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Owen hoping Park Hill second Treble Heights can hit target.


MICHAEL Owen's right foot may be a priceless asset on the field, but off it he has another valuable one in the

three-year-old filly Treble Heights, who looks to have a golden chance of

securing some silverware at Ascot this afternoon.

Runner-up to Alexander Three D in the Park Hill Stakes on just her second appearance, the John Gosden-trained daughter of Unfuwain faces three of those who ran behind her at Doncaster when she chases Listed honours in the EBF Harvest Stakes.

Tomorrow's Premiership outing at Manchester City prevents Owen going to Ascot - just as a visit to West Ham last Saturday prevented City boss Kevin Keegan seeing Funfair Wane's victory in the Ayr Gold Cup for his wife Jean. But the England and Liverpool striker will be glued to his television and is hopeful about Treble Heights' prospects.

He said: "She's an improving filly and has come out of her last race well. I've spoken with John and he's very happy with her. She was still green last time and we're expecting more improvement. It's just the million-dollar question of whether she's good enough.

"She ran against three of the field in the Park Hill so, hopefully, she has the beating of them. I backed her when she won at Chester and I'll have an interest again although, to be honest, the prize-money [pounds 20,300 to the winner] is probably good enough on its own.

"She's actually bred to be at her best as a four-year-old and, as she's still quite inexperienced, it would be nice to

continue next year before breeding from her. That's what I'd like to do, but I'll be led by whatever John decides."

A win for Treble Heights would

represent the highest point so far in the increasingly large part of Owen's life that is devoted to racing.

He explained: "I've got three with John Gosden, one with Alan Berry, a mare and a foal, so I'm building up a bit of an

empire - and I'm not sure that's good!

"Racing is probably my main passion outside football. Everyone in my family likes a day at the races and it's great to have a horse as good as Treble Heights to cheer on."

Bright And Clear, just a neck behind Treble Heights at Doncaster, reopposes, as does another Manton challenger, Ishtak, beaten 12 lengths into fifth. However, official ratings suggest that, of the Park Hill rivals, it is Love Everlasting, a tailed-off last, who poses the biggest threat to Treble Heights.

A very respectable seventh to Islington in the Yorkshire Oaks on her previous outing, Love Everlasting's trainer Mark Johnston believes his filly is

capable of returning to that sort of form.

He said: "I've got to be hopeful. Nothing came to light for her Doncaster run and there don't appear to be any problems with her, but she's very laid back at home at the best of times."

Although untried in Listed company, Prompt Payment goes to Ascot boasting a

progressive profile and in pursuit of a four-timer.

Despite her recent winning habit, trainer James Fanshawe is cautious about her chances.

"She's running here in the hope of getting some black type and, although she's run well on good to firm ground before, I'd be more hopeful if it were softer."

The seven-runner field is completed by Shalamantika, a rare Sir Michael Stoute ride for Jamie Spencer, and the Chris Wall-trained Jalousie.


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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 27, 2002
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