GBI RACING

Hopes high for Superman in Jersey

Michael O'Callaghan has mapped out his Royal Ascot team

I Am Superman will head up a four-strong team for Michael O’Callaghan at Royal Ascot next week as he searches for his first winner at the meeting.

The Curragh handler expects the Jersey Stakes to suit his son of Footstepsinthesand, who finished sixth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

O’Callaghan will also send three juveniles, with Red Epaulette, Lorelei Rock and Isabeau also on the team.

“We were happy with I Am Superman in the Guineas, because we thought there would be a strong gallop – but Phoenix Of Spain set his own fractions,” said O’Callaghan.

“A strong-run seven furlongs in the Jersey, where he’ll go next, will suit him.

“He wasn’t beaten far and finished upsides Magna Grecia, so a fast seven will suit him.”

Red Epaulette won the first juvenile race of the year at Naas before finishing third to Ger Lyons’ smart prospect Siskin over six furlongs, giving the winner 5lb. He then pushed Aidan O’Brien’s Pistoletto close at Naas.

“Red Epaulette is a possible for the Windsor Castle,” said O’Callaghan.

“It was a muddling race against Pistoletto the last day at Naas, but he’s come out of it well and he’s improved.

“Hopefully he’d run well in the Windsor Castle – a true-run race would suit him a lot better. He’s got lots of natural speed, and I think he’ll run very well.

“Obviously he bumped into a very smart one in Siskin on his second run, and he’s a short enough price for the Coventry. We’ll keep to five (furlongs) for the minute, but he possibly did too much over six against Siskin.

“If he puts his best foot forward he’ll be bang there. He’s a fine, big horse and won the first two-year-old race of the season by five lengths, so I’m looking forward to running him.”

O’Callaghan has high hopes too for his two possible Royal Ascot fillies.

“Lorelei Rock will have an entry in the Queen Mary and the Albany,” he said.

“They’ve had a bit of rain there in the last few days, and if there’s still a bit of give I think she might take her chance in one of those. She just has a bit of work to do later in the week.

“She bumped into an extremely smart juvenile in Sunday Sovereign – and to be fair to her she didn’t have that hard a race when she won first time, so was still a bit green when he quickened away from her.

“Isabeau will also go for the Queen Mary.

“She won first time out at Down Royal. I’d have liked another run, but there was no suitable race for her – (so) we’ll take her for a gallop somewhere.

“She’s a Cable Bay, and he’s made a really good start at stud.”

All four currently run in O’Callaghan’s own blue and red silks, but his string as an owner may shrink by 50 per cent come next week.

He said: “Two of them will go to the London Sale, Red Epaulette and Isabeau, so we’ll see what they make. We operate commercially, so they are for sale.”

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