Trainer Simon Miller believes that Liberty’s Gem will be very tough to beat in the 2014 Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic and rates the talented gelding his best chance at Ascot this weekend.
Liberty’s Gem made his racing debut after impressing in three barrier trials with narrow win in the Westspeed Handicap (1200m) at Belmont Park on September 27 before he was beaten by Silver Magic Ships at the same venue on October 11.
The Statue Of Liberty gelding was well-backed in the lead-up to the Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 22 and he jumped straight to lead before fighting off Malibu Style and Fuld’s Bet to record a tough win.
Miller told Racing Ahead that Liberty’s Gem had come on from his Placid Ark Stakes victory and said that he is thrilled with the three-year-old heading into the 2014 Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic on Saturday.
“He is a really nice horse,” Miller said.
“He is up to 1400 and I shouldn’t think that will be a worry and he has drawn a good gate.
“Because it is down set weights and meets them all better for the weights for beating them home.
“You would think that he would be hard to beat.
“There is a couple coming back from the Guineas, but usually when they come back from the Guineas it is a last resort and I have targeted mine for that race.
“He is probably my best for the day and he hasn’t gone backwards since his last win.”
Miller confirmed that Liberty’s Gem would head straight to the spelling paddock after running in the Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic and is considering sending the talented gelding to the Eastern Seaboard for an autumn or winter campaign, but revealed that there has been plenty of interest in the three-year-old from racing interests in Hong Kong and he has been forced to fight to hang on to the horse.
“I am just trying to fight off Hong Kong at the moment, they are coming from every angle to secure him,” Miller said.
“Win, lose or draw he will be in the paddock after this run and then we will plan a campaign in the autumn somewhere.”
Miller is chasing his first win in the Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic since he took out the 2011 edition of the race with Night War.