Trainer Matthew Smith must be hoping his search to find Grey Lion’s weakness continues indefinitely.
“I’ve been thinking for a while now that Grey Lion goes really good and I keep looking for his Achilles heel,’’ Smith said.
“He’s a seven-year-old gelding who has done a bit of racing and travelling so what am I missing?
“But he’s obviously just a very good horse when he’s right. He’s happy, he’s in great shape and just keeps improving.’’
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Grey Lion (left) and Vengeur Masque fight out the finish of 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington.Source:Getty Images
With Smith’s confidence soaring, Grey Lion seems set to continue his winning momentum in the Listed $150,000 Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Grey Lion, a former French stayer, is having just his third start since joining the Smith stable, running competitively first-up for his new trainer when sixth in the Doncaster Prelude before a very impressive win in the JRA Plate at Randwick last start.
“He ran very well at Randwick and I can’t see why he won’t run the same sort of race again,’’ Smith said.
“We gave him a barrier trial between runs and he was very sharp winning that trial. He’s spot on for this race.’’
Grey Lion is the $4.60 favourite on TAB Fixed Odds to win his second successive stakes race and continue his preparation towards a possible Group 2 Brisbane Cup start next month.
Smith already has another talented imported stayer, Fierce Impact in Brisbane for the Group 1 $700,000 Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben.
Fierce Impact is on the quick back-up after his narrow loss to Special Missile in the Scone Cup eight days ago.
Grey Lion Grey Lion is the $4.60 favourite on TAB Fixed Odds to win his second successive stakes race.Source:AAP
“I thought he went super at Scone,’’ Smith said. “It was a very good effort, he attacked the line and the last little bit he really put his head down. He wanted to catch that horse (Special Missile) and only missed by a bob of the head.’’
Smith believes Fierce Impact has the class and tactical speed to be effective at weight-for-age in the Doomben Cup.
“If he gets luck in running he should be very hard to beat,’’ Smith said.
“He is back out to 2000m which I think is his best distance as he showed when he won the Summer Cup.
“I’ve never backed him up before, that’s the only thing I don’t know, but he horse is really well in himself, he’s nice and fresh and is in great order.’’
Smith admitted there has been interest in Fierce Impact as a stallion prospect from leading studs but he is concentrating simply on ensuring the horse is at his best for today’s big race.
“There are no offers on the table although we have had people asking about the horse,’’ Smith said.
“I’m sure Fierce Impact is the type of horse that a lot of farms would be interested in if the gets that big one on the board.
“All that will take care of itself if he can win a Group 1 and hopefully he gets the breaks in the Doomben Cup.’’
Glyn Schofield will be keen to get back on the winner’s list to rid the pain of his beloved Liverpool’s failure to clinch the EPL title.Source:AAP
SCHOFIELD AIMING TO BOUNCE BACK
Glyn Schofield can temper his disappointment after Liverpool narrowly lost the English Premier League title by doing what he does best — riding winners at Rosehill Gardens.
The champion jockey is a devoted Liverpool fan and despite an outstanding season where his club lost only one of their 38 league games, they lost the title by just one point to Mancester City.
Schofield, still hoping Liverpool can secure the Champions League trophy when they clash with Tottenham Hotspur on June 2, has a full book of nine rides including early favourites Deprive ($2.60) in the So You Think Hall of Fame Handicap (1200m), Mushaireb ($4.20) Might And Power Hall of Fame Handicap (1800m) and unbeaten Green Reign ($3.50) in the TAB Highway Handicap (1200m).
Deprive, a promising sprinter from the Godolphin stable, has been the best-backed runner on the Rosehill program with TAB Fixed Odds. He opened at $4.60 but is into $2.60 after consistent support this week.
Mushaireb, who has firmed into favouritism after the scratching of Welsh Legend, is a former imported galloper who has impressed at his two starts for the Freedman brothers and is suited out to 1800m.
Green Reign is trained by TAB Highway “king” Matthew Dunn and is protecting the perfect start to his race career after scoring on debut at Ipswich last December.
Originally published as Trainer can’t find weakness in his Lion heart
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