Chepstow bred Al Kazeem in world class Arc field
7:00am Saturday 5th October 2013 in Sport
PRIDE of Wales Al Kazeem aims to deliver a telling blow to his world class rivals across the sea this weekend, before bowing out for a career at the Queen’s stud.
Owner John Deer and a posse of ten are travelling to Paris to see the five-year-old run in tomorrow’s Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
A stellar cast has been assembled for the middle distance crown, Orfevre being a warm favourite to take the prize back to Japan.
His fellow countryman Kizuna, runaway King George winner Novellist and Derby victor Ruler of the World are three others hoping to put the home defence, led numerically by French genius Andre Fabre, to bed.
It’s quite bizarre that a Welsh stud has produced a horse good enough to take on such lofty rivals, but owner John Deer said it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Al Kazeem can produce the goods.
“Assuming he has a smooth race and he’s not bumped into, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be there with a shout,” he said.
“It’s quite incredible to have bred a horse as good as him.”
Knockout triumphs in the Tatterstalls Gold Cup, Prince of Wales’ Stakes and Coral Eclipse have made the five-year-old a hot breeding prospect.
Last month, Chepstow based Deer confirmed his star would not be returning to his Oakgrove Stud, which is near the racecourse.
Instead he is off to Sandringham, after the Queen bought him outright to stand at her stud, the home of breeding stalwart Royal Applause.
The deal was only secured this week and by the end of it, Deer and Her Majesty could have the middle distance champion on their hands.
“It’s a massive race, probably the toughest opposition he has been up against,” said Deer.
“He’s had a lot of racing this year and we just hope really he’s not over the top. They are not machines, but so far so good, he’s doing well up the gallop.”
The trip holds no fears, exhibited by success in the 2012 Jockey Club Stakes.
Softer ground is in the Welsh hopeful’s favour, too.
“He came to win at York but didn’t let himself down on the ground and in Ireland we were beaten by a filly that had a fast turn of foot,” Deer said about his horse’s last two runs.
“He’s had enough of firm going. They are bound to feel it in their joints.”
Tomorrow will be a proud day for not only the team from Oakgrove, who are travelling to France to cheer him on, but Roger Charlton, a trainer for more than 20 years who has never had a runner in the Arc.
A run in the Champion Stakes later this month is classed as “improbable” for Al Kazeem, who is expected to cover 130 mares in his first year at stud.
“I hope to visit him when he’s there,” smiled Deer. “To have a horse like him, well, it’s not something you expect. But when it happens it’s wonderful.”
Comments are closed on this article.