Thursday, 26 July 2012
: A total 107 entries have been received for the £75,000 One Call Insurance Champagne Stakes, the very prestigious Group Two contest for two-year-old colts and geldings run on the final day of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival, Saturday, September 15.
The entries for the seven-furlong race include David Simcock's Birdman
, who was beaten a head by Olympic Glory in the Group Two 32Red.com Superlative Stakes on his most recent start at Newmarket on July 13.
Prior to that, the son of Danehill Dancer had won by two and a half lengths at Brighton on June 1, before an eye-catching success in novice event at Chepstow on June 15, that saw him win going away by three and a quarter lengths.
David Simcock, who trains at Trillium Place in Newmarket, said: "The One Call Insurance Champagne Stakes fits very nicely into Birdman's schedule and we will probably go to Glorious Goodwood for the Vintage Stakes and then on to Doncaster.
"He has been in good form since his run at Newmarket. He is very straightforward and considering the race was a bit of slog, I couldn't be happier with him.
"He got his run checked at the wrong time at Newmarket - just before the two mark - and then had to pull and come round, but the further he went the better he went. We will be racing on different ground at Goodwood next week, but I don't think that will be a problem to him.
"I think the form stacks up very well as the winner confirmed the form with the fourth horse (Artigiano), who was fifth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, so the form looks solid.
"He hasn't surprised us with his progress. We kept him low-key early on, but he has always shown plenty of ability and has always been a little bit green which is why we avoided Royal Ascot because mentally we didn't think he was ready. As he has raced, he has improved.
"I think the fact he handles very fast ground and very soft ground is an added bonus.
"I think everybody hopes horses like him make nice three-year-olds, but you never know and reserve judgement until the time.
"He will get a mile this year."
Other notable entries for the two-year-old contest include Mars, who is one of 28 entries for trainer Aidan O'Brien after winning by five lengths on his racecourse debut at Dundalk on July 16. He could be joined by stablemates Cristoforo Columbo, who finished third in the Group Two Coventry Stakes, and promising maiden victors Nevis and The United States.
David Wachman, who also trains in Ireland, could saddle Group Three winner Probably, while the home challenge may include John Gosden's striking Newmarket scorer Ghurair and Azrur, who triumphed over the course and distance for Michael Bell on June 30.
Richard Hannon won last year's renewal with Trumpet Major and has six entries including Olympic Glory and the highly regarded Toronado, who bolstered his reputation with a taking display in the Listed Winkfield Stakes at Ascot on July 21.