Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial
|(Registered as the Pavilion Stakes)
Group 3, Ascot 15:55
3yo, 6f, Class 1
|Wednesday 1st May 2019
1 Calyx 1-3F
2 No Nonsense 33-1
3 Konchek 14/1
7 ran Distances: 4l, ½l, hd
Time: 1m 12.48s (slow by 0.08s)
Another win for our man Frankie who wins the Commonwealth Cup trial on Calyx
Calyx (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori) had been off the track since winning the G2 Coventry Stakes
at Royal Ascot in 2018, but made an explosive return to action when running away with the Grade 3 prize here.
Owned and bred by Khalid Abdullah, the three-year-old Kingman
colt was settled off the pace in the early part of today's six-furlong contest as the outsider of the seven runners, The Cruising Lord (Michael Attwater/John Egan), set the pace.
Travelling supremely well passing the two-furlong marker, Calyx took up the running soon after and showed a tremendous burst of speed in the final furlong to win by four lengths from No Nonsense (David Elsworth/Gerald Mosse), who stayed on to take second with a further half-length back to Konchek (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby).
John Gosden said: "Calyx is bred to be a miler, but he likes to sprint. All being well, we will be back here for the Commonwealth Cup
. It is a great race for the three-year-olds and I think that is clearly the way to go now.
"He travelled well and I liked the fact that he travelled on the wing of the field with no cover. He relaxed and when Frankie asked him to go, he showed real electric sprinting speed.
"I've been training him diligently to be a miler, but when he goes out there, he wants to be a sprinter and that's great. I haven't encouraged him to do that, that's just him.
"Sprinting is what he wants to do and that's why the Commonwealth Cup will be the target. I know Calyx has a bundle of raw ability, but given the fact that the trainer was trying to see if he was a St James's Palace horse
, we'll just leave him be and stick to sprinting.
"Calyx is very fast - he is a gorgeous horse. He is a nice horse to have around the place and it's nice to have a sprinter like him.
"We didn't go to the 2000 Guineas as we thought it was the wrong question to ask the horse off a 11 month lay-off after an operation and surgery, it was just too much to ask of him."
Frankie Dettori added: "We wanted to find out if maybe Calyx was a miler because he is so relaxed at home, but he is blessed with so much speed that I think sprinting is his game.
"It was a great feeling when he quickened. Well done to John and the team for getting him back. We have got lots to look forward - he is a serious horse."
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah, commented: "Calyx did it really nicely. It looks like he wants to be a sprinter, I would say, and that is what Frankie thought.
"Obviously, we will have to see how he is and everything, but on this evidence, he has shown a lot of speed and that might just be his game.
"We have always said that he has been training nicely, there is no doubt about that. It was just a question of trying to pick the right race for him after such a long layoff. That was John's main concern.
"Calyx has been working with a staying horse and settling well, but I think he is a different animal on the racecourse. He certainly has that zip and, although he settled pretty well in the race, I think the way he quickened there suggests six furlongs is going to be his business.
"It had always been in our minds to go a mile because the mile races are so important. From that point of view, we had to find out if he is sprinter or a miler and it is probably better to find out in a race like this rather than get to the six-furlong pole in the 2000 Guineas, have a hard race coming down the hill and then find out he doesn't stay."
Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes
£80,000 added, 4yo, 6f Class 1
Going: Good to Firm, Good in places
|J H M Gosden
||No Nonsense 33/1
|D R C Elsworth
|C G Cox
||Pocket Dynamo (USA) 12/1
|R M H Cowell
||Signora Cabello (IRE) 12/1
|J J Quinn
||The Cruising Lord 50/1
||J F Egan
|M J Attwater
||Well Done Fox 9/1
||S De Sousa