Rosallion seeking to spark Champagne celebration

The exciting Rosallion has the chance to enhance his growing reputation when he steps out at Doncaster in Saturday’s Betfred Champagne Stakes.

The son of Blue Point is unbeaten in two starts and saw the form of his four-length Listed success at Ascot given a timely boost at Haydock last weekend when Roger Varian’s Al Musmak won the Ascendant Stakes in good style.

Trainer Richard Hannon has a fine record in the Group Two contest having won it three times in the last 10 years and believes this is the perfect stepping stone on the way to bigger targets later in the season.

He said: “We were delighted with his run at Ascot and he’s come forward a good bit since then. We’ve been very happy with him and we’re looking forward to seeing him on Saturday.

“Al Musmak won very well at Haydock and he looks a nice horse, so that was very pleasing.

“We’ve won it with Threat, Chindit and Estidhkaar. It’s a nice race and it comes at a good time for the big races in the autumn and hopefully this is a nice race on the way to the Dewhurst.”

It was a stablemate of Rosallion – Haatem – who denied Charlie Hills’ Iberian when he finished second in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.

Inexperience took its toll on the smart prospect when appearing on the Sussex Downs, but Hills has plenty of faith in the son of Lope De Vega who created a deep impression at Newbury on debut.

He said: “He ran a good race at Goodwood, but second time out round that track from a bad draw, a combination of track, inexperience and ground caught him out that day.

“I just felt stepping up in grade from first time out to a Group Two is a big step, especially on a track like Goodwood, on that ground, with a bad draw. He was a bit on and off the bridle.

“I was really pleased with how he finished up the straight and I’ve always liked him. His work has been really good leading up to this race and I would say this racecourse is going to suit him better.

“He is a very straightforward horse to train at home and his temperament and everything about him is really good. He’s done nothing wrong at home, won his maiden nicely and I certainly like to think he’s up to this level and maybe beyond.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Mountain Bear was a place behind Iberian at Goodwood before also running with credit at the Curragh in the Round Tower Stakes.

David Menuisier’s Sunway looked to possess a touch of class when scoring at Sandown on debut but now has a point to prove after an underwhelming display when well held behind Rosallion in the Pat Eddery Stakes, while Alice Haynes’ Power Mode completes a field of five.

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