John Moore is growing wary of the temptation to go to the well once too often with Derby hero Rapper Dragon, even after he was a convincing winner of the Group Two Chairman’s Trophy on his way to the Champions Mile next month.
The win was straightforward with Joao Moreira always having Rapper Dragon well placed before holding off the attentions of Hong Kong Mile winner Beauty Only (Zac Purton) in the final 200m to win by a half length despite rolling around under pressure.
“He did snake a little bit and I hope eventually he learns to go straight because the day is going to come when he will have horses around him and can’t afford to do that,” Moreira said. “To be honest, I thought today was more of a test for him, facing up to some older, more experienced horses, but he’s just the best around at the moment.”
Moore said he did not feel Rapper Dragon was at his top for the race and would present as a better animal for the Champions Mile.
“Coming back from a peak in the Derby, he was not 100 per cent today – he has more there for next time,” Moore said, and added that the Champions Mile might be Rapper Dragon’s final run this season.
“I had thought about going to 2,400m in the Champions & Chater Cup but I don’t want to bottom him. Especially if he did happen to win the Champions Mile, which would probably ensure Horse of the Year, then I think we’d just give him a break.”
The Tony Cruz-trained Beauty Only conceded five pounds to Rapper Dragon under the conditions of yesterday’s race and jockey Zac Purton is hopeful that level weights will bring them together when they meet again in the Champions Mile.
“Beauty Only was fantastic, there isn’t much between them,” he said. “I had a nice run, I came to win and he certainly tried hard but just the weight difference separated them.
“In saying that, though, I think Rapper Dragon has a bit more to give. He floats and runs around bit so, even at level weights, he might find a bit more while, with my bloke, what you see is what you get.”
The first two drew away from Circuit Land in third, with Werther (Sam Clipperton) running a cracking Audemars Piguet QE II Cup trial in fourth after being beaten to a run by Beauty Only at the top of the straight.
“I didn’t expect to be as far back as I was but he was really relaxed,” said Clipperton. “He really found the line well and I was the last to pull up after the line.”
Like the other feature, the Chairman’s had drama as Limitless was first passed to run then withdrawn at the start.
After kicking out with his left hind leg in the gates, Limitless was taken out, checked and passed but had shifted his left hind shoe. As Limitless was wheeled around waiting for the farrier, the duty vet noticed swelling coming up on his right hind leg and the four-year-old was then scratched.