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Weld's New Star Rates With Vintage Crop & Vinnie Roe
Australia's Timeform expert Gary Crispe rates dual Gr1 Melbourne Cup-winning Irish trainer Dermot Weld's latest star stayer Rite Of Passage (who smashed the track record in winning last week's UK Gr1 Ascot Gold Cup over 2.5 miles at Royal Ascot at only his 3rd start on the flat) as "already comparable to Weld's great stayers Vintage Crop & Vinnie Roe," reported The Daily Telegraph. Crispe "is convinced" 6YO gelding & former jumper Rite Of Passage (Giant's Causeway-Dahlia's Krissy, by Kris S) "is not your typical, grinding northern hemisphere-trained stayer who will struggle with the faster race tempo of a Melbourne Cup". Crispe (who was at Royal Ascot to watch Rite Of Passage last week) noted: "The difference between the 2.5 miles (4000m) of the Ascot Gold Cup & the 2 miles (3200m) of a Melbourne Cup is like chalk & cheese. We have seen many top European stayers come out of Ascot & struggle in the Melbourne Cup, most notably Yeats. But Rite Of Passage is a fast, on-pace stayer, he is lightly raced, unbeaten in 3 starts on the flat & his Timeform rating increases rapidly each start indicating the horse is open to further improvement." Rite Of Passage returned a 124 Timeform rating with his Ascot Gold Cup triumph, "a figure that was 2 pounds superior to what Yeats achieved in the 1st of his 4 consecutive Gold Cup wins in 2006". Rite Of Passage currently boasts 7 wins & 2 placings from 10 starts (7 over jumps).