Connections of Arctic Owl
are considering a tilt at the Smurfit Champion Hurdle with the gelding, who will need to win well on Town Moor to justify his place in the lineup at Cheltenham at the Festival in March.
Having arrived down under three weeks ago, Arctic Owl
had seemed less than enthusiastic in his early work at the local Sandown Park racetrack on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Patiently ridden by David Harrison, Arctic Owl
quickened to lead under two furlongs out and forced front-running Mark Johnston's Yavana's Pace, to settle for the runner-up's slot for the second year in a row.
He gave Arctic Owl
a superb ride, challenging leader Yavana's Pace a furlong and a half from home .
As expected, the Martin Pipe-trained Far Cry (9st) and James Fanshawe's Arctic Owl
(8-13) were both declared for the November 7 contest.
, "a horse bought for a laugh", gave Newmarket trainer James Fanshawe his first win in Ireland when romping home from Yvana's Pace in yesterday's Irish St Leger at The Curragh.
There are four British challengers - Arctic Owl
, Little Rock, Mutafaweq and Yavana's Pace.
Who trained the following winners at the 1998 Newmarket Cambridgeshire meeting: a) Enrique (Tattersall Stakes); b) Kissogram (Sun Chariot Stakes); c) Lear Spear (Cambridgeshire); d) Arctic Owl
(Jockey Club Cup); e) Bishops Court (Rous Stakes)?
He was fourth to Arctic Owl
in 1999 and a close third behind Solo Mio 12 months ago.
British-based trio Arctic Owl
, Far Cry and Lightning Arrow are set to go straight for the contest a week today, as is Irish raider Enzeli, who will carry top-weight along with Far Cry.
Over at the Curragh Arctic Owl
plundered the Jefferson Smurfit Irish St Leger to give Newmarket trainer James Fanshawe his first Classic win.
BRITAIN will have three runners at most in a Sunday's Grand Prix de Deauville after the withdrawal yesterday of Arctic Owl