As I Am hones in on Haydock prize
Last Updated: 03/12/13 6:23pm
As I Am and Conor Shoemark
Don Cantillon is looking to keep his remarkable one-eyed winning machine As I Am to mares' races for the time being.
The Newmarket trainer is targeting a Listed mares' novices' hurdle at Haydock on December 21 in a bid to give her a second success at that grade following her win at Newbury on Saturday.
Cantillon, who also owns and bred the daughter of Old Vic, said: "We'll just do exactly the same routine we did between Wincanton and Newbury.
"The race at Haydock is definitely on the cards. I don't know what the ground will be like or how it might affect her.
"It's two and a half miles, which shouldn't be a problem. It's exactly the same as what she ran in at Newbury, except that was over two miles.
"I love training fillies and mares. She's been amazing and the fact she's missing an eye. She lost it as a foal.
"She has another mare as a companion and they do everything together. They are in adjacent stables just separated by a chain.
"We have her companion on her right side where she has her eye. Our mission is accomplished as she has black type. Anything from now on is really a bonus.
"In a year's time she might go chasing, which could be very exciting.
"I've got certain ideas. There's a race in April, a novice handicap hurdle for mares at Newbury over two miles, five furlongs. There's also a mares' novice at Sandown and there's a race over three miles I'm half-thinking of taking a chance in at Huntingdon.
"I'll run her no more than every three or four weeks. That's best for her to keep her fresh.
"Liz Bush deserves huge credit. She rides her every day and does all the schooling on her."
Conditional jockey Conor Shoemark, who now claims 5lb, has ridden As I Am to victory to the last three of her six victories since June and Cantillon is to keep the partnership intact.
"I made a big decision to give Conor Shoemark the ride at Newbury as I knew he couldn't claim in that race, but I made it ages ago," he said.
"As soon as I saw him get on so well with that mare going from jump to jump he was going to have the ride at Newbury and it's still his ride.
"They get on incredibly well. He gets a tune out of horses, jumping wise."