Friday, June 15, 2007


for immediate release, Monday, June 11, 2007

Trainer Geoff Huffer this evening revealed that an offer of £10 million had been received for Cockney Rebel ahead of the dual Classic winner’s bid for Tuesday’s (June 19) Group One St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But the Stan James 2000 Guineas and Irish 2,000 Guineas hero’s owner, Essex insurance broker Phil Cunningham, will not consider any offers until after the Royal Meeting.

"We’ve had lots of offers and a firm bid of £10 million for him, that’s not a bad return on the 30,000 guineas he cost as a yearling - I only wanted to spend 20,000 guineas at the time but it doesn’t seem so bad now," said Huffer, speaking on a Royal Ascot press visit to Newmarket. "Nobody’s bought him at the moment and Phil Cunningham doesn’t want to do anything until after the St James’s Palace Stakes.

"Cockney Rebel is worth that now and if he wins the St James’s Palace Stakes he’ll be worth more - he won’t devalue. He’s a dual Classic winner so he can stand at £15-£20,000 at stud whatever happens."His owner is a sporting man and money is not the main factor, which is that the owner can keep the horse for the rest of the season."

Looking ahead to the St James’s Palace Stakes, for which Coral quote Cockney Rebel as 6/4 favourite, Huffer is hopeful that his stable star can prevail once again against Stan James 2000 Guineas third Dutch Art.
" Mine’s improving all the time and you haven’t seen the best of him yet," added the trainer. "You can never be totally confident, he’s got to run his race, but Dutch Art has to catch us up.

People say Dutch Art was unlucky in the Guineas and won the race on his side but he was drawn next to us and we had to go right round Strategic Prince. I would say they are more frightened of us than we are of them but that’s what horse racing is about and I don’t mind who takes us on. If he gets beat then he gets beat but I find it hard to think he will.

"He quickens off a good gallop and then quickens again, very few horses do that. He’s run a time of 11.91 seconds a furlong which is nearly sprinting time. Persian Heights, who I trained, was a great horse but this one’s better - he’s already a legend.

"As a two-year-old, he’d gallop with three-year-olds and leave them standing still and he goes on any ground bar very soft.
"They didn’t go fast enough for him in the Irish Guineas so he pulled to hard. Olivier Peslier is a world-class jockey but had to go too early in Ireland because of the pace and the horse just idled in front a bit.

"But you don’t get many slow-run races at Ascot and if they do try and go slow there I’ve got a trick for them - I’m not telling you what it is though!"

Huffer added that, after the St James’s Palace Stakes, Cockney Rebel will bid for the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August before returning to Ascot in September to take on his elders in the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. ENDS



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