Hootenanny: Ascot winner “as good as ever” according to Wesley Ward
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Preview: France, Sunday 2.40pm BST (live on ATR)
Deauville: Darley Prix Morny (Group 1) 6f, 2yo colts fillies
WESLEY WARD won this prize last year and now tests his theory that Hootenanny would have gone close in either of Ascot’s top juvenile events by taking on impressive Coventry Stakes winner The Wow Signal.
“God, yeah,” was trainer John Quinn’s succinct reply when asked in the winner’s enclosure whether The Wow Signal was the best he had ever trained, and he went on to say he would not be surprised if the son of Starspangledbanner turned out to be a Guineas horse next spring.
Quinn added: “The form of the Coventry has worked out and he won it well, so we’re very happy with him. I don’t think any horse would want it really heavy but he’s coped with soft ground. Hootenanny won very well and could beat only what was put in front of him, so I have a lot of respect for him.”
Hootenanny blasted inferior rivals in the Windsor Castle Stakes in a very fast time later the same day, and the French defence will know they have been in a fight should they attempt to go head-to-head with the American from the off.
Ward said: “He’s as good as I’ve ever had him. He’s going to need that to win what is probably the biggest two-year-old race in Europe.”
That home challenge is headed by Ervedya, who easily maintained her unbeaten record in the Prix de Cabourg three weeks ago, a race in which Ride Like The Wind endured a nightmare passage after dwelling at the start.
Goken hails from a stable whose two-year-olds have been flying all year and ran up a hat-trick of easy wins, culminating in the Group 3 Prix du Bois, before a below-par effort in the Prix Robert Papin behind Kool Kompany.
Malicieuse was no match for the Roger Varian-trained Tigrilla – who runs at the Curragh today – in the Prix Six Perfections and comes back a furlong in trip for an owner-trainer combination who are extremely selective with their runners at this level.
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