Clever Cookie camp to make late Gold Cup decision


Clever Cookie: “York was as fast as I’ve run him on”

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

PETER NIVEN will leave a decision on Clever Cookie’s participation in the Ascot Gold Cup as late as he possibly can and only run him if the ground is suitable.

Racing on officially good to firm ground for the first time Clever Cookie registered the biggest success of his career when beating Curbyourenthusiasm and Second Step half a length and a neck in the Yorkshire Cup last week.

But Niven recognises conditions could be faster at Ascot next month and  Clever Cookie’s participation could depend on the effectiveness of any watering.

“He’s come out of the Yorkshire Cup absolutely A1,” he said. “He showed lots of speed at York and that was probably down to the better ground.

“It was as fast as I’ve run him on but they watered and it walked safe and if Ascot do the same then we’d be happy. We’ll take the decision about his participation down to the wire and see what the ground is like that week.”

Sagaro rematch

Clever Cookie did not contest last year’s Gold Cup and has finished second both times he has visited the track, most recently when runner-up to Mizzou in the Sagaro Stakes.

Mizzou, winning the prize for the second year running, beat Clever Cookie by a neck and heads straight to the Gold Cup, in which he was a seventh, beaten under four lengths last year.


Mizzou (red cap): edged out Clever Cookie in the Sagaro Stakes

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Trainer Luca Cumani said: “We’re happy with him and he’s been in good shape since his win in the Sagaro. He’ll go straight to the Gold Cup and we hope for a different race than last year when the lack of pace.”


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