Skardu makes waves in Guineas market with Craven success

Wednesday, Apr 17 2019

Skardu maintained his unbeaten record by coming home strongly to win the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

Seen as a key trial for the 2000 Guineas, William Haggas will now be feeling he has a chance of landing the Classic for the first time with the son of Shamardal.

Just like the winner of the Nell Gwyn 24 hours earlier, Skardu lined up having had just the one run at two – but late market support forced him into 3-1 and proved telling.

Settled at the rear by James Doyle, he challenged late after Set Piece had made a big move down the outside.

Roger Charlton’s Momkin then burst through near the rails to momentarily hit the front, before Skardu just gained the upper hand to win by a neck, with Set Piece a length and three-quarters away in third.

Royal Marine, a Group One winner last year, was not in the best position before staying on for fourth, while Zakouski was ultimately disappointing.

Bookmakers slashed Skardu in the Guineas betting, with RaceBets going 5-1 from 25-1, while Paddy Power and Betfair both went 6-1 from 20-1 and William Hill 10-1 from 25-1.

Haggas said: “I was quite pleased with him, but I don’t know what the form is like. He had a nice race and relaxed well. He showed a nice turn of foot and won.

“He surprised me when he won (first time out), but he performed well. I thought he looked good beforehand today. He was very calm and performed well in the race.

“He has gone from a maiden to a Group Three, so hopefully there is a bit more in him. He doesn’t do a lot at home. I think we can get a bit excited.

If all things are equal he will be running (in the Guineas)

“James knows Charlie’s (Appleby, Zakouski) horse very well and he said he is a pretty smart horse and he didn’t run his race today. I’m highly delighted.

“James said he had to take a pull three out, but we are trying to educate a horse that is trying to go into the fast lane, as he has got a lot to learn. I can’t fault him at the moment.”

He added: “If all things are equal he will be running (in the Guineas).

“His owner is from Bahrain. I spoke to him half an hour before and he answered on the first ring, I said I would call him straight after – he will be over the moon.”

Harry Charlton, assistant trainer, said of Momkin: “I think we can cross off the Ffos Las run.

“His Newbury run was a good run and he beat Beat Le Bon who is a solid 96 horse. He has grown and improved and he has run well. He is a little bit backward in his coat and you would expect him to come on.

“He is in the 2000 Guineas and French 2000 Guineas and it will be ground dependent. The other benefit of the French race is the extra week or whatever it is.

“He is a very good mover. He got knocked between the two and the one and a half, he had a clear run at the end but that just knocked him off balance a bit.”



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