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New Kids On The Champions Series Block: Ten Sovereigns

18 Feb 2019

The future looks bright for the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt but will he be a sprinter or a miler?

Ten Sovereigns and  Donnacha O’Brien after the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes. Picture: Steven Cargill/Racingfotos.com

Horse: TEN SOVEREIGNS

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Form: 111.

A raft of exciting two-year-olds emerged last year with Ten Sovereigns perhaps the pick among those unleashed from Ballydoyle by Aidan O’Brien.

The tricky question for his connections, not to mention those with a penchant for ante-post betting, is whether he will develop into a miler this year or be best suited by sprint distances.

Evidently, the bookmakers cannot agree. Ten Sovereigns ranges between 6/1 and 11/1 for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, at Newmarket on May 4, the first race in this year’s QIPCO British. Champions Series.

And he is chalked up between 3/1 and 5/1 for the Commonwealth Cup over six furlongs at Royal Ascot in June.

Regardless of what distance proves to be his optimum, there can be no doubt that Ten Sovereigns is a potentially top-class performer. He created a deep impression in winning his three races, all over six furlongs, last year.

O’Brien’s youngsters are rarely revved up for their debuts but the Nay Never colt romped home by seven lengths in a 25-runner maiden at the Curragh in late August.

He went off at 5-1 that day but was 1/3 for a Group 3 contest over the same course and distance a week later. Underfoot conditions were a bit softer but he was again impressive in beating Bruce Wayne by almost four lengths. Pow!

On his final start of the year, Ten Sovereigns was stepped up to Group 1 company for the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Again, he started at cramped odds, his price of 8/13 not reflecting the depth of opposition he faced.

As it transpired, he again travelled powerfully and always looked like winning, although the previously unbeaten Jash did his best to keep him honest.

Ten Sovereigns had half a length to spare at the line, without the race getting to the bottom of him.

Afterwards, Donnacha O’Brien, who partnered Ten Sovereigns in each of his races, suggested sprint distances might always suit best. His father has a more open mind.

The colt’s pedigree is a mix and can be read both ways.

A miler? A sprinter? One way or another, Ten Sovereigns seems destined to make his mark on the Champions Series in 2019.

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