Stubbs in the frame for Royal Ascot
In noting that Ruler Of The World had not been burdened with such a portentous name by accident, John Magnier apologised at Epsom on Saturday for the number of colts owned by the Coolmore partners – George Washington apart, presumably – that had failed to live up to their implicit expectations when named after American presidents. The christening of Stubbs, however, suggests that they may have a masterpiece on their hands after his impressive success at Naas yesterday.
A son of Danehill Dancer out of an Irish Oaks winner, Stubbs had bolted up in a maiden at Navan last month but still looked very green as he saw off three rivals for a listed race won last year by Dawn Approach. Joseph O'Brien, his jockey, was impressed that the colt could pick them up so slickly off a steady pace and indicated that he would proceed to Royal Ascot next. Victor Chandler already offer 16-1 that Stubbs can emulate Dawn Approach in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas next year.
Remarkably, an equivalent race for fillies on the card last year in turn produced the 1,000 Guineas winner in Sky Lantern. Once again it was exported by a British raider in the well backed Sandiva, a six-length winner at Nottingham first time out. Richard Fahey now hopes to prepare the daughter of Footstepsinthesand for the Albany Stakes at Ascot. "She was green on her debut," he said. "But the better ones usually are, as they do everything so easily at home. She has a huge stride for a filly."
Intello, made favourite after his success in the Prix du Jockey-Club on Sunday, is likely to seek a Group One success over a mile at Deauville in August before any consideration is given to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. His stablemate, Ocovango, will meanwhile head to the Grand Prix de Paris after finishing fifth in the Derby the previous day.
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