Brocklesby the First Test for British Juveniles

Saturday may be April Fools’ Day but there will be no fool’s errand for the 17 juveniles charged with getting their racing careers off to a bright start in Britain’s traditional turf season opener, the Pertemps Network EBF Brocklesby S.

Love it or loathe it, the Brocklesby carries with it that great sigh of relief from Flat fans that winter is at last over and ‘proper racing’ can now commence. For the men and women behind the stallions with their first runners this season, it is also an important marker, and four of the 17 runners this year represent three freshman sires.

Magna Grecia (Ire) drew first blood in the first-season sires’ title race of 2023 when the Amy Murphy-trained Myconian (Ire) won the Prix du Debut at Saint-Cloud. The 2019 2,000 Guineas winner, whose half-brother St Mark’s Basilica (Fr) has since followed him to the Coolmore stallion yard, also features among the sires of the Brocklesby runners, with the Andrew Balding-trained Loaded Gun (Ire) high up in the betting at Doncaster. A half-brother to the dual sprint winner Another Bertie (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}), Loaded Gun was bred by Khalid Mishref and Joe Hernon, and is a son of the Cheveley Park Stud-bred mare Temerity (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}), won won over seven furlongs at two.

Karl Burke enjoys plenty of success with his juveniles and is represented by Indication Call (Ire), a son of Ballyhane Stud’s Soldier’s Call (GB), who has had two runners to date in Ireland including Friday’s Dundalk runner-up Lightening Army (Ire). Bred by Mcr Bloodstock, Indication Call hails from a family that the trainer knows well, as his dam Queen Elsa (Ire) is a Frozen Power (Ire) half-sister to the Burke-trained G2 Mill Reef S. winner Toocoolforschool (Ire), who is by Soldier’s Call’s sire Showcasing (GB).

Eyeros (Ire), trained by Stan Moore and bred by Gleann Ard Stud, is another by Soldier’s Call in the field and is out of the unraced Aga Khan-bred mare Tildiyna (Ire) (Sinner {Ire}), a grand-daughter of Timarida (Ire) (Kalaglow {Ire}), the winner of three Group 1 races in Ireland, America and Germany, including the Irish Champion S.

Dave Evans will saddle Go To Work (Ire), bred by Tally-Ho Stud, which is also home to his sire Inns Of Court (Ire). The gelding is out of the New Approach (Ire) mare Forgiving Flower (GB), a half-sister to Japanese Grade 3 winner Live Concert (Ire) (Singspiel {Ire}) and to the Listed winner Charleston Lady (GB) (Hurricane Run {Ire}).

Tally-Ho Stud is also now home to last year’s Brocklesby winner, Persian Force (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), who went on to win the G2 July S. and finish runner-up to Blackbeard (Ire) (No Nay Never) in the G1 Prix Morny for Amo Racing. The 2021 winner Chipotle (GB) (Havana Gold {Ire}) also proved to be a smart and hardy campaigner, winning four times at two for Eve Johnson Houghton, including at Royal Ascot, while arguably the smartest recent winner of them all was The Last Lion (Ire) (Choisir {Aus}), whose busy juvenile campaign of 2016 culminated in victory in the G1 Middle Park S.

Amo Racing also has the favourite for this year’s contest in the Starspangledbanner (Aus) colt Valadero (Ire). A €250,000 yearling bred by the Irish National Stud, Valadero is trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis.

“Persian Force was obviously an incredibly special horse who was verging on Group 1 standard,” said Tom Pennington, Amo’s racing and operations manager. “Valadero is a very nice colt who has been very straightforward to deal with and his work’s been good. I wouldn’t say we’re confident, but he does go there in very good shape.”

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