Ground to dictate Queen’s Cup plan for Rare Groove
Jedd O’Keeffe is to monitor the weather before deciding on Rare Groove’s participation in the Betway Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh on Saturday.
The North Yorkshire trainer will not risk the six-year-old entire on ground faster than good.
“We are going to tread quite carefully. I don’t think we need the going any quicker than good. It was good to soft this morning. They talk about bits of showers, but temperatures are rising so we are just monitoring the ground,” said O’Keeffe.
“If he doesn’t go there, we’ve got a race at Newcastle coming up not too far away and other options. We’re just don’t know.
“It’s the ground that will be the decider.”
Rare Groove made a highly-encouraging comeback after 559 days off the track when runner-up to Carnwennan over an extended two miles at Newcastle four weeks ago.
“It was an excellent run. We were absolutely thrilled,” O’Keeffe added.
“He’s in great shape and we’re looking forward to the season ahead with him.”
Rare Groove was among 25 five-day confirmations for the £75,000 heritage handicap over one mile and three-quarters.
The weights are headed by the Ian Williams-trained The Grand Visir, winner of the Ascot Stakes in 2019.
Williams has also left in Cardano, who is on a hat-trick after two wins at Lingfield.
Mark Johnston is responsible for six of the acceptors – Themaxwecan, King’s Advice, Trumpet Man, Notation, Hochfeld and Thai Terrier.
Paul Midgley has five of the 20 entries in the Betway Scottish Sprint Cup.
The North Yorkshire handler can choose from Indian Sounds, Latin Five, Orvar, Son And Sannie and Tarboosh.
Other possibles include John Quinn’s Lingfield Listed scorer Lord Riddiford, Mick Appleby’s veteran Caspian Prince and Tim Easterby’s pair of Copper Knight and Count D’Orsay.
The Johnston-trained Qaader, second in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer, is one of 12 entries in the Betway Royal Mile Handicap.
Johnston has three other possibles in Forest Falcon, Ghost Rider and Naamoos, while Keith Dalgleish is two-handed with Gioia Cieca, who was fourth in a Listed race at Lingfield earlier this month, and Heights Of Abraham.