Exosphere: could be supplemented for the Coronation Cup
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Newmarket Saturday
Dunaden At Overbury Jockey Club Stakes (Group 2) 1m4f
EXOSPHERE made the transition to Group company look oh so easy as he put some high-class rivals to the sword in emphatic style.
Despite favourite Jack Hobbs failing to complete as he was pulled up and dismounted, there was no getting away from the style Exosphere went away from St Leger heroine Simple Verse in the closing stages, who herself ran a stormer under a Group 1 penalty.
Settled towards the rear by Ryan Moore, Exosphere travelled easily as Big Orange set a stern test and as Jack Hobbs came under pressure and failed to respond, the eventual winner moved into contention effortlessly.
Simple Verse, last seen winning at Group 1 level on British Champions Day, was the first to take Big Orange’s measure but as she made her bid for a fifth straight win, was stalked by Exosphere under a motionless Moore.
Beaten at Listed level when last seen at Ayr in September, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained four-year-old was soon on terms with the new leader before quickening clear for an impressive success at 17-2.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Exosphere’s owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “We were confident he’d run well as he’d been working solidly but when you’re taking on an Irish Derby winner and a St Leger winner you have to be tempered with a bit of realism.
“The way he did that today I don’t think there is any doubt 12 furlongs is his trip. It’s a very long season but he’s set out the right way and we couldn’t be more pleased. We can raise our sights now.”
Royal Ascot looks sure to be on the winner’s agenda, although Grimthorpe was not ruling out a possible trip to Epsom next.
He added: “He’s in the Hardwicke so something like that is going to be an option. I don’t think he’s in the Coronation Cup but we have to think about that. He’s well balanced and I think we have to look at it.”
John Ferguson, chief executive of Godolphin – part-owners of Jack Hobbs, said: “William said he just lost his action and thought the best thing was to pull him up. He came back fine and looked sound afterwards. John will have him checked out.”
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