Royal Ascot form will be put to the test at the Curragh on Sunday when Bucanero Fuerte attempts to build on his Coventry Stakes third in the GAIN Railway Stakes.
Adrian Murray’s improving colt finished only a length behind the winner River Tiber in what looked a high-class renewal of the Royal meeting’s opening-day contest and now returns to the scene of his impressive maiden victory at the beginning of the campaign in search of a first success in Pattern company.
This comes only 12 days after Bucanero Fuerte’s huge effort at Ascot, but Murray is hopeful the son of Wootton Bassett has recovered sufficiently to give owners Amo Racing a second win in the Group Two contest following the victory of Go Bears Go in 2021.
“We’re very happy with him and hoping for a nice run,” said Murray.
“The only slight concern would be the ground and I guess we wouldn’t mind a drop of rain. We’re hoping the race hasn’t come too quick, but at home he is well and he is telling us he wants to run.”
A win for Murray – who also saddles Lightening Army in the six-furlong event – would provide the Westmeath-based handler with his second big-race success in the space of two weeks following Valiant Force’s Royal Ascot triumph.
“We were happy with him at Ascot (in the Coventry) and he looks like a really nice horse,” continued Murray.
“Ascot was unbelievable and it will be hard to keep it going, but we will give it a try anyway and Bucanero Fuerte is in good form.”
Aidan O’Brien has a fine record in this race and has assembled a three-pronged assault, with Norfolk Stakes fourth His Majesty also returning to the track quickly following arun at the Royal meeting.
The son of No Nay Never brings plenty of solid track experience to the table, having won the Listed First Flier Stakes on debut before going down by half a length in the Marble Hill over course and distance.
“His Majesty is coming back quickly having run at Ascot,” said O’Brien. “He was drawn a little bit on the wrong side in the Norfolk on the day as the winner was on the other side, but he still ran well.
“He seems to be in good form, but of course he hasn’t done much.”
His Majesty is joined in the line-up by Unquestionable, who is the mount of Ryan Moore and followed up a third on debut behind his stablemate in the First Flier Stakes with an impressive track-and-trip romp next time, while Democracy also holds a course victory his name and completes the Ballydoyle-trained trio.
“Unquestionable won his maiden very nicely and we always thought that he would get further and he probably will,” said O’Brien.
“We’ve decided to give him the chance in a Group race over six furlongs before we step him up. Hopefully he’ll run a nice race.”
He added: “Democracy was stepped into a Group race last time out and was a little bit disappointing, but we think he was a little bit keen and just did a little bit too much that day.
“Hopefully he won’t do that again. We know he’s a horse who will stay further in time, but we thought it was worth giving him another chance over this trip in a Group race.”