By Jon Lees
GB: Hughie Morrison will spearhead Britain’s first involvement in racing in France since the lockdown by sending last year’s Dante Stakes winner Telecaster to run at ParisLongchamp on Thursday.
Telecaster will be the first runner from Britain to compete in France since coronavirus restrictions that prevented overseas runners were lifted on June 15. The behind-closed-doors fixture will mark the return of racing at the Arc venue after the sport was halted in the capital in May.
It will be an unusually early start for Telecaster, who will line up in the G3 La Coupe which is scheduled to take place at 8.40am BST. At 10.10am BST Space Blues and D’Bai will represent Charlie Appleby in the G3 Prix de la Porte Maillot.
Morrison said: “I think he is going to be the first runner from the UK. Parkes, the international transporters. are helping us and he is going tonight in our box by train. Because it’s hot he will travel at night, get there in the morning, have a day’s rest and run on Thursday morning.
“We are sending two HGV drivers because they don’t have to go into quarantine. They can lead up too. They are qualified HGV drivers and they both work at the stable – it seemed a sensible way to do it so they don’t have to go into quarantine.”
Telecaster emerged as an exciting colt last year when he defeated the previously unbeaten Too Darn Hot at York. He was supplemented for the Investec Derby but finished last of 13 at Epsom and then ran seventh in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes.
He returned to action at Haydock last month where he finished third behind subsequent Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner Lord North in the G3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
He will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon against five opponents in La Coupe, which also features the return of Subway Dancer, the Czech G2 winner who finished third in last year’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
“We thought he ran a good race at Haydock,” said Morrison. “Elarqam was second and I am told the Stoute horse in fourth Sangarius is a good horse. Time may tell that the Brigadier Gerard might have been a better race than the Prince of Wales’s.
“I did think about the Prince of Wales’s but thought another week would help him – we are taking things one race at a time with him. He is obviously a very good horse. If we’d had lockdown last year on May 20 he would have been the best three-year-old colt in training. He has a hell of an engine.”