Go Athletico on target in Renaissance Stakes

Go Athletico could line up in next weekend’s Prix de l’Abbaye after opening his Group-race account in Ireland with a battling victory in the Westgrove Hotel Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh.

A Listed winner at Cork on his stable debut for Ado McGuinness in mid-June, the high-class French recruit had since filled the runner-up berth in both the Group Two Sapphire Stakes and the Group Three Phoenix Sprint.

The five-year-old was a 7-2 shot for this Group Three assignment under Ronan Whelan and he showed plenty of tenacity go with his undoubted talent to get the better of a sustained duel with Big Gossey by half a length.

Aesop’s Fables was a further five and a half lengths behind in third, with the heavily supported 6-5 favourite Ocean Quest only fourth.

Of the winner, McGuinness said: “He’s in the Abbaye next week. We ran him here because it was giving it to be quite a dry week. He might travel but if it is dry, we won’t run him.

“I have to speak to Barry (Irwin, racing manager for part-owners Team Valor) first. There is a big possibility that he goes as there isn’t a whole pile left for him (this year).

“He deserved to get it today, he’s been very consistent. He’s been a great horse for me, he’s only had four runs and hit the ground running. I’m very lucky and privileged to have him.

“There’s been very little between him and Ken Condon’s horse (Moss Tucker) all year and if he’s fancied for the Abbaye next week, we won’t be too far behind him. Fingers crossed, he could go there.”

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