Blue Prince Chases £30,000 Bonus In The BetMGM 3 Year Old

Championship News

28 March 2024

£30,000 bonus chaser Blue Prince and Juddmonte colt Fire Demon feature among the leading contenders for the BetMGM All-Weather 3 Year Old Championships Handicap over six furlongs. Fire Demon is out to give Andrew Balding a repeat win after Desert Cop won the 2023 renewal. 

Fire Demon, whose trainer Andrew Balding was victorious 12 months ago with Desert Cop, returned to form last time out with a battling success over Media Shooter (Karl Burke) at Kempton Park.

The David Evans-trained Blue Prince secured his bonus opportunity in the trial at Newcastle on New Year’s Day, when he wore down Marco Botti’s Sommelier in the closing stages.

Blue Prince came within a head of adding another £45,000 to the bonus pot as he finished second in the corresponding trial at Lingfield Park, a race in which Mick Appleby’s G’Day Mate was third.

Appleby’s other runner is Daring Legend, whose three qualifying runs have all come this month, including a handicap success over the course and distance. 

Karl Burke is also doubly represented, with Media Shooter joined by Bazball, last seen out finishing third behind Blue Prince at Newcastle.

Bazball is one of two fillies in the lineup alongside the thrice-raced Havana Ball, who was third in a Listed race at Chantilly three weeks ago on her 2024 return for Archie Watson.

Irish raider Tarsus is an intriguing contender for Andrew Slattery after overcoming older opposition at Dundalk on his most recent start. 

The lineup is completed by recent course winner Cross The Tracks and Roman Emperor for Richard Spencer and John Ryan.

The view from connections

Andrew Balding, trainer of Fire Demon, said: “It was nice to see him bounce back at Kempton and win well, as he got very unbalanced at Lingfield the time before that. On a conventional track like Newcastle again, I think he goes there with a sporting chance.”

Marco Botti, trainer of Sommelier, said: “His preparation has gone to plan and we are very happy with him. We wanted to bring him here fresh after his run in the trial. It is going to be a tough race, especially carrying top weight, but he has already proven himself at the track. We have booked Rossa Ryan and he has been lucky for us in the past.”

David Evans, trainer of Blue Prince, said: “I thought he was a bit unlucky in the trial at Lingfield. He has come out of it in good order and I think he has a nice chance.”

Karl Burke, trainer of Media Shooter and Bazball, said: “Bazball is coming off a bit of a break, albeit she has a low weight. Media Shooter has performed really well on the all-weather and is probably going to be a bit sharper than her. Bazball has won at the track and they both have chances, but I think Media Shooter goes there with stronger claims.”

Andrew Slattery, trainer of Tarsus, said: “Everything seems with good with Tarsus. He has surprised us in some ways by how much he has come forward in recent months, although we thought he was a nice horse last year and he disappointed us. Declan McDonogh rode him the last day and said he would stay seven furlongs, so the stiff six at Newcastle should not be a problem.”

Mick Appleby, trainer of G’Day Mate and Daring Legend, said: “I don’t think there will be much between them. G’Day Mate has more speed, so it will be a question of whether he gets home over the stiff six, while it was a bit of a rush to get Daring Legend qualified. I think they both have chances.”

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