Whisky Baron Trials On Soft Turf

By Daithi Harvey

The South African star Whisky Baron (Aus) (Manhattan Rain {Aus}) took part in a public workout at Newmarket on Monday as he prepares for his first run in Britain since leaving South Africa at the beginning of the year. After his victory over Legal Eagle (SAf) (Greys Inn) in the G1 Sun Met at Kenilworth in January the Brett Crawford trained 5-year-old was required to spend three months quarantine in Mauritius before eventually arriving in Newmarket in June. The G2 Shadwell Joel S. at Newmarket Sept. 29 is the first target for Whisky Baron but the prospect of soft ground is something that is not welcomed by connections, particularly his regular jockey Greg Cheyne who partnered the gelding in his workout on Monday. “It was an interesting workout as we have always had a concern that Whisky Baron might not relish soft ground and, although I was not disappointed and feel quite positive about it, it did expose the fact that he doesn’t handle soft going particularly well,” Cheyne said.

Whisky Baron covered five furlongs of a rain-softened Rowley Mile course in company with two William Haggas trainees and Cheyne added, “He travelled kindly for the first couple of furlongs but once the undulations started he found it testing. He maintained his speed but couldn’t quicken. He felt as good as I can ever remember him – he’s in a good place at the moment and we couldn’t be happier with him, so our only concern for now is the ground.”

The fact Whisky Baron has not have raced since January is not lost on Cheyne and he expects improvement from the horse will be forthcoming. “I feel that he is ready for a race, but he has been off the track since January and is bound to be a bit rusty, but this morning’s experience will do him the world of good.”


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