Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes
Group 1, Curragh 16:15
€350,000 added,
2yo, 7f, Class 1   
Sunday 16th September 2018

1 Quorto 11/8F
2 Anthony Van Dyck 6/4
3 Christmas 9/1
7 ran Distances: 1¼l, 4½l, 1¾l
Time: 1m 24.81s (slow by 1.31s)

© Caroline Norris

Unbeaten heading into the Group One showpiece, the Charlie Appleby-trained Quorto was cut to 8-1 from 12-1 for next year’s 2000 Guineas by Ladbrokes and after a clear-cut success.

Last seen in the Superlative Stakes in July, Appleby had said all along that this seven-furlong event would be his next race.

He faced stiff opposition in the shape of Aidan O’Brien’s Anthony Van Dyck, winner of three of his four races prior to this, but Quorto was still sent off the 11-8 favourite.

The son of Dubawi – the winner of the National Stakes in 2004 – travelled much sweeter than the Ballydoyle runner and William Buick cruised into the lead with Ryan Moore hard at work.

While Anthony Van Dyck did stick to his task gamely, Quorto was always holding him at bay and although the stewards did look into the fact he drifted towards the runner-up, the placings unsurprisingly remained unaltered.

Appleby said: “Coming here today we were very confident. Full credit to the team at home, Mark Rimmer rides her.

“He’s a typical Dubawi and we went through that stage from the Superlative to here where he went a little bit quiet on us and he needed all of that time.

“That’s just typical with Dubawi. I’m in a fortunate position that I’ve probably got the most experience with Dubawis. They go through that patch, but in the last 10 days he’s really come back to where he was before the Superlative.

“The team were all confident coming into today that he was as good as he was, if not a bit better, than he was going to the Superlative.

“We had a lot of confidence and it was just a matter of seeing where we were. I feel now he’s put himself there as hopefully a contender for the Guineas next year.

“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed was straight on the phone afterwards and delighted with the result.”

Asked about plans, Appleby said: “It’s a nice conversation to have, but I’m sure we’ll probably be looking towards the Dewhurst.

“On the dam’s side you have a lot of stamina, as she (Volume) was placed in the Oaks. He’s a horse that, from what we’ve seen so far, he travels very well through his races.

“If you were to pin me down now I’d say a mile was his trip and a mile and a quarter might be his maximum, just because of the make-up of the horse.

“He’s very much a Dubawi, he is his father, the stamp of him, the way he travels through his races, his mentality. He’s showing a lot of Dubawi about him.

“If you said that hypothetically he’d be a Derby horse I’d be sitting on the sidelines for the minute and saying ‘well let’s try to hopefully get a Guineas out of the way and work our way from there’.

“He’s an exciting horse. The Dewhurst is obviously the most logical route, but I’ll flag up that he is a Dubawi and he’s Dubawi’s first Group One-winning two-year-old colt.

“If we needed to put him away for the winter now that wouldn’t worry me at all and we can live the dream until the spring.”

He went on: “As a rule this time of year is the time the Dubawi two-year-olds start to thrive, so that’s why I’m excited about this horse in respect of what he’s done through the summer months.

“I’m privileged that a lot of Dubawis have gone through my hands and I hope I’m learning on the job.

“He’ll tell us if he’s coming out of this race well and if not it doesn’t worry me, because I know from two to three is the time when they do well.

“The way he won his first two starts he probably didn’t learn a lot on the job. It’s very nice to have a horse that travels, but when you start stepping up in calibre of race sometimes you’d wish that they had got into a bit of a dog-fight.

“On his two starts before he hasn’t done that and he’s learned today. For sure, mentally, he’s going to have learned a lot today.”

O’Brien felt Anthony Van Dyck lost little in defeat.

The Ballydoyle trainer said: “We were very happy. We always thought that he’d want to step up to a mile and only because he won the Futurity so well we stayed at seven.

“Coming to the line he was coming again. The winner is a very good colt, but we were very happy with our horse. He’ll handle better ground and will be very comfortable on better ground.

“He was really coming to the line and he’d be very comfortable stepping up in trip if he needs to. We were delighted with the run.”

Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (Group 1)
€350,000 added, 2yo only, 7f
7 ran
Going: Good to Yielding

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (7) Quorto (IRE) 11/8f W Buick
C Appleby 2
2nd (5) Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) 6/4 R L Moore
A P O'Brien 2
3rd (2) Christmas (IRE) 9/1 E J McNamara
A P O'Brien 2
4th (4) Mohawk (IRE) 16/1 J A Heffernan
A P O'Brien 2
5th (3) Land Force (IRE) 8/1 D O'Brien
A P O'Brien 2
6th (6) ¾ Highland Fortune (USA) 25/1 W J Lee
J A Stack 2
7th (1) nse Wargrave (IRE) 50/1 C D Hayes
J A Stack 2

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