A Case Of You set for Royal Ascot run after lucrative win in Dubai

Trainer Ado McGuinness secures near €800k first prize with Al Quoz Sprint win

Royal Ascot’s King’s Stand Stakes is next on A Case Of You’s international agenda after his lucrative Group One success in Dubai on Saturday.

Last year's Prix de l'Abbaye hero doubled his career top-flight tally in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan to secure the most valuable victories in the careers of both trainer Ado McGuinness and jockey Ronan Whelan.

The almost €800,000 first prize secured by A Case Of You in the one minute and eight seconds it took to run the Al Quoz easily exceeded the €674,000 in prizemoney McGuinness secured in Ireland during his best ever domestic season to date in 2021.

McGuinness, who is based near Lusk in north county Dublin, finished ninth in Ireland’s Flat trainer’s championship last year.


Such a high-profile victory for a team outside of the country’s biggest operations provided a notable contrast with the concentration of success among the 18 Irish-trained winners at the recent Cheltenham festival.

The five trainers at the top of the National Hunt table supplied 17 of the 18 winners, including Willie Mullins’s record haul of 10. The only exception was Pádraig Roche, who won with Brazil.

McGuinness is targeting both an Abbaye defence and a visit to the Breeders’ Cup later this year but will first ready A Case Of You for a tilt at the King’s Stand in June.

“He will be okay over a fast five furlongs at Ascot but the big ones are the Abbaye and then the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland, where the five and a half furlongs with a big of juice in the ground would be ideal,” the Dubliner told media at Saturday’s World Cup meeting.

“I’ve always said this is a good horse and I think he’ll get recognition now because he’s probably one of the best sprinters in the world.

“He’s a two-time Group One winner now and that can never be taken away from him.

“We’re still pinching ourselves. I’ve come a long way – I’m an overnight success after 20 years!” McGuinness added.

A Case Of You is a 9-1 third favourite for the King’s Stand behind the US star Golden Pal and the Australian sprinter Nature Strip.

His weekend win was a notable early international blow for Irish connections in 2022 at a meeting that saw Frankie Dettori win the $12 million World Cup on Country Grammer for controversial US trainer Bob Baffert.

California-based Baffert is embroiled in legal battles in the US having been suspended from running horses in Kentucky. That is on the back of Medina Spirit’s failed drug test having won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs last year.

Otherwise, World Cup night supplied yet more evidence of the emerging power of Japanese racing, with four wins for horse trained in the country.

It included victory for Shahryar in the Sheema Classic and Panthalassa’s dramatic dead-heat with John Gosden’s Lord North in the Dubai Turf.

“Those [Japanese] horses are so tough. They knocked us for six in Saudi Arabia [Saudi Cup meeting] and they’ve come here and won four races,” Gosden said.

Aidan O’Brien’s top Classic prospect Luxembourg is a 16-1 shot with Paddy Power to become the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to land the English Triple Crown this season.

Last year’s Futurity winner worked after racing at the Curragh on Saturday where the 2022 domestic Flat campaign on turf got under way.

O’Brien confirmed that both Luxembourg and the National Stakes runner-up Point Lonsdale will be targeted at the 2,000 Guineas in Newmarket at the end of next month.

“He [Luxembourg] did everything very nicely and finished off nicely. Ryan [Moore] seemed very happy with him. I was very happy as well with Point Lonsdale.

“You’d have to see how they come out of it but we’re thinking of aiming both of them at Newmarket,” O’Brien reported.

The Cheveley Park winner Tenebrism is also on course to clash with Inspiral in the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas.

O’Brien needs one more Classic victory in England to hold the record for English Classic successes on his own at 41.

He is currently tied on 40 with the 19th century trainer John Scott, who accumulated his tally between 1827 and 1863. They included the 1853 Triple Crown with Western Australia.

Newbury’s Lockinge Stakes is next on the programme for O’Brien’s Mother Earth, who contributed to that Classic haul last year in the 1,000 Guineas.

She made a winning return to action in Saturday’s Group Three Park Express Stakes.

In other news, last year’s Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes winner Perfect Power is set to put his 2,000 Guineas credentials to the test in Newbury’s Greenham Stakes.

The seven-furlong race, which has proved a springboard to Guineas glory in the past, including for Frankel, will see Richard Fahey’s star not burdened with a Group One penalty.

Perfect Power is as low as 11-1 for the Guineas despite never having raced beyond six furlongs as a two-year-old.

“He’s in great form. We’re very happy with him. Physically he’s done very well and we’ll probably start him off in the Greenham,” Fahey said on Sunday.

“He gets in without a Group One penalty. It’s the only Group Three early in the year he gets in without a penalty.

“Going from six to seven would suit more than then going from six to a mile. We’ll get an idea after that.”

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column