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Balding pins his hopes on Firebreak to end drought.

Byline: David Lawrence

FIREBREAK is to be asked to follow in some illustrious hoofprints and end a lean spell for trainer Ian Balding when lining up for the Group 3 Coventry Stakes at

Royal Ascot tomorrow, writes David Lawrence.

The unbeaten colt's trainer has won the event four times from only ten runners through Silly Season (1964), Murrayfield (1968), Mill Reef (1970) and Galway Bay (1975), so the omens seem good, if dated.

Balding said yesterday: "I can't pretend that Firebreak has shown enough for me to believe he's going to be another Silly Season or Mill Reef.

"But he might be in Galway Bay's class, so we're pretty hopeful. He has won at Goodwood and Beverley, and Kieren Fallon, who was in the saddle both times, thinks he's a nice horse.

"The step up from five to six furlongs should definitely suit him, so I have to hope we're going to Ascot with a decent chance."

Balding, without a winner at the Royal meeting since Lochsong took the King's Stand Stakes in 1994, is optimistic about improving his recent record.

He added: "Our two-year-olds seem a bright bunch this season, and we also run Vanderlin in the Chesham Stakes on Wednesday and Pentecost in the Windsor Castle on Friday.

"Both of them should run well and I think we have two other solid each-way prospects in Border Arrow in the Prince of Wales's and Duchamp in the Ascot Stakes."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 18, 2001
Words:240
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