Harrington optimistic of Brother Bear challenge
Trainer Jessica Harrington says Brother Bear looks in good shape ahead of Tuesday's Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Harrington picked up several victories in a terrific National Hunt Season and the most notable triumph came in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where Sizing John beat second-place Minella Rocco by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
The dual-purpose trainer is now turning her attentions to the flat and she is aiming for a first Royal Ascot success when Brother Bear, who is expected to be the favourite, lines up for the Coventry Stakes.
Over six furlongs, the Group 2 race is open to two-year-old horses and the Mill House Llc-owned charge, who heads into the meeting on the back of successive wins at Leopardstown and the Curragh, looks in good fettle.
"He travelled over well and all seems to be good," Harrington said. "He's drawn in the middle (stall eight), so we can't complain about that. I'm guessing the pace will come from the American horse (Arawak, stall 14).
"We're looking forward to it. We don't have many favourites at Cheltenham, so to have one at Royal Ascot is something completely different."
Arawak and De Bruyne Horse are both expected to mount a serious challenge for glory whilst Murillo and Denaar, who will have Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori on board respectively, are also being tipped to go close.
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.