Twice Over back to 'happy self' and ready for York
YORk, ENGLAND // Lord Grimthorpe, the racing manager to Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, believes that Twice Over is back to his best form for today's Group 1 International at York.
Twice Over was considered the most probable winner of the Dubai World Cup in March on account of a smooth victory in round three of the Al Maktoum Challenge at Meydan Racecourse.
He finished ninth to Victoire Pisa in the world's richest race, and subsequently disappointed over an inadequate 1,600m in the Lockinge Stakes and then behind Rewilding at Royal Ascot in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes.
At York last month, however, he won a Group 2 with ease, and Grimthorpe saw signs that the six-year-old is in the sort of form that has seen him register three victories at the highest level.
"You could just see by the way he went down to the start before he won at York that he was back to his happy self.
"His ears were pricked, and he did it nicely there, quickening up off a slow pace and appeared back to his best after his exertions in Dubai. He'll need to be at the top of his game, but all the signs are that he is."
Twice Over faces five rivals, including Await The Dawn, Aidan O'Brien's potential Breeders' Cup Classic contender, and stablemate Midday, the 2009 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf heroine.
Midday showed that she was as good as ever 18 days ago, when winning a third Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. That day she beat Snow Fairy, the globe-trotting filly who has racked up four Group 1 victories in just 15 career starts.
"To win the same race three years in a row shows she is a very special filly and as good as ever," Grimthorpe said.
"To do it at Group 1 level is exceptional. Goldikova apart, you show me a tougher filly in the world. I think she's better than tough. She's brilliant."
Prince Khalid has never won the International, despite the race being sponsored by his Juddmonte breeding operation. "I am rather embarrassed about that record," Grimthorpe said. "I would have to say that it is a minor irritation in the grand scheme of things though."
Published: August 17, 2011 04:00 AM