What a fantastic way to start the season! In a year when we need our big guns to fire, it was great to see Mr Jon and Sarah Kelly’s Mizzou deliver back to back wins in the Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot. Mizzou had more on his plate than 12 months ago but he proved at least as good as ever to beat Clever Cookie by a hard fought neck. The win now sets him up perfectly for another crack at the Group 1 Gold Cup In Honour of The Queen’s 90 Birthday at Royal Ascot on June 16th. Flying Officer was less than a length behind on this occasion and will be 5 lb better off in the Gold Cup, while the Coolmore contingent looks very strong with Order of St George, who will be hard to beat if he comes back the same horse as he was last year, and Bondi Beach, who looks like another smart contender after his winning return recently. However we are not far off them and have always got a chance with Mizzou considering how hard he tries. Mizzou was quicker out of the stalls this time than he has often been, which helped jockey Andrea Atzeni take up a good position, and hopefully that will also be the case in the Gold Cup given what happened last year. A horse like Mizzou only really has one shot a year at Group 1 level, though the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October would be a very nice prize to win, and is another target for him this season with the possibility of the Lonsdale Cup or Doncaster Cup along the way.
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Pamona made a frustrating reappearance when last in the Listed Betfred TV EBF Stallions Daisy Warwick Stakes at Goodwood last Saturday and, to a lesser extent, so was Michael and Michelle Morris’ Tiptree who finished fifth in the Listed Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket the following afternoon. However, as mentioned in our previous update, we are not quite there with our fillies yet. There is a long season ahead and we are sure Tiptree will show her true ability in time. We are still undecided on where to go with her next – we will have to see what the next couple of weeks bring – but she is more than capable of winning more races and she is likely to stay a mile and a half in the future.
We opted out of running Merry Fox Stud’s Second Step in the Group 2 Dunaden at Overbury Jockey Club Stakes because of the presence of Jack Hobbs and, as it turned out, we probably should have taken our chance. Hindsight is always a wonderful thing and the eventual winner, Exosphere, was very impressive. We are happy to go to the Group 2 Betway Yorkshire Cup at York on May 13th with Second Step and we hope he can give us our third win in the race following Eastern Mystic (1986) and Arzanni (1991).
Another horse who will run at York – luck permitting – is Fittocks Stud’s Koora who is on track for the Group 2 Betfred Middleton Stakes at York on May 12th which we won with another four year old, Papering, in 1997. We are very much looking forward to running Koora as she has been working well and should have more to offer this year given her pedigree and profile.
As for last weekend’s classics, Galileo Gold was stirred to victory by Frankie Dettori in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. The fact that the top three in the betting did not run up to expectations on the day puts a slight doubt on the Guineas form but there is no denying that the Hugo Palmer trained colt was good on the day. Even more impressive was Minding in the fillies’ equivalent. She is clearly a very good filly and looks the one to beat in the Investec Oaks. There is still time for our Beautiful Morning to lay down genuine claims in the upcoming Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies Trial Stakes at Newbury also bearing in mind that she will come on for the run.
We were also active at the Tattersalls Guineas Breeze Up Sales last Friday, buying three lots with the help of Charlie Gordon-Watson, which obviously helps with keeping our two year old numbers up. All three are good looking colts being by Zoffany (Lot 191) for whom we paid 170,000gns, Footstepsinthesand (Lot 218) for whom we paid 120,000gns and Medicean (Lot 130) for whom we paid 48,000gns. We were delighted to get all of them and, in particular, the first two as they are for new owners. We are hoping these three colts can get on the scoresheet for us this year before going on to better things as three year olds.
You can view their breezes here – http://www.tattersalls.com/4DCGI/Sale/Live#blog3563