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Adam West focused on Nunthorpe defence with Live In The Dream

Adam West focused on Nunthorpe defence with Live In The Dream
Adam West focused on Nunthorpe defence with Live In The Dream

Adam West remains focused on Live In The Dream’s Nunthorpe defence after a change in tactics ended in defeat in the Coral Charge.

The chestnut worked his way rapidly through the sprint ranks last season, placing in the Palace House and the Temple Stakes before stepping up to Group One level at York in August.

There he ran away with the Nunthorpe after making the running, prevailing by a length under Sean Kirrane to book his ticket to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

In America he was fourth when passed in the closing stages, a run that inspired connections to experiment with less aggressive tactics this season as it was felt that he may benefit from biding his time a little more.

Second in the Temple Stakes on debut, the gelding was then fifth in the Achilles Stakes when almost tripping out of the gate on his next start.

At Sandown he had a less dramatic exit from stall nine and was held up to preserve his turn of foot for later in the race, but on soft ground and with a headwind to contend with he could only come home fourth when beaten three lengths.

West was not disheartened by the run, which he feels proved educational, and still intends to proceed on the same path to a Nunthorpe return.

“We’ve trotted him up this morning and he’s been out in the paddock, he’s very well,” the trainer said.

“We weren’t in a position to dominate with the headwind, the ground and the draw.

“Since the Breeders’ Cup we’ve been a little bit conservative, he did a little bit too much going into the bend.

“He’d come to hand and we were seeing if his maturity would allow him to run his races another way but to be at his best he does need to be ridden aggressively with conditions right.

Live In The Dream (fourth from left) in the Coral Charge
Live In The Dream (fourth from left) in the Coral Charge (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“It’s setting us up for that later in the year now. He can’t run like that in a headwind and on soft ground, had we tried to do that at Sandown he would have been going forward and getting beaten.

“That isn’t good for his head, he’s better being held up and running on late like he did, it gives us a little hope for the stiffer tracks next year and it’s also better for him mentally.”

Live In The Dream is entered in the King George Stakes at Goodwood and also has the option to head out to Deauville for the Prix du Cercle, where he was fourth last year, but the Nunthorpe remains the ultimate target and could pave the way to the Breeders’ Cup again.

“He’s got an entry there (at Goodwood), it’s only three weeks before the Nunthorpe so we’ll get closer to the race and see,” West said.

“There is also the Deauville Listed race he was fourth in last year on the same weekend, it just depends on the ground and the conditions.

“I do want to try and help his confidence a little bit because we haven’t had the same success going into the race as last year, but those are probably our emotions rather than his, the Nunthorpe is our big goal this year to try and get out to the Breeders’ Cup.”

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