Gosden and Tate eyeing French targets rather than Newmarket

A couple of Newmarket trainers have come over all oooh la la this morning and are aiming for French targets rather than staying at home with their three-year-old colts; my 2,000 Guineas punt Masar is now best-priced 11-2 with Gustav Klimt generally 5-2 favourite. 

John Gosden is cool on the idea of running Roaring Lion in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday week. The Qatar Racing-owned colt failed to strengthen his Guineas claims after he could only finish third in the Craven Stakes, in which he was sent off the 8-13 favourite, at Newmarket last Thursday. Gosden feels Roaring Lion will be seen in a better light when stepped up in distance and could swerve the Guineas in preference towards running in the Dante Stakes at York on May 17 and then the French Derby at Chantilly on June 3. The Clarehaven handler told At The Races: "The way he trains, it looks like the Dante-Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) will be a smart move for him." 

James Tate is keen to step Hey Gaman up in class and trip for the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp on May 13. The Newmarket handler has earmarked the mile contest as the next target for the three-year-old after he finished third on his seasonal return in the Greenham at Newbury on Saturday. Tate said: "Initially, I was a bit disappointed that we came third but it was his first run of the year and he was only beaten three-quarters of a length by two Group Two winners. He is a massive, big horse and he will definitely come on significantly for that. Following on from that he has come out of the race well and he will probably go to the French Guineas. It is possible in time that he is best at seven (furlongs) but the programme book urges us to go a mile and I think he will get it." 

I mentioned him briefly in a post yesterday and Sergei Prokofiev duly got the job done at Navan in nice style. The son of Scat Daddy is out of the Canadian mare Orchard Beach but did not find the soft ground an inconvenience when streaking clear by seven and a half lengths in the five-furlong Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race. Ridden by Ryan Moore, he showed the benefit of his debut run when second at Dundalk and previous winner Pride Of Pimlico chased him home in second. "We're delighted with him. Donnacha loved him when he rode him in Dundalk," O'Brien said of the 2-5 favourite. "He's a big, powerful horse and has plenty of speed. He came on as obviously he was never away before Dundalk. We'll look at the Marble Hill or the Rochestown with him. Ryan said he didn't think six would be a problem, five or six. He went to the line strong. That was nice for his second race as we don't have the novice races and you are limited after you win a maiden. We always thought he was very nice and between now and Ascot we'd like to get another one (run) into him."