High-class former Ballydoyle galloper set to debut at Rosehill
A heavy track last week delayed the first Australian race day appearance of a former Ballydoyle Stakes performer but the prospect of an improving surface has trainer Annabel Neasham keen to venture to Rosehill with the horse on Saturday.
Blue Soldier, formerly known as Fort Myers, won two of his 11 Northern Hemisphere starts including the Listed Star Appeal Stakes at Dundalk in Ireland, the venue where the son of War Front also won on debut.
The four-year-old also placed at Group 2 and Group 3 level while contesting some of Northern Hemisphere’s biggest two and three-year-old races.
“He was part of the team at Ballydoyle and as a two-year-old he ran fourth in the Coventry Stakes before placing in a couple of Group races at The Curragh,” Neasham said.
“He also ran in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
“Then at three he ran in a couple of Group 1s including the Irish 2000 Guineas.”
Fort Myers has plenty of good runs in Group company and lands the odds down in class in the Listed feature for Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien at @DundalkStadium
Results ➡ https://t.co/glajGV55GRpic.twitter.com/05z016Idxe
Blue Soldier was a Randwick acceptor last week but Neasham said she didn’t want to start the horse’s Aussie career on heavy ground after five below par barrier trial performances on heavy or soft (7) rated tracks this year.
“I don’t think he likes it wet, it’s the one thing I’m pretty sure about with him,” she said.
“The boys that have trialled him have come back and said he doesn’t like it that wet.
“His two wins have been on a synthetic track so I want to run him on a (soft) six or better.”
The Sydney forecast leading into Saturday indicates Neasham will get her desired ground for Blue Soldier which is set to line up in the Quayclean Benchmark 88 Handicap (1300m).
Irish apprentice Tom Sherry will claim his 2kg from Blue Soldier’s 60kg impost on Saturday and Neasham believes the recently gelded galloper will improve from his first-up performance in Australia.
“I’ve had him out here a while, he actually came out on the same flight as Zaaki,” she said. “He’s an interesting horse.
“He’s the most beautifully bred horse, he’s got an unbelievable pedigree but he wasn’t really putting in, in his trials so we decided to geld him.
“He’s quite a big gross horse and I think he’ll take a couple of runs to hit a peak.”
Blue Soldier has been priced at $26 in early markets ahead of Saturday.
Originally published asHighly-credentialed European set for Aussie debut
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