Shalaa team eye Morny in favour of Gimcrack.
Byline: Jack Haynes
STAR two-year-old Shalaa is likely to run in the Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday instead of contesting the Gimcrack Stakes at York 24 hours earlier, it emerged yesterday.
Shalaa, who won the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood under a penalty last month, will run in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing-sponsored Group 2 at York only if rain arrives at the French track.
Of the remaining 16 entries in the Gimcrack, Shalaa's owners Al Shaqab Racing remain triple-handed with the Richard Hannon pair King Of Rooks and Gutaifan still in the race.
Racing manager Harry Herbert said: "Shalaa is more likely to go for the Prix Morny as long as the ground is good at Deauville.
"I think John [Gosden] doesn't want to muck the horse up on the sticky, sometimes yucky, ground which they sometimes get out there, as he is a beautiful moving horse, so we have left him in the Gimcrack in case the rain arrives in France, although obviously we will have to make a swift decision by Thursday.
"We'll only run one of the Richard Hannon pair and, with the ground likely to be fast, King Of Rooks is the likelier of the two."
Aidan O'Brien was also uncertain yesterday whether he would be represented in Saturday's event, for which Painted Cliffs, winner of the Railway Stakes at the Curragh in June, and Windsor Castle Stakes winner Washington DC stood their ground.
O'Brien, who last won the Gimcrack with Rock Of Gibraltar in 2001, said: "I'm not sure whether either of our colts will run. We're looking at the Prix Morny on Sunday for Washington DC if the ground isn't soft. So we'll delay a decision about him and Painted Cliffs until later. We could step Painted Cliffs up in trip."
Quest For More is set to contest the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup on Friday despite being one of the remaining 65 horses in the Ebor, for which Scotland, Oriental Fox and Moscato were significant absentees.
The Roger Charlton-trained five-yearold, who was beaten a neck by Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup last month, remains a 12-1 shot for the big Saturday handicap but the Lonsdale is the likelier option.
Sponsors Betfred make Aidan O'Brien's Fields Of Athenry, who could become the first three-year-old to win the Ebor since the trainer's Mediterranean in 2001, clear 6-1 favourite in front of fellow Irish raiders Clondaw Warrior and Quick Jack, who are both 8-1 chances. VVTHE Markets, page 16
Shalaa: exciting Richmond Stakes winner will run in France as long as the ground is good at Deauville