Dascombe moving forward again, with Hot Fuss one of many with bright futures

Hot Fuss will head to the Acomb Stakes at York after breaking his maiden in style at Salisbury on Saturday.

Owned by Keith, David and Stephen Trowbridge and trained by Tom Dascombe, the son of Calyx made it third time lucky when scoring by five and a half lengths in the seven-furlong Byerley Stud British EBF Novice stakes under Liam Keniry.

Victory was compensation for a narrow defeat at 50-1 in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot under Richard Kingscote, a loss that Dascombe largely blames on himself.

“I sort of slightly kicked myself,” he said. “Our horses were not running great when Ascot was on and I suggested to Richard to ride the horse and try to finish placed. We got beat a length and a quarter.

“I said to Liam the other day, ‘boot him out the gates and this will not get beat’. I wish I’d done the same at Ascot!”

The shrewd Upper Lambourn handler will now head to the Group Three contest on the Knavesmire on August 23. Last year’s renewal went the way of subsequent Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Chaldean.

“The plan was to wait for him until Salisbury, because if he’d won by July 13, he wouldn’t be qualified for the Acomb, but (winning on July 15) now he is,” Dascombe added. “He will go there. We think he is a proper horse. Honestly, his mind is so good. He has breezed, he has run three times and he doesn’t give a monkey’s.

“From day one, I think we knew he was a good horse, but when they come from the breeze-ups you don’t really want to rev them.

“We got beat in the maiden, but I still ran him in the Chesham as I knew he was a good horse. I didn’t have the confidence in myself, rather than confidence in the horse.”

Dascombe is picking up the pieces of his training career after leaving Michael Owen’s Manor House Stables in Cheshire following a 12-year stint, a move that came as a “complete shock” to him.

Fortunately, the future is brighter and he said: “I hope we’re getting there. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say it has been bloody hard. We have got some nice horses, though.”

Misty Grey, like Dascombe, is on the comeback trail. The six-year-old ran some fine races in defeat in Group company last season and having his first run since being injured at Meydan in January, was beaten a length and a half in a Listed seven-furlong contest at Chester on Saturday.

“Misty Grey’s comeback run the other day was… honestly, I nearly cried,” admitted Dascombe.

“I love that horse. I can’t explain, I absolutely adore him. He had an injury in Dubai in the winter and basically I have been too soft on him, because I didn’t want to hurt him.

“He has come out of the race great and he’s a superstar. If everybody in life tried as hard as he does, there wouldn’t be any problems in the world. If I could let him live in my house I would.”

Barbara and Alec Richmond’s gelding will now head to Newbury on August 19 for a seven-furlong Group Two contest.

“I think we will probably give him a go in the Hungerford Stakes,” said Dascombe. “He wants a flat, galloping track. On his day, he is good enough to finish in the first three.

“It will suit him and I really do think it is horses for courses.”

Dascombe is already looking ahead to next season with two promising juveniles, Bigbertiebassett and Odonnell’s Orchard.

The trainer holds the former in high regard, although admits talk of running in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last Saturday, following an easy win in a seven-furlong Doncaster novice on his second start, was a little far-fetched.

“Bigbertiebassett is a very nice horse,” said Dascombe of the David Foy-owned colt. “He doesn’t even know he’s born. He is absolutely clueless about life.

“He is going to go for a seven-furlong Listed race at Ascot next weekend (Flexjet Pat Eddery Stakes). He is so simple, that’s the thing about him. It is like pushing a button and he’s off.

“I don’t think an Almanzor should be running over six furlongs by now, but he just finds life so easy. He is a bit like Hot Fuss. You put him in his bed and he eats, you take him up the gallop and he gallops. He’d never be your best mate, like Misty Grey, because he has got little character, apart from saying ‘let’s get on with it’.

“I was thinking about the Superlative. That was my initial reaction, but I was probably being a little bit stupid and I’m pleased we didn’t run him as I’m not sure we’d have beaten the winner (City Of Troy).

“He will go to Ascot and that just gives us another week. I just think I’m asking the horse to be doing things he shouldn’t be doing right now, but he is doing them.

“He is 100 per cent a horse for next year. We will see how he gets on at Ascot, then leave him for the autumn and see what he wants, which is probably a mile on soft ground.”

Odonnell’s Orchard was an unfancied 33-1 chance in a decent Newbury six-furlong novice earlier this month, where he finished fourth to Starlust.

However, Dascombe is expecting big things from the Caroline Ingram and partners-owned son of Invincible Army.

“He is really nice horse and he’s going for a Listed six-furlong race at Newbury on Friday (the IRE-Incentive – It Pays To Buy Irish Rose Bowl Stakes), he’s good.

“He’s proper and he’ll be all right. We’ll probably get beat, but I think he’s a nice horse and deserves the opportunity to run in a nice race, even though he is a maiden,” he added.

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