Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Frankel Watch: Frankel Hopes Step Up for Superlative Stakes at Newmarket

Juan Elcano trained by Kevin Ryan [Frankel 2yo]
Looking forward to Newmarket this Saturday. 

Plenty of horse racing fans will be anticipating the Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1), which is part of the British Champions Series. Martyn Meade's Advertise is priced 11/4f for a winner's prize of £285,550. 

For two-year-old racing enthusiasts, the bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2) will be something to savour. 

This Class 1 race has a rich heritage. Taking place on the July Course at Newmarket over 7f. Formerly known as the Bernard van Custom Stakes, named after a successful racehorse breeder and trainer who died in 1975.  He trained many talented horses including High Top who won the 2,000 Guineas in 1972. 

The race was named the Superlative Stakes in 1991. It honours Superlative, the winner of the July Stakes in 1983. 

Originally holding Listed status this race was upgraded to Group 3 in 2003, then to its present lofty standing in 2006. 

The Superlative Stakes saw jockeys Steve Cauthen and Pat Eddery win the race fours times (since 1986). 

Sir Henry Cecil made this race his own with 9 wins spanning 1986 - 2000. Probably the best of the lot Be My Chief, who won in 1989. He went on to win the Racing Post Trophy in the same year. 

A number of exceptional horses have won this race before going on to prove star performers. 

In 2004, Dubai won for Saeed bin Suroor, ridden by Frankie Dettori. He went on to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas. 

The greatest success of them all being Olympic Glory in 2012, trained by Richard Hannon Jr. and ridden by Richard Hughes. Awarded equal top-rated British two-year-old 2012 and World top-rated three-year-old colt 2013. 

Last year saw Charlie Appleby's Quorto win ''very readily'' by over three lengths, ridden by William Buick. Quorto went on the finish his two-year-old season with a hattrick of wins when tasting victory at the Curragh in the National Stakes (Group 1). 

This year's race is all the more intriguing for Frankel Blog with not one but two Frankel-sired two-year-olds declared to run. 

Kevin Ryan's Juan Eclano hasn't been seen for over a month since winning on debut at Haydock by a neck when starting 6/4f. This chestnut son of Frankel is priced 8/1. 

Mark Johnston has *Fred who proved a disappointment on debut when made favourite but finished last. However, this small son of Frankel proved that initial support wasn't misjudged when he led all the way at Leicester to hold on by an outstretched nose. 

Charlie Appleby fields King's Command for Godolphin who is 5/2f. 

*Just eight runners with Fred being omitted at the final declaration stage.   

The Superlative Stakes (group 2) takes place on Saturday 13th July, 2:55 Newmarket on the July Course over 7f. 

Good luck to all connections.