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Holler draws favourable gate 9 of 10 in Group 1 Royal Ascot race

Ric Chapman in Latest News 17 Jun 2016
  • French and English Godolphin trainers have won
  • Can Aussie John do likewise
Holler, in England this week

HOLLER, the young horse with our collective expectations upon his shoulders, has drawn gate 9 of 10 runners for his Royal Ascot assignment.

And according to those who know these things, that’s not a bad marble.

Our horse, it seems, has a live shot of winning this big Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes over 1200m which will be run on Sunday morning (our time).

For the record, Sky will televise the race on channel 528, with the whole meeting broadcast starting at 11pm Saturday night (again our time).

He’s into $9.00 with international corporates and given the way the Godolphin machine, of which he is one, has performed during the Royal meet – expectations are high for Holler.

In it’s own, unspoken way, the pressure for John O’Shea is mounting too.

As the Australian head-trainer for Sheikh Mohammed, O’Shea has quite probably, delightedly watched his international cohorts do remarkably well for His Royal Highness, in front of Her Royal Highness the Queen, over the first three days of Royal Ascot racing.

The Michael Halford-trained PORTAGE for example, ridden by James Doyle, gave Godolphin a winning treble on the second day of Royal Ascot, when taking the Royal Hunt Cup in good style.

Like O’Shea, Halford had not trained a Royal Ascot winner prior to Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, fellow non-Royal Ascot winners who now help HRH, landed first time wins too.

More pressure for O’Shea.

USHERETTE, was one of them. Trained in France for Godolphin, she continued her faultless start to 2016 with a comprehensive victory in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes on day two of Royal Ascot.
The Andre Fabre-trained 4-year-old began smartly and raced prominently on the near side group until being taken back by jockey Mickael Barzalona as the 14 runners came together after a furlong.
Barzalona had never ridden a winner at the Royal meet before.

So Holler comes to the Royal meet with big shoes to fill.

And the interesting thing re Holler is that of all the 36 horses Godolphin will saddle at this Royal meet this year, Holler is the one who will prove the greatest money-spinner for Sheikh Mohammed should he win his race.

He is wonderfully prepared and while history beckons for O’Shea should he win, the horse is up to it too.
We know he is all class and we also know Aussie sprinters are VERY competitive in England.

Holler runs in Saturday's Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m), and since arriving in England, has pleased both O’Shea and Sheikh Mohammed.

In his final piece of fast work at Newmarket early on Tuesday, June 14, he worked super.

Newmarket’s gallops are all a bit testing being uphill straight courses but the long-striding Aussie didn’t bat and eyelid.

He went 1200m on the straight Limekilns grass gallop at Newmarket, UK, under McDonald.

The horse had arrived in Britain on June 2 and has increasingly felt at home in his temporary abode at Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket, where Godolphin's Charlie Appleby trains.

Appleby, incidentally, has won for Sheikh Mohammed too at this year’s Royal meet.

More pressure for O’Shea.

Unfazed, O'Shea commented after the work: “I thought he went well this morning over six furlongs and he is looking on track for Royal Ascot on Saturday.

"He has had a nice preparation since arriving in Newmarket and appears to have met the challenges of the undulating ground and the straight run having worked three times over the last couple of weeks.

"We are happy enough at this stage with his preparation and we are looking forward to Saturday's race."

As we know, Holler is one of the best sprinters in Australia and won the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes at Randwick on March 5 and last time out finished the short-head runner-up in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 24.

James McDonald has ridden the colt five times, winning twice and finishing second three times.

The Godolphin jockey said: "he felt good this morning and put in a nice piece of work. He seems to have adapted well to the conditions and I am excited for Saturday's race."

If Holler (Commands-Shouts) who has won just over $780,000 in prizemoney thus far, wins on Saturday, his value as a stallion prospect globally soars to over $16 million!

Not that HRH needs it of course…

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Holler draws favourable gate 9 of 10 in Group 1 Royal Ascot race

Godolphin's trainers have been winning races at Royal Ascot. Now it's John O'Shea's turn.

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