Workforce team confident
Raider expected to produce his best in America
Last Updated: 27/10/10 4:12pm
Workforce storms to Epsom Derby glory back in June
Teddy Grimthorpe is confident Workforce will show his true colours when he bids to cap an incredible season on a high in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on Saturday week.
The son of King's Best produced a spellbinding performance to win the Derby at Epsom by seven lengths in a course record time back in June, but then followed that with an inexplicably lifeless performance a month later in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Plenty doubted the three-year-old would ever rediscover his best form but having been masterfully handled by Sir Michael Stoute, he bounced back to his brilliant best to give his trainer his first taste of Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe glory at Longchamp.
The sceptics are now predictably questioning the colt's ability to string two top-class efforts together, but Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, is keen to consign that Ascot no-show to the history books.
"We're very hopeful that (bounce factor) won't be a problem," said Grimthorpe.
"I think after the King George we learnt lessons about one or two things, including how to ride him and perhaps what ground he prefers. Maybe the ground was too quick for him at Ascot.
"Nothing really came to light and he had all sorts of tests for the next two weeks. Sir Michael did an exceptional job in getting him to Longchamp in such good form and both horse and jockey performed to an excellent standard on the day.
"We were very hopeful heading to Paris, but obviously there was some trepidation because of what had happened before. We certainly weren't as confident as we were heading for the King George.
"But on the day he was one of the stand-out horses in the paddock and once I saw him stride out and travel in the race I knew he was going to run his race.
"My first reaction after winning the two biggest mile-and-a-half races in Europe was that he had done his bit for the year, but Sir Michael was so happy with him afterwards and he was soon back into his normal work rhythm.
"He worked on Racecourse Side on Saturday morning and he really looked in tremendous shape."
Workforce will be bidding to overcome the owner's dreadful record in the Turf with all 12 of his previous Juddmonte Farms contenders, including the brilliant Dancing Brave in 1986, having suffered defeat.
"Records are there to be broken and we need to try to put the record straight," Grimthorpe continued.
"In fairness, Workforce has had nowhere near as harder year as Dancing Brave did and I think everyone accepts he was not the same horse in the Breeders' Cup as he was in the Arc."
Workforce is likely to face a far smaller field than he has encountered at both Epsom and Longchamp, but Grimthorpe also believes this will not hinder his chances.
"I don't see why it would be a worry. He's a horse who settles and I see no reason why he shouldn't get into a rhythm no matter what the pace is," he added.