Wednesday July 27

Before Primitivo won at Royal Ascot, Alan’s career highlight on the Flat had been the success of Grumeti in last year’s Cesarewitch, and he again has the Newmarket marathon in his sights for Oceane, who finished an unlucky third in the Goodwood Stakes today, beaten just over two lengths but travelling twice as fast as the first two at the winning line.

Fergus Sweeney rued the fact that he was unable to find an escape route in time, having suffered traffic problems in a slow-run race, while Alan said:”Sadly, it was not two miles, five and a half furlongs. Another 100 metres would have suited us ideally, but he has run a great race and we now know that he stays well enough to be a contender for the Cesarewitch.

“The worry is that he is not yet high enough in the ratings to be sure of getting a run at Newmarket, so we will try and run him in a Cesarewitch trial and hope that he goes up a few pounds.”

Like Grumeti, Oceane carries the colours of Max McNeill and his family, and the plan is to go back jumping in the winter, though Alan stressed that good, fast ground is essential – all his disappointments have come when the mud was flying.

  • We have four runners tomorrow, Magic Music Man and Mille Antique over jumps at Stratford, Tyrell in the two-mile handicap at Nottingham and Sir Valentine, who tries to make it third time lucky when stepping up to a mile and a half for the maiden at Ffos Las.