By Jon Lees
GB: Telecaster, impressive winner of both his starts in France this year, looks set to contest the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – as long as the ground is on the soft side at ParisLongchamp next month.
The Hughie Morrison-trained four-year-old followed up a four-length win in a G3 in June with a 6½-length success in the G2 Grand Prix de Deauville last month on heavy ground.
Telecaster has a host of autumn options, including the Qipco Champion Stakes, but having ruled out opportunities at Melbourne’s Spring Carnival, connections are focussing on Europe’s richest race for his return to G1 company.
“Telecaster is staying here and currently we are keeping all options open – of which the first option is the Arc,” said Morrison. “There is also a race in Berlin that weekend but at the moment we are hoping it rains so it is slow ground. That would persuade us.
“I thought the Vermeille winner [Tarnawa] was the most impressive of the Arc Trial winners but I read that ‘That was her day’ so I hope she doesn’t turn up because we won’t get Christophe Soumillon. If you put a line through his run at York, he deserves his chance.”
While the Cups entries will not be taken up for Telecaster, stablemate Le Don De Vie will head to Australia in the wake of his latest win in a Listed race at Windsor and is due to start quarantine on Wednesday.
He will race for Ozzie Kheir, for whom Morrison trained last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Marmelo, but could struggle to get a run from 52 on the Melbourne Cup order of entry and 59th place on the Caulfield Cup list.
“We were hoping he would get in the Caulfield Cup but for some reason the Australian handicapper has rated him below the English handicapper, which is surprising after Communique [second at Windsor] franked the form in Baden-Baden [second in the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden],” said Morrison.
“The plan was the Caulfield Cup and then the Melbourne Cup but he will be on the edge so he might have to run before. Given the way he won at Windsor and should have won at Goodwood, he might be well handicapped if he gets in.”