- Sire-Dam -
Ten Sovereigns began the year as one of racing’s most exciting emerging talents but successive defeats in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Commonwealth Cup had some questioning whether he would fulfil his juvenile potential.
His defeat in the Guineas, when favourite, was easy enough to excuse – he finished fifth after being betrayed by a lack of stamina – but at Royal Ascot he had seemed beaten on merit when fourth behind Advertise.
As a consequence, the night before his appearance in the Darley July Cup he was trading at 10/1 but the next morning his odds shrunk amid rumours that he had been burning up the Ballydoyle gallops.
Eventually sent off 9/2, Ten Sovereigns showed great pace to make all and win by almost three lengths from Advertise. He had turned the Commonwealth Cup form on its head and shown himself to be a huge force as a sprinter.
“It took him a little bit of time to come out of Newmarket and he was only just ready to go to Ascot, where he ran a really good race, finishing well,” trainer Aidan O’Brien explained.
“We knew he was very good but we tried to stretch him out for a Guineas. He had a tough time in the Guineas, he’s a sprinter that was asked to run a mile, so it’s taken time to recover.
“We were happy with him at Ascot but he looked like a horse that hadn’t clicked in mentally yet. However, his last few pieces of work told us that he was there.
“The guys at home were all much happier with his homework coming here. The times of his last few pieces of work have been unbelievable. In his last piece of work he broke 11 second every furlong for four furlongs, and for a horse to do that is something special.
“He is a very good horse, he is uncomplicated and he gets six furlongs very well. He’s nice and relaxed now, he goes a very high pace very easily and then he quickens when you ask him.
“I don’t think dropping back to five furlongs would be any problem but it’s all about him now, he’s only a three-year-old so we’ll see how he comes out of it.
“When he can do those times at home then he has to be something special. I think he was something like 2.5 seconds quicker over four furlongs than anything we have ever seen and that told us something different was going on.
“It was vital for this horse, he’s by No Nay Never, and it was really important for him. He has shown us now what he showed us all last year.”
The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York, over the minimum trip, could be next on his agenda.
Last season, three races over six furlongs in little more than a month yielded three wins and
The manner in which he fended off Jash, another exciting youngster, in the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket in late September (pair clear) suggested he would make his mark in the QIPCO British Champions Series sooner rather than later.
The attractive son of No Nay Never had earlier won twice at the Curragh and, encouragingly, he has already won on a variety of ground.
BCS Career statistics
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