Royal Ascot runner-up is up for sale

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Before heading off to Bath today, where he hopes to saddle a winner in Plato’s Kode – 5lb higher than when winning at the course recently but in his element on this rattling fast ground – Seamus revealed that last year’s Queen Alexandra Stakes runner-up Cayirli is up for sale “to stay in the yard”.

Seamus said:”Stephen Tucker, who owns Cayirli, is a big supporter of mine, but he prefers Flat racing and we think it’s the right time to change direction with Cayirli and send him jumping, so we will listen to offers.

“He did us proud at Royal Ascot, producing a career-best performance, and the handicapper put him up 11lb to a mark of 102.

“Cayirli is now down to 95 and he is only five, so, while he could see-saw between the two codes, I have schooled him and he jumps well, so we are keen to go down that road.

“In hindsight, the Queen Alexandra took more out of him than I expected. He was only four and it’s a gruelling marathon, and, though he later ran respectably in the G1 Prix Cadran in France, he had not really got over his Ascot exertions.

“He had a few niggles after that, so we have given him a long holiday and he has thrived for being out in a field for four months.

“He’ll be back with us in August, and we are looking to start him off jumping in October. He’s a stayer with a touch of class, so he could be a proper fun horse for the winter, but ideally I’d like to keep him in the yard as there is not a bother on him.”

Depending on how Plato’s Kode fares at Bath, Durack might also send him jumping.

He added:”He is by Kodiac out of a sprinting family, but you get exceptions and he’d stay two miles no problem over hurdles. We have already schooled him and he jumps like a cat.

“Furthermore, the fact that he cannot have the ground too fast means that he could be a real money-spinner around Market Rasen, Newton Abbot or those other sharp tracks during August and September,”

Durack, who has seven two-year-olds and is optimistic that they’ll all be capable of winning a race, confirmed that it will be another 12 months before Alfredo returns to the track.

He said:”Alfredo did us proud on the all-weather, but he suffered an injury in December and we have to be patient, though he is young enough to come back as good as new.

Valitop, who was a decent two-year-old in 2015, has also been on the injury list, and it will be the autumn before he returns, so we plan to bring him back on the all-weather. He likes fast ground, so a few runs on the polytrack will put him spot on for a spring campaign.”