Thursday, 5 July 2012
: Andrew Balding has put a line through Bonfire's Derby failure and is feeling confident ahead of his run in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.
| Andrew Balding|
Photo by HKJC
The Highclere Thoroughbred-owned colt won the Dante in impressive fashion at York and was considered the main the danger to Camelot at Epsom, but didn't fire.
Balding has freshened Bonfire
since, and told At The Races: "He's been in good form. We were a little bit worried as he didn't run his race at Epsom and I was a bit worried he might be sore coming back, but he came out of it very well and we've been delighted with him since."
"It's a great time-span between the races and I think we'll have him as good as we can get him for Saturday.
"I think it was a combination of things at Epsom. We always said the Dante was close enough in proximity to the Derby as a trial and the track itself (didn't help).
"He just didn't operate. It was plain to see that as soon as they started the descent he wasn't going forward and that's very unlike him. We've just put a line through it and we'll carry on and hope to see the real Bonfire on Saturday.
"He will always just do enough. He's not going to quicken six lengths clear of a lead horse, he'll go a length clear and prick his ears, that's him, you're never going to be blown away by him, but I've been very happy with the way he's been going.
"Sometimes you get a year when the Eclipse cuts up but sadly this isn't one of them. I think there's some very good older horses in there. Nathaniel, Cityscape is a major international winner, Crackerjack King and, of course, So You Think
"He'll have a break after this whatever happens and come back for an autumn campaign."
Alain de Royer-Dupre's filly Giofra was second to Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay but she will only make the journey if the ground is not too soft.
"We have to decide whether to go or not. If not Sandown she may go to Newmarket for the Falmouth. It will depend on the ground, the filly is better on firm ground, she's a Dansili, and the competition looks very high in the Eclipse," said Royer-Dupre.
"I don't know how much rain is forecast, I'll have to have a good look to decide.
"We ran in the Prix D'Harcourt to ensure she had a good prep after the Prix Ganay and she looks very well.
"She's never travelled a long way but she looks calm and I hope she can do it."
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