On the whole I thought most of our horses ran very well at Royal Ascot last week. We had plenty going there with a point to prove and to be honest hardly any of them really disappointed. Despite going home without a winner, we still learnt plenty about the future which set us up nicely where we still have lots to look forward too with big meetings at Newmarket and Goodwood not far away.
I was absolutely delighted with Snow Lantern in the Coronation Stakes where she ran a super race to finish second to Alcohol Free when not getting the best of runs, and a couple of yards further she might even had won. She went on the ground but I’m not sure she’s as effective on it as she would be on faster. The intention was always to run but I did I walk the course beforehand just to be absolutely sure and we all had no qualms whatsoever, because it was perfectly safe and raceable so running her was never in any doubt.
She was in great shape and working very well going into the race and despite not winning we felt justified in doing so and she put her last run well and truly behind her. She didn’t like it at York for whatever reason but we did lots of work in settling her down at home which has worked out well.
There are now lots of options but favourite would definitely be the G1 Falmouth Stakes at the July Meeting in a few weeks time. Her dam Sky Lantern was narrowly denied by Elusive Kate in 2013 so it would be nice to go there and make up for what happened (or didn’t happen!) to her mother. Looking further ahead and I suppose we could consider stepping her up in trip if we needed to in the G1 Nassau Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival but we’ll just take each race at a time.
Chindit ran a good race in the St James’s Palace Stakes, but we were never going to beat the favourite at any stage and probably could’ve been a bit more positive with him during the race so we’ll definitely be riding him more forward next time.
Where that will be, we haven’t quite decided but I do think a mile is his trip so I wouldn’t be thinking about stepping him up just yet; maybe we can later in the year if we feel we need to but there’s a good set of mile races to look at and we could quite easily go to Goodwood and have a crack at the Sussex Stakes because he’s won his Group Twos so there’s no point going back down in grade and repeating ourselves; we’ll just plot our way through and try and find the most suitable race for him. He likes fast ground and is in good nick.
Armor was only beaten just over 2 ½ lengths in the Windsor Castle Stakes on just his second run after winning easily at Doncaster and we will now seriously consider something like the Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly or the Molecomb at Goodwood next month. He’s a very talented horse.
Lusail didn’t run at Royal Ascot but won very impressively at Newmarket on Saturday and he could go back there for a step up in grade in the Superlative Stakes which we’ve won with Olympic Glory, Estidhkaar and Mystery Power in recent years.
Gisburn was unfortunately very disappointing in the Coventry Stakes and just didn’t show up at all - he never looked like winning at any stage but the ground was very, very quick on the first day and he came back a little bit sore so we’ll give him a bit of a break and bring him back in six to eight weeks and look at some nice races later in the season. We’ve always liked him and hopefully he still has time to develop into a nice horse.
Ouzo ran a stormer in the Royal Hunt Cup and has come out of the race in such good form that we’ve decided to let him run at Salisbury tomorrow where hopefully he’ll put up a bold show.
Beat Le Bon was a length behind him and ran a lovely race on the far side, which was basically a different race to the stands’ side, and as you have seen from time to time, he is extremely capable.
I’m pleased to say that Mojo Star has come out of the Epsom Derby in great shape and he’ll head over to Ireland to contest the Irish equivalent at The Curragh. He’s a big, strong colt who we have always held in very high regard and it will be interesting to see which horses remain in the field tomorrow.