnstone, said: “He just keeps doing it and we’re delighted.

“On the form, I thought the only danger was John Leeper but the one who made the running did us a favour.

“He can go from the front so we debated that, but the first two or three races Jim spoke to me and said there’s more juice in the ground than people expect and the front-runners weren’t getting there. It was a last-minute decision for us to change tactics.

“With two and a half furlongs to go, I was celebrating. I know the horse and once I saw him progressing, I thought ‘this is it’.

“My father bred him and bred Nicholas T and Sir Chauvelin. He’s had a fantastic time with him and he loves bringing them on as foals.

“His problem in the past has ruled him out of the Melbourne Cup with the new protocols. Jim is hoping to target the Champion Stakes, the 10 furlongs there – Paul says he likes Ascot and hopefully he’ll get some cut in the ground. The next target will be the 12-furlong Group Three (Queen’s Plate) at Glorious Goodwood on the Friday.”

John Leeper returns to the fray in Gala Stakes at Sandown

John Leeper will look to bounce back to winning ways when he takes on the Listed Gala Stakes at Sandown on Friday.

The Ed Dunlop-trained three-year-old was last seen finishing ninth in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom, a race in which he started at 8-1 following two impressive successes earlier in the season.

The Frankel colt, who is named after Dunlop’s late father and is out of his star filly Snow Fairy, will now take a step down in grade and trip to line up for the Listed contest at the Esher track.

Returning to a a mile and a quarter, John Leeper faces four rivals as he bids to get back to winning ways and reunites with jockey Adam Kirby after Frankie Dettori took to the saddle at Epsom.

“He seems very well, I don’t think he had a very hard race in the Derby but then you never really know that until you reappear,” Dunlop said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing him run again, Frankie suggested we go back to a mile and a quarter and that’s what we’re doing.

“We’d love to be running against our own age level, but we couldn’t see any lesser-class races for that (three-year-olds) existing.”

Dunlop is not ruling out a return to a mile and a half in the future, but will see how his charge fares in his next assignment before making firm plans.

“I think potentially we’ve got the latter-season races to go back up in trip,” he said.

“Let’s see how we get on at Sandown, it’s a very strong race against Euchen Glen and the older horses, we’ll see how we go.”

Euchen Glen returns to the scene of his Group Three Brigadier Gerard success, where he was an impressive four-and-a-half-length victor when starting at 20-1.

Euchen Glen winning the Brigadier Gerard Stakes, also held at Sandown
Euchen Glen winning the Brigadier Gerard Stakes, also held at Sandown (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Trainer Jim Goldie reports the eight-year-old to be in fine fettle ahead of the race – but remains mindful of the potential class of John Leeper.

“He’s in good form,” he said.

“Obviously there’s a Derby horse running against us, so it will be interesting.

“We knew going into it we’d be coming up against one or two like that, but they will need to be quite good to beat him, I would imagine.

“I’d imagine he (John Leeper) is quite a good horse, the way he won at Newmarket, and you can never judge a horse just on the Derby.”

Andrew Balding’s Fox Tal finished third behind Euchen Glen at Sandown, with the two geldings crossing paths again in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot, where the latter horse was fifth and Fox Tal was seventh.

“He was the last horse off the bridle at Ascot and didn’t see it out,” said Alastair Donald, racing manager to owner King Power Racing.

Fox Tal ridden by Oisin Murphy (centre left)
Fox Tal ridden by Oisin Murphy (centre left) (Tim Goode/PA)

“He ran well at Sandown the time before and should be there or thereabouts.”

Making up the field of five are Roger Varian’s Father Of Jazz, who was ninth in the Wolferton, and Martyn Meade’s Gloucestershire, who won his only start to date at Kempton in December.

Conditions key to Euchen Glen agenda

Jim Goldie’s plans for Euchen Glen will revolve around soft ground after the talented and versatile performer sprang a 20-1 surprise at Sandown.

The eight-year-old came from last to first on Thursday evening to land the mile-and-a-quarter Brigadier Gerard Stakes by a convincing four and a quarter lengths from Sangarius and take his Group Three tally to three.

Goldie has not given Euchen Glen any entries at Royal Ascot next month, but would consider supplementing him for the Hardwicke Stakes over a mile and a half if conditions were suitable.

The Glasgow trainer is thinking the same about the Coral-Eclipse back over Sandown’s 10 furlongs on July 3 – if the heavens opened.

“We didn’t put him in at Ascot,” he said.

“He has won on good to firm, but he is very good on soft. We might supplement him for the Hardwicke Stakes if it came up soft, but that’s unlikely.

“We’ll see. It would be the same for the Eclipse. We might supplement him for that if it was soft.

“Long-term, we might be looking at Ascot for the Champion Stakes (in October).”

Goldie rates the Brigadier Gerard victory as arguably Euchen Glen’s best performance.

“You could say that was a career best last night,” he added.

“If you take the form as literal, the second is rated 114, and we gave him 3lb and a four-length beating. We’ll see what the handicapper does.

“If he put Euchen Glen up to 110 (from 106), then the Ebor could be interesting. It’s a quandary for the handicapper.

“You’d think the horse as an eight-year-old wouldn’t be better than he was last year. He had him at 110 last year.

“It was one of those special moments, especially when no-one expected it, yet he’s a soft-ground horse that went off at 20-1.

“He’s a talented horse. That was his third Group Three, and he carried a penalty as well – which takes some doing.”

Euchen Glen rolls back the years to record career-best in Brigadier Gerard

Euchen Glen bounced right back to his very best to take the Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.

After returning from nearly two years on the sidelines to win three times in 2020, the Jim Goldie-trained eight-year-old had been below par in two runs so far this season – but put those efforts well behind him to record a career-best Group Two triumph, one achieved with a 3lb penalty.

Ridden at the back of the four-runner field as Sangarius bowled along in front closely attended by Extra Elusive, it looked like Jim Goldie’s mount had plenty on his plate with Ryan Moore on the even-money favourite seemingly going great guns aboard the even-money favourite.

But Sangarius could not put his rivals away, and as he started to tread water Euchen Glen (20-1) really picked up for Paul Mulrennan and swept to the front, streaking clear to win by four and a quarter lengths, in a race run this year in memory of Brigadier Gerard’s rider Joe Mercer.

Mulrennan said: “Coming back in trip suited him, he’s been slightly over-racing so we thought if we came back in trip and rode him quiet like when I won on him at Haydock (it might work).

“Jim’s horses have just been coming into form the last couple of weeks and turned a corner, the ground was perfect, it’s a stiff track and there was always going to be a stiff pace to aim at.

“I almost got there too soon and had to take a pull, but that’s the first time this year he’s been relaxed in my hands and he was able to finish off. They stopped in front and he had nothing else to race with.

“It’s credit to Jim Goldie, he had that serious injury after winning the John Smith’s Cup (in 2018), and that was over a mile and a quarter. To get him back to this sort of level is a credit to Jim.”

He added: “I’d say that was his career-best, giving 3lb away. He wasn’t doing a great deal in front and he tends to get better as the year goes on.

“It took him a few runs to get his confidence back after his injury, but then he had a really good run at the end of last season winning some good races.

“I know the Melbourne Cup was a bit of a target, but that has probably gone now. The Ebor is probably the race for him, with good prize-money.

“It was worth the trip down at least, I actually led my first ever horse up here about 20-odd years ago when I started at Brian Meehan’s.”

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.”

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.”

“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!

“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.”