Breeders’ Cup organisers eye first royal runner

Dartmouth: 10-1 with Paddy Power to win the Breeders' Cup Turf

Dartmouth: 10-1 with Paddy Power to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

HIGHLAND REEL became the first horse from Europe to secure a guaranteed start at this year’s Breeders’ Cup on Saturday but the horse that is top of the international recruiters shopping list was the Queen’s Dartmouth.

The winner of the King George earns an automatic place in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and has his entry fee paid as a ‘Challenge’ event but having a first royal runner would be a massive coup for organisers of this year’s championships, to be run at Santa Anita.

Dartmouth is also being pursued by the Australians as a potential runner in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and Breeders’ Cup director of racing Josh Christian was selling his event, at which Sir Michael Stoute has enjoyed notable success, to the Duke of York after the colt finished third. Dartmouth was given a 10-1 quote for the Turf by Paddy Power.

‘We are genuinely thrilled’

The Queen’s racing adviser John Warren announced no immediate plans for Dartmouth, who had been supplemented in a bid to deliver a first royal King George winner since Aureole in 1954.

Warren said: “We are so thrilled that he ran a fantastic and genuine race. When we thought he was going to be swallowed up he stuck his head out.

“Olivier Peslier said he was on the wrong leg turning into the straight and it took him a moment to get organised but once he got organised and into gear he stuck his head down and ran a gallant race. We are genuinely thrilled. It’s nothing like winning but participation is everything.”

‘He is still learning’

John Gosden too was thrilled with runner-up Wings Of Desire but not ready to indicate which direction he would now take the only three-year-old in the field.

“Our horse ran a really good race,” he said. “He held up the three-year-old form well and he is still learning. It was only fifth race of his life and his fifth this year.

“I have nothing in mind at the moment. He is in the Juddmonte International and the St Leger. He is entered well. I am glad we ran here instead of the Grand Prix de Paris.”

 

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