Tony Martin targets York prize
The winning trainer of Europe's richest Flat handicap, the Betfred Ebor, is sending Landsman to the Knavesmire in search of another big prize.
Tony Martin is returning to York
Tony Martin's charge will cross the Irish Sea for Friday's £50,000 stanjames.com Stakes at York.
Co. Meath-based Martin and his New York owners celebrated a famous victory on his last visit when Heartbreak City triumphed in the £280,000 showpiece of the final day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
Martin will be represented by a relatively new recruit to his string this Friday as Landsman takes on thirteen rivals in the contest for three-year-olds, staged over a mile and six furlongs.
He said: "We haven't had him that long. He seems a nice horse, we're quite happy with him and he looks a nice prospect going forward.
"We're on a learning mission with him really on Friday and we're just hoping he will put up a good account."
Landsman, formally trained by Johnny Murtagh, has only raced at distances up to and including a mile and a half before. The son of Canford Cliffs' sole victory came at a mile and a quarter but Martin feels his charge will be able to cope with the rise in trip.
He added: "I'd say, the few little bits that we've done with him at home, he looks as if he'll stay so that's why we've stepped him up in trip."
The enjoyment of Heartbreak City's victory is likely to be long remembered by Martin and his team.
He said: "It was a great day. Fortunately enough, it went our way on the day. It's a close-knit operation and it was just very satisfactory when it worked out like that."
Landsman will face a very stiff test on Friday with no less than half the field having won on their last start. Indeed, the Gary Moore-trained Guns Of Leros will be bidding for a four-timer.
He won the Apprentices' Derby at Epsom in September and is due to go up 8lb in the weights from Saturday. But this Friday will see him eligible to race off his old mark of 82, albeit Moore's charge is 1lb out of the handicap at York so he'll officially run off 83, aided by 3lb claimer Noel Garbutt.
Moore said: "The horse has been in good form and we've had this race kind of targeted for him. The kid takes 3(lb) off, so he's actually 10lb well-in, if you like.
"He has a wide draw in 14 but luckily he goes forward, so – all being well – he can get over that a little bit."
Moore is also more than optimistic that the new distance of a mile and three quarters will be within range for Guns Of Leros.
He added: "He won at Salisbury, which is a stiff mile and a half. He is just a galloper. The further he went at Epsom the other day, the further he was going away again at the end.
"That's how we read it – he appears to be just a relentless galloper. Since I've been running him over a mile and a half, he has done nothing but improve."
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