NAVY LOOKS SHIP­SHAPE FOR FEA­TURE

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - LAURA POL­SON

THE team around U S Navy Flag is happy with the Ir­ish sprinter’s track work ahead of The Ever­est but pray­ing there will be no more rain.

Cool­more prin­ci­pal Tom Mag­nier said the sprinter, the first in­ter­na­tion­ally trained horse to run in

world’s rich­est turf race, han­dled the ground at Can­ter­bury Race­course where he is quar­an­tined, bet­ter on Tues­day than he had pre­vi­ous, wet­ter days.

U S Navy Flag worked in blink­ers over 1000m and pulled away from trav­el­ling com­pan­ion Som­er­set Maugham late in the hit-out.

“I went to mass on Sun­day and I asked Him if you could just stop the rain for a lit­tle bit. know we need it up in the Hunter Val­ley but if it stops rain­ing be­tween now and then it will be an ex­cep­tional race,” Mag­nier said.

Trainer Adrian O’Brien’s trav­el­ling head lad An­drew Mur­phy said de­spite be­ing a ca­sual track worker, when it comes to rac­ing U S Navy Flag is for­ward all the way.

“He’s a dif­fer­ent horse when he gets in the race. Satur­day should brighten him up,” Mur­phy said dur­ing the week.

“We are happy with on Tues­day morn­ing. The ground con­di­tions are not ideal but it’s some­thing we’ve had to put up with.”

Mur­phy said U S Navy Flag was one of Europe’s best sprint­ers and fol­low­ing his July Cup win he was put away specif­i­cally to come to Aus­tralia.

Sta­ble jockey Ryan Moore, who will ar­rive from Eng­land late on Thurs­day, has stud­ied ev­ery horse in the race with Mag­nier say­ing they are tread­ing on new ground.

“We know we have a big task to take the Aus­tralian horses. We best sprint­ers in world come from here. We’ll learn a lot on Satur­day,” Mag­nier said.

“Redzel, Trapeze Artist, Vega Magic – th­ese are house­hold names. Around the world, the best sprint­ers. But the form is chang­ing a lot so it’s prob­a­bly hard for any­one to get a good read on the race.

“That’s ex­cite­ment around it, no one can pick out a strong favourite.”

Mag­nier said to win The Ever­est would be a huge coup for all in­volved.

“Even for Cool­more we haven’t won a Mel­bourne Cup or Golden Slip­per and there’s al­ways races as a kid you know the one race I want to win, I want to win Mel­bourne Cup or win a Golden Slip­per sud­denly now we’re all say­ing we want to win an Ever­est,” he said.

“For a horse like U S Navy Flag to win an Ever­est it would be pin­na­cle for Ryan Moore, Ai­dan O’Brien and Cool­more.”

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