Irish Guineas hero Romanised will have one more race this season
Ken Condon to choose between Prix de La Foret & QEII at Ascot
Roger Varian: his Realtra ended a run of three wins in a row in the seven furlong for Dermot Weld a year ago. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Ken Condon’s Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Romanised is set to have one more run in 2018, with a return to France for Longchamp’s Prix de La Foret a likely target.
Original ambitions for Romanised to step up to a mile and a quarter for the Irish Champion Stakes were shelved earlier this month after the colt faded to fifth behind Alpha Centauri in Deauville’s Prix Jacques le Marois.
Instead, Romanised, who secured a hugely popular 25-1 success in the Irish Guineas last May under Shane Foley, will appear next in either the Foret over seven furlongs on Arc day, or the QEII over a mile at Ascot a couple of weeks later.
“We were open to the idea [of trying a mile and a quarter] based on the Guineas but not on the Deauville evidence. He looked booked for third but didn’t stay on.
“He will be entered for the Foret and Queen Elizabeth II and will probably run in one of them. I’m told the plan is for him to race as a four-year-old, so he’ll have just one more race this year,” Condon said on Monday.
“I think he’s best kept to a mile or even seven furlongs. Shane [Foley] feels the Foret is probably perfect for him.
“At that time of the year you’re in the lap of the gods with weather. But Arc weekend has had decent ground in recent years, whereas Ascot can get very heavy,” added the Curragh trainer.
This time last year Romanised finished runner-up to no less than the subsequent Derby hero Masar in a vintage renewal of Sandown’s Group Three Solario Stakes.
This Saturday’s Solario renewal could see the latest start by the highly regarded Too Darn Hot, who only has Anthony Van Dyck ahead of him in the betting for next year’s Derby.
John Gosden’s full brother to So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar earned rave reviews on his debut at Sandown three weeks ago when winning by seven lengths over a mile.
There will be no Irish representation in this Solario, a race Gosden used in 2013 for his subsequent top classic winning miler Kingman.
Opposition to Too Darn Hot may include a trio of Richard Hannon-trained entries, including Watan, who was runner-up in last week’s Acomb Stakes at York.
This Thursday’s Tipperary card will host Group Three action and 21 fillies and mares remain in contention for the Fairy Bridge Stakes after the latest forfeit stage.
A year ago Roger Varian’s Realtra ended a run of three wins in a row in the seven furlong for Dermot Weld. Four cross-channel hopefuls are in contention to try and follow up this week. They include both Pretty Baby and One Master from the in-form William Haggas yard in Newmarket. Haggas has already secured top-flight wins in Ireland this year, through Urban Fox (Pretty Polly Stakes) and Sea of Class in the Irish Oaks.
In other news the 2016 July Cup winner Limato might be in line to step back to the top level in Haydocks’s Sprint Cup on Saturday week after a return to winning form at the weekend in Newmarket’s Hopeful Stakes.
Limato, a stalwart performer in Europe’s top sprints in recent years, has been prevented from lining up in the Haydock feature in the past due to unsuitable ground.
However, his trainer Henry Candy gave him a clean bill of health after Newmarket and said: “We’ll see how he is and how the weather is. He could go to Haydock if everything is okay.”