Elm Park gearing up for Newmarket

Trainer Andrew Balding

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Trainer Andrew Balding remains hugely excited by the prospect of 2,000 Guineas contender Elm Park starting out his three-year-old campaign.

Balding reports Elm Park to be coming along nicely for the opening colts’ Classic of the new flat season at Newmarket on the first weekend of May.

According to Balding, Elm Park may be the best youngster he has handled.

“I can’t remember the last time we went through the winter with a two-year-old as exciting as this and he has just got the physical make-up to be even better,” Balding said at a press day at his stables.

Elm Park won four of his five starts last season as a juvenile, concluding his campaign with a stylish success in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster over a mile.

Balding confirmed his high opinion of the son of Phoenix Reach and while he has the long term target of stepping up to 1m4f for the Epsom Derby in June, he doesn’t feel Elm Park has anything to fear over a mile at Newmarket.

“I have never had a two-year old as good as him. I have had fast ones but never any near as good, both in terms of work and what he has achieved on the track,” Balding said.

“Obviously I would think the extra distance would suit him well but he is not a slow horse as he is a Group Two course-and-distance winner and a Group One winner over a mile.”

Balding also confirmed Elm Park will not be inconvenienced by any cut in the ground at Newmarket next month.

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