Botti outlines Planteur plans
Last Updated: 03/09/13 1:08pm
Botti: Discussed plans for some of his stars
Marco Botti has identified the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot as a possible alternative to the Breeders' Cup Classic for star middle-distance runner Planteur.
Third in the last two runnings of the Dubai World Cup on the Tapeta at Meydan, Planteur would appear to have a better chance than most European runners of handling the Santa Anita dirt in the Breeders' Cup finale in November.
The six-year-old made a pleasing return from a mid-season break when winning the Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor last month and his next target is the Prix Dollar at Longchamp on October 5, after which his major end-of-season target will be decided.
Botti said: "The Breeders' Cup is still a plan, but things might change.
"We always said he could run in the Irish Champion Stakes this weekend, but the ground is against him as we know he prefers more cut in the ground.
"We are aiming for the Group Two at Longchamp, the Prix Dollar, and then after that we will see whether we go for the Champion Stakes at Ascot or the Breeders' Cup Classic."
Meanwhile, Botti has yet to make any firm plans for his high-class mid-season recruit Sugar Boy.
The Authorized colt won four times when trained by Patrick Prendergast in Ireland, with the clear highlight of his career so far a victory over subsequent Epsom Derby second and third Libertarian and Galileo Rock in the Sandown Classic Trial.
Botti said: "I am pleased with him at home, he is working well, but we haven't made any definite plan for him."
"I think it will be another three weeks before he is ready to run, there is a possible race in France, but we'll see.
"He is a horse who prefers soft ground and he has an entry in the Champion Stakes at Ascot (October 19).
"Whether he is going to run there, it is too early to say."
Another Botti inmate in the same ownership is Moohaajim, who has endured a frustrating three-year-old campaign.
The son of Cape Cross colt showed top-class form as a juvenile, but was beaten on his return in the Greenham Stakes before finishing down the field in the 2000 Guineas.
He has not been seen since after suffering a setback and has been roughed off for the year.
"He had a setback before the July Cup and we decided we would take our time with him and wait until next season," said Botti.
"There are not many races for him over six furlongs anyway, we don't want to rush him and as he prefers fast ground, he might not get his conditions later in the season.
"Hopefully our patience will be rewarded next year. If you forget his Guineas run, where he didn't stay, he still ran well in the Greenham Stakes behind Olympic Glory, which looks good form now.
"I think he has trained on and he is still growing. Maybe missing most of this season could be a blessing in disguise, who knows?"