Bargain Xtension Could Be Guineas Colt
1 (9) Xtension 7/2 (F)
Xtension gave trainer Clive Cox a biggest career success when coming with a well-timed run under jockey Adam Kirby to beat Mata Keranjang by a length and a quarter in the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes.
The winner had been bought by Cox for just 15,000 euros from breeders Paul and Marie McCartan at Tattersalls Ireland in September and was rated a 25/1 chance for next year’s 2,000 Guineas by bookmakers Sky Bet (and 33/1 with Cashmans) after today’s win.
“That’s my first Group 2 win and he is a horse that I hope will continue improving,” said Cox. “He’s always been exciting and has a wonderful temperament.
“He is hopefully a horse who is going places and has the scope to go over a mile next year and maybe this season.
“He was still very green when he was second to Canford Cliffs at Ascot last time and I think a race of that calibre was probably too big a step at that stage of his career.
“He is really maturing and becoming the real deal and will hopefully be a Guineas horse next year. With this Group 2 win under his belt we have to be looking at flying high but he won’t be over raced this year. He is in the Royal Lodge Stakes, so that would be a possibility.”
Kirby added: “He’s a very good horse. Basically, he travels sort of on and off the bridle - he’s still a big baby and he has a lot to learn. But he’s very special and he has a lovely attitude so I think that we have found a really good one here.
"First time out, he found it all very easy and six furlongs wasn’t really his trip second time out when he got outpaced and came on really strong. He’s definitely one of the best I’ve ridden and I’m very grateful to Clive for standing by me.”
SLOW PACE NO HELP TO PLACED HORSES
Runner-up Mata Keranjang was clearly held in high regard by his connections as he was pitched straight into Listed company at Deauville on his debut earlier this month and that faith was justified when the son of More Than Ready failed to land the Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes by just a length and a quarter.
Trainer Paul Cole said there were no immediate plans for Fitri Hay’s exciting colt but was pleased with his effort in defeat.
“He got to the front at the right time and it wasn’t that he stopped but the other horses (Xtension) just had too much speed,” said Cole.
“Conditions conspired against us a bit - we could have done with a much faster pace but he’s got Group race form now.”
Alan Jarvis is now responsible for the training of third-placed Corporal Maddox as his son-in-law Karl Burke embarks on a year-long suspension.
Jarvis said: “He was a bit unlucky as he was travelling nicely and just got boxed in. Whether he’d have beaten the winner I don’t know but he would have been second.
“That’s what happens when you get on the inside and they don’t go very fast.”
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