Tag Archive for: Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury ready to cheer on Kentucky Derby namesake

World heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury will be at Churchill Downs on Saturday to watch a horse named in his honour, King Fury, run in the Kentucky Derby.

Fury, whose Richard Spencer-trained namesake finished ninth on just his second start in the St Leger at Doncaster last season, is currently in Las Vegas awaiting news on his mega-fight with fellow Brit Anthony Joshua.

King Fury is trained by Kenny McPeek and arrives on the back of a Grade Three win last time out. The trainer came up with the name, having watched Fury’s second fight against Deontay Wilder.

“That was such a great fight and so fun to watch, and he seems like a really fun guy,” McPeek told ESPN.

“The other thing is when you name colts – especially really well-bred, expensive colts – you want to name them with a strong name.”

McPeek had been trying to contact Fury via social media without success until a message caught the boxer’s eye on Wednesday. McPeek subsequently offered Fury VIP tickets to watch the race.

“It’s always something I’ve been interested in, the biggest horse race in the world,” said Fury.

“I’ve always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby, never had the opportunity to do so. This is the opportunity to do so.

“I’m really looking forward to going down there and meeting King Fury and getting a win because we only do winning, we don’t do losing here at Gypsy King Headquarters.

“I hope it’s a big colt. I will see him Saturday – looking forward to going down there.

“I’m going to walk the horse out, of course I am. How badass would it be, you own a horse and the Gypsy King, Tyson Fury, the undefeated, undisputed lineal champion is walking your horse into the arena?”

Fury camp full of expectation

The Tyson Fury camp hope he can show his big-race potential in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes at Newbury.

Unraced at two, the Iffraaj colt impressed with a debut victory at Doncaster in July, but did not appear again until finishing down the field in the St Leger – an admirable run for one so inexperienced – before rounding out his 2020 campaign with a hard-fought Ascot success on testing ground.

Part-owner Phil Cunningham is expecting to learn plenty on Sunday, which will be a busy afternoon for connections and trainer Richard Spencer.

He said: “It’s a big day for us on Sunday – with Tyson, Revich in the Spring Cup and Insomnia in the Greenham.

“Tyson is the main one, I suppose – everyone thinks he is the most exciting horse in the yard, and this could be a season-defining run for him.

“He’s wintered well and is in good form. It’s a strange one with him – it’s almost like he’s a two-year-old going into his three-year-old career, rather than a three-year-old going on at four in terms of the planning, because he only had the three runs last year.

“We ran him at Ascot last year really to give him another spin, with this year in mind.

“The ground should be good for him, and I think we have got the trip right – although we’ll see on Sunday, because he could move up or down, but we need to see if he can be competitive at this level.

“We have a plan in mind for him, depending on Sunday, but we’d certainly hope to be moving up in grade rather than down.”

Leading the opposition in a race registered as the John Porter is the William Haggas-trained Al Aasy.

He looked a horse of potential last term, improving from an initial fifth behind the all-conquering Mishriff to win a Newmarket maiden before adding the Group Three Bahrain Trophy to his tally.

However, he disappointed when last of six in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. He has not run since that effort in July, and Shadwell racing manager Angus Gold is eager to see the Sea The Stars colt resume winning ways.

Gold said: “I hope he’ll run a very good race. He’s been working well and they’ve all been happy with him so far.

“We need to get back on track with him and see where we are. Nothing particularly came to light after Goodwood.

“All I know is they’ve been very happy with him so far this spring, so we need to get on and find out where we are.”

Euchen Glen returned to winning form last term
Euchen Glen returned to winning form last term (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Euchen Glen has to concede weight all round after a fine second half of the 2020 season.

The eight-year-old made a limited impact on his first five starts following a 701-day absence, but victory in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock in September sparked a renaissance, and two Group Three successes followed – including over this course and distance in the St Simon Stakes.

Euchen Glen failed to sparkle under top-weight in the November Handicap on his final outing, but trainer Jim Goldie reports preparations to have gone well.

He said: “It’s his first run back, and the ground is going to be faster than what is was when he won there last year.

“He seems in good nick. We gave him a spin around Musselburgh a fortnight ago, so he’s had a day out and he’s working well.

“He’s a year older, and I don’t think we can expect him to be improving at his age, but he might be.

“He’s giving weight away to younger horses, but there is something to be said for having been there, seen it and done it.

“When he won the John Smith’s Cup (in 2018) that would have been decent ground, so he does handle it.

“Hopefully this will tell us whether he might go to Royal Ascot and will tell us where we’re going trip-wise – whether we’re going up in trip or down in trip, or sticking to a mile and a half.

“We’re looking forward to it.”

Wonderwall tuned up for Champion Bumper bid

Richard Spencer is confident his Weatherbys Champion Bumper contender Wonderwall is capable of running a big race at the Cheltenham Festival.

Spencer’s Ascot winner is a general 25-1 shot for the Grade One on day two of the showpiece meeting.

But the Newmarket trainer has high hopes the imposing five-year-old can mix it with those at the head of the market.

“Wonderwall is a really nice horse heading to Cheltenham,” Spencer told Sky Sports Racing.

“He’s a bit of a freak really – he shouldn’t really be doing what he’s doing, the size of him.

“His work was very good as a four-year-old, and we gave him a bit of time to start off just before Christmas – and he won very well, after doing a really nice bit of work at Nottingham before going to Ascot for that debut.”

After that November success, Wonderwall returned to the same track little more than three weeks later – and although he again ran well to be third at Listed level, Spencer believes he is capable of better.

“He probably wasn’t 100 per cent where I’d have wanted him to be when he went to Ascot (again), looking back,” he added.

“But the last 10 days he’s really come to life

“I think we’ll see a different horse again, and I hope on a bit better ground he’ll run a big race.”

Wonderwall will arrive at the Festival after a three-month break, which Spencer hopes will also help.

He added: “We thought of maybe going to Newbury for the Listed race, but it was going to be too close running in February and then trying to go to Cheltenham – so we’ve kept him a fresh horse.

“He worked yesterday (Wednesday) at home on the grass at Newmarket, and he worked very well.

“I’m really looking forward to going to Cheltenham.”

Spencer will keep sights lower with another winning bumper debutant, Peejaybee – while he reports that stable star Tyson Fury has improved again through the winter and will begin his four-year-old Flat campaign at Newbury in the middle of next month.

The giant Tyson Fury won two of his three career starts last year, doubling his tally at Ascot in October – having run with credit in the St Leger at Doncaster in between.

Reflecting on his Ascot win, Spencer said: “It just shows what class of horse he is.

“It was only his third start, and we did throw him in the deep end a bit – but he didn’t disgrace himself in the Leger.

“At Ascot, the ground was probably soft enough (for him), and he did have to carry a penalty.

“It’s hard to win under a penalty. But he’s definitely improved over the winter, and I’m looking forward to starting him off this year at Newbury.”

Tyson Fury has won twice over a mile and a half, but Spencer believes the son of Iffraaj could perhaps have the speed to be effective over shorter too.

“He’s in really good form, cantering away and has done very well over the winter,” he said.

“He’s weighing in at about 580 kilos. But all being well, he’s going to go to Newbury at the first meeting – that will be our starting point.

“We’ll see how he starts off there. I think he’s got enough speed to come back to 10 furlongs, but I don’t think we want to be doing that at the moment.

Spencer plots Tyson Fury’s 2021 campaign

Richard Spencer is confident Tyson Fury can develop into a genuine Group-race performer next year, after deciding to draw stumps for this season.

The Newmarket trainer believes the best is yet to come from the son of Iffraaj – who is named after the reigning WBC heavyweight boxing champion – and has earmarked the Group Three John Porter Stakes at Newbury in April as a potential starting point.

After finishing ninth in the St Leger at Doncaster on his penultimate start, Tyson Fury added to his debut success at Town Moor with victory in a novice contest at Ascot earlier this month.

Spencer said: “He came out of his race at Ascot really well, but we have decided to give him a break and put him away for the rest of the season.

“We will start him off in Group races, and hopefully he can progress again. We will target something like the John Porter at Newbury with him, although that is a long way off.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him mature and develop over the winter, because he is a big horse. I think he will strengthen up and be a nice four-year-old.”

Reflecting on his latest success, Spencer feels the victory was made all the more impressive because it came on ground that would have been far from ideal.

He added: “He had the penalty to carry at Ascot, and the ground would have been on the soft side for him.

“He is still raw and learning, but it was great to finish on a winning note like that.

“It was good to see him get his head back in front after the St Leger – it would have given him a bit more street-craft and confidence.”

Cunningham retains Fury faith despite Doncaster disappointment

Connections of the equine Tyson Fury retain full faith in his abilities after taking plenty of encouragement from his performance in the Pertemps St Leger.

The Richard Spencer-trained colt – who is named after the world heavyweight champion – lined up for the final Classic of the season at Doncaster having only made one racecourse appearance, when he was the comfortable winner of a novice stakes race at the same track.

The son of Iffraaj was not seen again until taking his big-race chance on Town Moor last Saturday, when he finished an eventual ninth of 11 runners, beaten 12 lengths by Galileo Chrome.

However, co-owner Phil Cunningham was bolstered by Tyson Fury’s late progress in the race and pointed out his encouraging sectional timings.

“I suppose on one hand we were a little bit disappointed, because obviously we wouldn’t have gone there if we didn’t think we’d have finished closer,” he said.

“But I thought he ran a lovely race in hindsight. Kieran (Shoemark) looked after him – I thought he did the right thing, he showed up nicely from four furlongs out.

“His furlong from the fourth (furlong out) to the third, now we have the benefit of sectional timing, was the fastest furlong of any horse in the race. His combined time from the fourth (last) to the second was the fastest of any horse in the race.

“He’s a big baby, very immature and very green – everything we half expected. Like I say, I think Kieran looked after him. He could have finished closer if he wanted, but there was no point, we weren’t going to win.”

Cunningham anticipates Tyson Fury will make his next appearance in a less testing contest, perhaps stepping back down to the 12-furlong trip he won over on his racecourse debut.

“I think Richard will find a race for him in a couple of weeks’ time,” he said.

“Maybe slightly back in trip, a bit of a confidence boost, but I think we’ve got a cracking horse to look forward to for next year.

“Obviously we’ll discuss it with Richard, but I’d love to see him back at a mile and a half next time. Off the back of that run, we’ll probably determine where we go after that, or indeed if we put him away until next year.”

Heartened by the promise shown in his two runs starts to date, Cunningham is looking forward to seeing how the colt matures and progresses next season.

“The positive thing is that there’s no harm done,” he said.

“I’m just delighted to know we’ve got a horse that’s capable of competing at that level and I think we’ll be the biggest improver from the race for next season.”