Jack Hobbs stretched away from Dick Doughtywylie in his gallop
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
JOHN GOSDEN declared it all systems go for last year’s Irish Derby hero Jack Hobbs after he was put through his paces in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Tuesday.
The four-year-old worked alongside stablemate Dick Doughtywylie and was given a nice lead into the gallop by the veteran.
Ridden by William Buick, Jack Hobbs did display some inexperience of the course, having never raced at the Suffolk venue but he comfortably picked up his partner and was pushed out under hands and heels to stretch clear from the furlong pole.
Jack Hobbs will now head for the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes back at Newmarket on April 30 for his first start since finishing third in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot last October.
“They went a strong pace, he hit the front and thought he’d done enough and I was very pleased with both horses,” said Gosden.
“Jack picked up beautifully on the bridle and he did idle a bit but I don’t mind that. He had a nice blow and the plan is to come back for the Jockey Club Stakes on Guineas Day.”
Grown through the winter
Gosden reported Jack Hobbs to have wintered well and said the son of Halling had put on weight and developed physically.
“He’s done very well through the winter and put on 40kg,” said the champion trainer. “He’s a lot stronger through his neck and shoulders now, although he’s never going to be a heavy horse – his father wasn’t.”
Long term, Gosden has his sights set on the King George VI Queen Elizabeth Stakes during the summer and the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe later in the year.
“Your big races have to be in England the King George and in France the Arc. That has to be what the whole year’s about, so you just simply work it back from there.”
Massaat also works
Jack Hobbs was not the only horse put through his paces prior to racing on Tuesday, with the Owen Burrows-trained Massaat working with the Barry Hills-trained Mezel, the pair both being owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
Massaat was last seen finishing second to Air Force Blue in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes as a two-year-old and is set to return to Newmarket for a tilt at the 2,000 Guineas in just over a fortnight.
Burrows said: “He’s had a nice blow there, he was ready for that so it’s all systems go.
“The ground might possibly have been a touch soft for him but Paul [Hanagan, rider] was pleased too.”
Hugo Palmer also sent out the Group 2 Vintage Stakes winner Galileo Gold for a racecourse gallop with stablemate Strong Steps, with the 2,000 Guineas hopeful also impressing.
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