Tag Archive for: Fev Rover

Inspiral expected to go the distance in Filly & Mare Turf

John Gosden believes fast ground and Santa Anita’s tight turns will help Inspiral see out 10 furlongs for the first time in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

With her being so good over a mile there has never been any need to test the Cheveley Park Stud star over a mile and a quarter in Europe.

But given how important a good draw can be in the Mile, Gosden thought it would be safer to opt for the longer race – that is of course after the initial plan to run on Champions Day was scuppered by soft ground.

“We were originally going to run her in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot and it would have been perfect the weekend before, when they had good ground, but the week of the race, we had a massive amount of rain in the days leading up to Champions Weekend and we were left with no alternative but not to enter her there and bring her here,” said Gosden.

Inspiral and Frankie Dettori are led by the pony onto the track
Inspiral and Frankie Dettori are led by the pony onto the track (PA)

“She’s been enjoying going out there with the pony cantering on the turf and is very well and happy in herself. She has a strong mind of her own. The only time she left the country she flew and vanned to France but she’s travelled fine and is happy and bright in herself.

“American horses break faster than ours, and if you get a wide draw in a race like the Mile you need the leaders to implode. We’re going for the longer race and I don’t think she’ll have any problems with the trip.

“We think she’ll get the distance well. As I’ve said with Mostahdaf (Turf), it’s firm ground and the first part is downhill, with tight bends, so I don’t worry too much about her ability to handle a mile and a quarter.”

He added: “Inspiral is likely to stay in training. Mrs (Patricia) Thompson (owner) has indicated that.”

Perhaps Inspiral’s biggest danger is the Mark Casse-trained Fev Rover, no stranger to European racegoers due to her exploits as a younger horse with Richard Fahey.

While the two never met, Fev Rover did run in plenty of big races for Fahey and finished third in the 1000 Guineas two years ago.

And since being based in the US, she has emerged as one of the best in class.

“She has beaten most of the best horses in the US. Now she has to deal with Europe. This will be a little different,” said Casse.

Fev Rover had some good form when trained by Richard Fahey
Fev Rover had some good form when trained by Richard Fahey (George Selwyn/PA)

“I came away from the Diana (at Saratoga) thinking that, with a little better trip, she could have won it. We saw the real Fev Rover in the E.P. Taylor.

“(Can she win) Honestly? I don’t know. She is as good as she is gonna be, but this is a tall task.

“For sure I am optimistic. I have taken some good horses to the Breeders’ Cup. And this one is a happy girl.”

Aidan O’Brien won the race with Tuesday last year and will attempt to go back-to-back with his Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Vermeille heroine Warm Heart.

The daughter of Galileo has proven to be ultra-tough in her Group One triumphs and the Ballydoyle team appear set to make plenty of use of her stamina as she drops back in distance.

“She has a nice draw and she has speed and gets the trip really well,” said O’Brien.

“I imagine Ryan (Moore) will go forward on her and probably whatever comes to beat her will have to get the trip well.

“I would say he will probably go early on her and she does get it well, she doesn’t lie down and she does fight.”

Charlie Appleby’s With The Moonlight chased home Fev Rover in the E.P. Taylor and has just over two lengths to find.

“With The Moonlight is having her final race,” said Appleby.

“I’m pleased with her. She went to New York in the spring where they had some fires and they closed the track. She had a couple of nasty scopes.

“She didn’t enjoy the ground in Canada, but here she has nothing to lose. She has a nice draw (three) and is a player.”

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Fev Rover ready to challenge Inspiral for Cup title

A familiar name could prove the biggest threat to Inspiral in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, as Fev Rover attempts to exert her recent dominance in North America at Santa Anita.

A winner of the Star Stakes and a Deauville Group Two when trained by Richard Fahey, the daughter of Gutaifan also placed in the 2021 edition of the 1000 Guineas during her time racing in Britain.

Sold to Tracy Farmer for 695,000 guineas at the end of that year, Fev Rover joined Mark Casse and the mare has improved with age, culminating in some stellar displays this season.

Having kicked off her five-year-old campaign with victory in Woodbine’s Nassau Stakes, she added Grade One triumphs in both the Beverly D Stakes and when accounting for Charlie Appleby’s With The Moonlight in the E.P Taylor Stakes and now finds herself as short as 7-1 with some British bookmakers for Breeders’ Cup glory.

Casse of course is no stranger to beating the Europeans on turf having saddled Tepin to strike at Royal Ascot in 2016 and the Hall Of Fame handler believes Fev Rover has all the right qualities to thrive around the tight turns of the famous California venue.

“I think Fev Rover has a big chance and she is training well,” said Casse.

“It looks like a real international race and obviously it is not going to be easy, but she is doing well and as far as things in North America go, she has kind of stamped herself as one of the better turf horses, that’s for sure.

Mark Casse (third right) after winning the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot
Mark Casse (third right) after winning the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot (David Davies/PA)

“Her race at Saratoga was very good in the Diana (Stakes) and of course she won Beverley D. Both of those were around similar type turns and one thing about her, and I think it is one of the reasons why she is pretty good, is she is very versatile.

“If there is no speed she can go to the lead and if there is speed she can sit off them. She kind of makes her own race which is nice, she is not dependant on others.”

Fev Rover’s fine season could not only see her provide her decorated handler with a seventh victory at the Breeders’ Cup, but has also put the mare in prime position to be named Canadian Horse of the Year.

That is an accolade Casse feels would be fully justified having seen the mare mature into the full package this term.

“Looking at everyone’s accomplishments, as of today, she would be the favourite for horse of the year,” added the trainer.

“The only thing would be if one of the Canadian horses won at the Breeders’ Cup, that might hurt her chances.

“She has really grown up. Her physique and everything changed a lot from four to five and she’s a really stout filly now. She has just got really good and her behaviour is much better. She could misbehave some times but as she’s got older, she has got a little smarter about that.”

The Filly & Mare Turf last went to a North American-trained contender in 2018 and joining John and Thady Gosden’s Inspiral for the journey across the Atlantic is Aidan O’Brien’s Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Vermeille heroine Warm Heart along with the Joseph O’Brien-trained Lumiere Rock and State Occasion for Ralph Beckett.

Inspiral is favourite for the  Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita
Inspiral is favourite for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita (David Davies/PA)

Casse is predicting that fearsome contingent of raiders – as well as Japanese candidate Win Marilyn – to once again present a stern challenge, but the experienced handler prefers to concentrate solely on the prospects of Fev Rover and seeing her pony to post in the best possible shape.

“I’m worried about six or seven of them! I’m sure the Euros will be tough, they always are,” he said when asked about the opposition.

“But in all honesty though, I kind of just worry about my own horse. There is nothing I can do about the competition so I don’t fret about it. I figure it is what it is and we have to try to beat them.”

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