Patience with horses, as Sir Michael Stoute knows, is not so much a virtue as a necessity. And one of his charges, Telescope, who missed the Derby after a disappointing training gallop, is now back in the reckoning for top contests later in the year after a thoroughly satisfactory comeback in a minor contest at Leicester.
The Class Three At the Races Sky 415 Conditions Stakes, with its £7,561 first prize, may not have matched the might-have-beens at Epsom, but if it provides a springboard to glory it will have been money as usefully earned as any.
Telescope showed exciting promise in two runs last year and took his place among the Derby favourites after some sparkling homework in the spring, but a minor injury and some growing pains ruled him out of action until yesterday. He duly rediscovered his sparkle, making his two useful rivals look pedestrian. After a contest run at a true pace he came home 24 lengths clear of Mulakim with rider Ryan Moore furthering his mount’s education by keeping up a strong gallop all the way to the line.
In the end, it was little more than a piece of paid exercise and though the handsome son of Galileo may yet take high rank among a generation of three-year-olds so far lacking a middle-distance star, his trainer will tread softly with such potential. The bookmakers, though, are already convinced; the Highclere Thoroughbreds colourbearer has been shortened for the St Leger (to 8-1) and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (14-1) and one firm make him only 2-1 to win any Group One contest this season.
“It will get tougher for him from now, that’s for sure,” said Stoute, “but he’s done nothing wrong on the racecourse so far. It’s all been frustrating, especially for the connections, but hopefully we can get on our way now. He was smooth and relaxed and has had a good workout. He’s got quite a few possibilities, so we’ll go home and see how he comes out of it and make a plan in a week’s time.”
The John Gosden-trained filly Elusive Kate kept her Falmouth Stakes prize after Richard Hannon, trainer of runner-up Sky Lantern, yesterday lost his appeal against the result. Elusive Kate carried her rival diagonally across the Newmarket track a week ago before prevailing by a neck, but the BHA disciplinary panel agreed that the stewards on the day had been correct in not altering the placings.
Chris McGrath’s Nap:
Java Rose (7.00 Pontefract) Gained experience in bumpers before staying on strongly to give a beating to her rivals on her Flat debut and has the scope for further progress on her handicap debut.
Amazing Maria (2.20 Newbury) She has made giant strides since her satisfactory debut and a reversal of form with some rivals then would not surprise.
One to watch:
Dance And Dance (Ed Vaughan)