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Nunthorpe Stakes is potential next aim for Ten Sovereigns

15 Jul 2019

The brilliant Darley July Cup winner could drop back to the minimum trip for the first time

York could be the next stop for the rapid Ten Sovereigns. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Aidan O’Brien says the Coolmore Nunthorpe is a potential next target for his July Cup hero Ten Sovereigns.

The No Nay Never colt looked another Ballydoyle superstar in the making after rounding off an unbeaten juvenile campaign with victory in the Middle Park Stakes.

However, he could only finish fifth when favourite for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas on his seasonal reappearance – and then failed to live up to expectations again when fourth in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Despite the doubts, Ten Sovereigns was heavily backed for Saturday’s QIPCO British Champions Series contest – and that support proved fully justified as he emphatically reversed the form with his Ascot conqueror Advertise to run out an impressive winner.

“We were delighted with him. We felt he had made very good progress since Ascot,” said O’Brien. “We knew we had to step up from Ascot, but we felt that his work was very good and we were looking forward to seeing him run.”

While wary as yet about committing to future targets, O’Brien confirmed a first run over five furlongs in the Nunthorpe at York on August 23 is a serious possibility. That race also forms part of the Champions Series Sprint category.

“I think the lads will decide that (where he goes next), but he would have the option of the Nunthorpe,” he added. We’ll see how he comes out of this race first.”

Meanwhile, Dream Of Dreams may try for better luck in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 7, after finding conditions unsuitable in the July Cup.

Connections reported the ground was too fast on Saturday as the five-year-old ran below expectations, as he has previously at the same course, to finish tenth of 12.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained entire went to Newmarket as the number one hope among the older horses, after running Blue Point to a head in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Saeed Suhail, said: “It was too firm for him, and he was probably unsuited by the course.

“He’d not run well there before. But he’s a different horse now, so we thought he’d overcome that. It was firm when he got chasing, and he got very unbalanced.

“The horse is fine, and I’m thinking he might go to Haydock for the Sprint.”