Breeders' Cup Challenge for Impressive Strong Suit
1 Strong Suit 13/8F
Strong Suit booked his ticket to Kentucky and an anticipated dream showdown with Goldikova in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (November 5) after registering an impressive victory in the Group Two Burj Khalifa Challenge Stakes.
Richard Hannon’s charge, sent off the 13/8 favourite, travelled sweetly throughout the seven-furlong contest and burst clear inside the distance for a four and a half-length triumph under Richard Hughes.
Strong Suit was scoring for the first time in the colours of Qatar Bloodstock Ltd, the Sheikh Fahad Al Thani-backed operation that purchased the colt after his win in the Group Two bet365 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood in August.
David Redvers, Sheikh Fahad’s racing manager and bloodstock advisor, revealed: “It’s the Breeders’ Cup Mile all the way now, that’s why we bought him. Thank goodness we are over the first major hurdle - he should probably start favourite for the Breeders’ Cup after that.
“I would have liked to have seen Goldikova win the other day (in the Prix de la Foret). It’ll be a fairytale if she wins the Breeders’ Cup (for the fourth successive time) and an even bigger fairytale if we do.”
Strong Suit is likely to retire to take up stallion duties at Redvers’ Tweenhills Stud after his American adventure.
Redvers continued: “It will be the Breeders’ Cup and then Tweenhills. But then these are very sporting owners so plans can change, but that is why he was bought.
“Qatar Bloodstock colours are the colours of Sheikh Fahad and his brothers. All the mares and breeding stock are owned by Qatar Bloodstock, which is an investment company. This is the investment wing at work.”
Chachamaidee’s owner, Tony Evans, could not be at Newmarket today, but his brother, Damien, said: “We’re very pleased with that - she’s had seven runs and been in the places every time. She settles much better now than she did and I would think she will be kept in training next year.
“She was second to Sahpresa in a Group One here last month [Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes] and I believe Tony would like to breed from her one day.”
Breeding is also on the cards for third-placed Maqaasid, trained by John Gosden and owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum. Maqaasid was third in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on this course on May 1, which, when added to her pedigree, makes her a valuable addition to the Sheikh’s Shadwell breeding operation.
Trainer John Gosden said: “I’m very pleased with her, it was a good solid run,” while Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager, Angus Gold, added: “Normally Sheikh Hamdan retires three-year-old fillies at the end of the year, and as the winner of a Group race who has been third in a Guineas that will be her future.
“She’s very well bred and, while no decision has been made, that is the likely outcome.”
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