A trip to Paris on Arc weekend and an appearance at the Breeders’ Cup are among the exciting options under consideration for Brave Emperor following his latest success in France on Sunday.
It has been quite the rise through the ranks for the Archie Watson-trained three-year-old, who began his campaign with a runner-up finish at Southwell in late January.
He had since won a Listed race at Cagnes-Sur-Mer, a conditions prize at Kempton, a Group Three in Germany and finished third in a Group Three in Sweden prior to his latest trip across the Channel.
Brave Emperor looked to face the toughest test of his career in the Group Three Prix Daphnis, but rose to the challenge under a power-packed ride from Luke Morris, leaving members of the Middleham Park Racing syndicate that own him eyeing loftier targets.
“It was a great piece of placement again from Archie. He’s placed him to perfection all season and I think Luke rode him to perfection as well,” said Middleham Park racing manager Tom Palin.
“You still need the horse to be able to do it, of course. It’s one thing finding these opportunities, but you’re still relying on a willing partner underneath you and this horse is definitely brave by name, brave by nature.
“He had to carry a 3lb penalty on Sunday, but he loves his racing and thrives on it. We’ve not really spared him, but he travels well and he’s just an absolute dude of a horse and a bit of a legend.
“There’s a small cohort of owners who follow him around. They’ve been to Sweden, they’ve been to Germany and they’ve been to France twice. He’s well supported wherever he goes and has a bit of a cult following here at Middleham Park.”
While plans for Brave Emperor’s next run remain fluid, Palin views the Prix Daniel Wildenstein – a Group Two run at ParisLongchamp in early October – as a likely objective for the autumn.
He added: “We’re probably going to have to start looking at bigger, sexier and dare I say scarier things with him going forward, but he’s fully entitled to now.
“The Wildenstein would be lovely and a very sensible target and we could look at the Prix du Moulin before then. I know that’s a Group One, but you are into Group Two/Group One territory now.
“We love to get our owners over for the Arc meeting if we can, it’s a meeting that’s served us well in the past, and maybe we’ll take in the Moulin on the way. It’s that or a Group Two in Germany, I think.
“I quite like the idea of the Wildenstein and then who knows, it could be onto the Breeders’ Cup. Archie and I have briefly mentioned that, but let’s see.
“Of course he’s going to have to improve, but that attitude he possesses is a huge asset, so why not give him a spin in those kind of races? You’re probably pitching him in for places, but who knows?”