By Tom Frary
Roaring Lion was introduced in the mile maiden on the July Course won by Frankel (GB) and Motivator (GB) Aug. 18 and followed a taking success there with a six-length verdict under a penalty in a novice contest on Kempton’s Polytrack Sept. 8. Restrained early by Oisin Murphy behind the leading trio, the grey showed a sharp turn of acceleration to overwhelm the market leader Nelson and Mildenberger passing the quarter pole before veering right through greenness. Giving Nelson another chance as a result, he rallied when straightened to regain the initiative near the line and thrust ahead. “I was still on the bridle passing the bushes, so I couldn’t have waited any longer,” his rider said. “They went a good gallop and he travelled like a nice horse. He certainly has a big future.”
John Gosden is looking at a possible Breeders’ Cup tilt with the winner. “He did very well and it wouldn’t be his favourite ground,” he explained. “He has done nothing but improve. He has won on the July Course and the Polytrack and we couldn’t be more pleased with him. It’s a big track and he is a baby. He was in the middle and he had no rail and he started wandering. Oisin gave him a flick with his right hand and he was nearly in the grandstand. He straightened him up and he came back as he went a neck down. He has got plenty of class and is a nice horse. You either put him away or you look at a choice of two races. One is obviously Doncaster [for the Oct. 28 G1 Racing Post Trophy] and the other is Del Mar. I love Doncaster and I would be worried if it got deep and that wouldn’t be the place to go. He is an American-bred horse and he likes top-of-the-ground. The next 10 days with the horse will tell us everything. He has come on a lot from Kempton. I would have been terribly disappointed if he wasn’t in the shake-up.”
Nelson was also affected by the flight delay from Ireland and Aidan O’Brien said, “Ryan rode him as he found him. He ran a very good race and was right there all the way. He had a bit of a messy morning and he only just arrived at the races. The poor fellow had never flown before, but he learnt a lot today. I don’t know how much that affected him, but it wasn’t an advantage. He is a little bit of baby and took a few runs to learn. We are very happy with the run. He kept going and he is a nice horse. Ryan was happy with him and that he ran a good, solid race. If he was to run again, he would have the choice of the Racing Post Trophy or the mile-and-a-quarter race in France [the Oct. 29 G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud].”
Roaring Lion is the first foal out of Vionnet who was third in the GI Rodeo Drive S. and is a daughter of the GIII Las Cienegas H. and GIII Senator Ken Maddy H. winner Cambiocorsa. She in turn has four stakes winners to her credit headed by the GII Royal Heroine Mile S. scorer Schiaparelli (Ghostzapper) and the GII John C. Mabee S. scorer Moulin de Mougin (Curlin). Cambiocorsa is a full-sister to the five-times graded-stakes scorer California Flag whose exploits include three victories in the GIII Morvich H. Vionnet’s yearling colt is by Medaglia d’Oro.
Saturday, Newmarket, Britain
JUDDMONTE ROYAL LODGE S.-G2, £100,000, NEW, 9-30, 2yo, c/g, 8fT, 1:39.56, g/s.
1–ROARING LION, 126, c, 2, by Kitten’s Joy
1st Dam: Vionnet (GISP-US, $175,140), by Street Sense
2nd Dam: Cambiocorsa, by Avenue of Flags
3rd Dam: Ultrafleet, by Afleet
*1st stakes win. ($160,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Qatar Racing Ltd; B-Ran Jan Racing Inc (KY); T-John Gosden; J-Oisin Murphy. £56,710. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, $87,408. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report 5-cross pedigree.
2–Nelson (Ire), 126, c, 2, Frankel (GB)–Moonstone (GB), by Dalakhani (Ire). O-Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor Derrick Smith; B-Orpendale, Chelston Wynatt (IRE); T-Aidan O’Brien. £21,500.
3–Mildenberger (GB), 126, c, 2, Teofilo (Ire)–Belle Josephine (GB), by Dubawi (Ire). O-Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum; B-Godolphin (GB); T-Mark Johnston. £10,760.
Margins: NK, 1 3/4, 2 1/4. Odds: 2.75, 0.80, 3.50.
Also Ran: Petrus (Ire), Midnight Wilde (GB). Scratched: Herculean (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.