Begg bullish about All Silent
Nicconi’s win in the Lightning Stakes has only strengthened Grahame Begg’s opinion of his stable star All Silent.
The David Hayes-trained Nicconi claimed his second Group One victory with a barnstorming finish in Saturday’s 1000m sprint at Flemington to cement a trip to Royal Ascot.
The famous English carnival in June is also a target for All Silent who is in work at Flemington, the scene of his next assignment, the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 6 and a possible clash with Nicconi.
All Silent was an explosive winner of the Patinack Farm Classic over the same straight course in the spring in which Nicconi was a notable flop.
“The Lightning has franked the All Silent form,” Begg said.
“He is doing very well and will run in the Newmarket.
“He is being vaccinated this week with Dubai and Royal Ascot in mind.”
All Silent was unplaced in the Hong Kong International Sprint in December after having a luckless run and Begg left him in Melbourne after he came out of quarantine rather than take him home to Sydney.
Begg is eyeing the $US1 million Group Three Al Quoz Sprint over 1200 metres on turf in March rather than the $US5 million Group One Golden Shaheen over the same distance on the all weather track at the new Meydan racecourse in Dubai.
The trainer attended the Royal Ascot meeting in June last year which whetted his appetite to return with All Silent.
“I’d love to go,” he said.
Four Australian horses have won the King’s Stand (1000m) starting with Choisir in 2003 with the Paul Perry-trained horse claiming an historic double when he also took out the Golden Jubilee (1200m).
Takeover Target won the King’s Stand in 2006 and ran third in the Golden Jubilee that year and second in 2007.
Miss Andretti shone in the 2007 King’s Stand while Scenic Blast was dominant last year.
All four won the Lightning Stakes before their Royal Ascot victories.
All Silent and unbeaten filly Black Caviar are the $5 early favourites on TAB Sportsbet for the Newmarket ahead of Nicconi and Weekend Hussler who is due to return from a long injury lay-off.
Nick Smith, head of public relations at Royal Ascot, was trackside at Flemington and said he believed Nicconi was an ideal candidate for the meeting and said those who finished behind him also had credentials.
“He’s (Nicconi) just the right sort of type for the King’s Stand,” Smith told TVN.
“I spoke to Peter (Moody) and Wanted is not out of the question.
“The third horse (Shellscrape), I know they expressed an interest.
“And you’ve got Typhoon Tracy and All Silent waiting in the wings.”
By Caryl Williamson