Ebor hero Litigant to be tested at Group 1 level

LITIGANT, who defied a 491-day absence to win the Ebor at York on Saturday, will have his next start in Group 1 company, Joe Tuite indicated on Sunday as the trainer paid a warm tribute to his staff for their part in the fragile seven-year-old’s remarkable success.

Owned by Tony Byrne, Litigant began his career with Andre Fabre in Sheikh Mohammed’s colours, but was bought by Seamus Durack in 2013. He won the All-Weather Marathon Championship for Durack in April last year, but had not raced since and was moved to Tuite by Byrne.

The Ebor was his long-term goal and he delivered in style under Oisin Murphy, earning Tuite plenty of plaudits.

The Lambourn trainer, who celebrated by far his biggest win well into the early hours of Sunday morning, was relieved to learn his stable star was in good shape.

He said: “The horse is 100 per cent sound and skipped up the yard this morning, so hopefully we live to fight another day.

“I think we’ll go for the Prix du Cadran or the staying race at Ascot on Champions Day, but we might try to do both as there’s very little else for him. There are two weeks in between, so we can go to France first and if he’s all right take a chance at Ascot.

“That would be it for the year. He doesn’t want fast ground but is unlikely to get it then.”

Tuite added: “It meant a lot to me to get home and get my staff out last night to celebrate, as you’re only as good as your staff in this game. They’re the people I deal with every day and some of the owners were there too, which was nice.”

Source: Racing post

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