Godolphin‘s Quorto emulated his sire Dubawi when winning the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.
Unbeaten heading into the Group One showpiece, the Charlie Appleby-trained youngster was cut to 8-1 from 12-1 for next year’s 2000 Guineas by Ladbrokes and RaceBets after a clear-cut success.
Last seen in the Superlative Stakes in July, Appleby had said all along that this seven-furlong event would be his next race.
He faced stiff opposition in the shape of Aidan O’Brien’s Anthony Van Dyck, winner of three of his four races prior to this, but Quorto was still sent off the 11-8 favourite.
The son of Dubawi – the winner of the National Stakes in 2004 – travelled much sweeter than the Ballydoyle runner and William Buick cruised into the lead with Ryan Moore hard at work.
While Anthony Van Dyck did stick to his task gamely, Quorto was always holding him at bay and although the stewards did look into the fact he drifted towards the runner-up, the placings unsurprisingly remained unaltered.
Appleby said: “Coming here today we were very confident. Full credit to the team at home, Mark Rimmer rides her.
“He’s a typical Dubawi and we went through that stage from the Superlative to here where he went a little bit quiet on us and he needed all of that time.
“That’s just typical with Dubawi. I’m in a fortunate position that I’ve probably got the most experience with Dubawis. They go through that patch, but in the last 10 days he’s really come back to where he was before the Superlative.
“The team were all confident coming into today that he was as good as he was, if not a bit better, than he was going to the Superlative.
“We had a lot of confidence and it was just a matter of seeing where we were. I feel now he’s put himself there as hopefully a contender for the Guineas next year.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed was straight on the phone afterwards and delighted with the result.”
Asked about plans, Appleby said: “It’s a nice conversation to have, but I’m sure we’ll probably be looking towards the Dewhurst.
“On the dam’s side you have a lot of stamina, as she (Volume) was placed in the Oaks. He’s a horse that, from what we’ve seen so far, he travels very well through his races.
“If you were to pin me down now I’d say a mile was his trip and a mile and a quarter might be his maximum, just because of the make-up of the horse.
“He’s very much a Dubawi, he is his father, the stamp of him, the way he travels through his races, his mentality. He’s showing a lot of Dubawi about him.
“If you said that hypothetically he’d be a Derby horse I’d be sitting on the sidelines for the minute and saying ‘well let’s try to hopefully get a Guineas out of the way and work our way from there’.
“He’s an exciting horse. The Dewhurst is obviously the most logical route, but I’ll flag up that he is a Dubawi and he’s Dubawi’s first Group One-winning two-year-old colt.
“If we needed to put him away for the winter now that wouldn’t worry me at all and we can live the dream until the spring.”
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Charlie Appleby is looking forward to seeing Quorto test his Classic credentials in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.
The Godolphin runner faces six rivals in this seven-furlong Group One, including the Aidan O’Brien-trained Tyros and Futurity Stakes winner Anthony Van Dyck.
Having made a huge impression in winning his first two starts at Newmarket, including a dominant display in the Superlative Stakes, Quorto is a best priced 16-1 for the Guineas next May and Appleby hopes he can enhance his claims on Sunday.
“He’s had a nice break since the Superlative and his preparation has gone very well,” said the Newmarket handler.
“It’s time for us to step him up now and I think the Guineas picture will be a lot clearer after this weekend.
“We said after Newmarket we’d aim for the Curragh. We also had the option of the Champagne Stakes if it looked like coming up very soft in Ireland, but it looks like it will be no worse than good to soft and that should be fine.
“He has an action that suggests he’ll actually appreciate ground on the easy side of good, although obviously you couldn’t fault what he’s done on fast ground so far.
“Until we put the gun to his head, so to speak, we won’t know for sure, but as long as it doesn’t go very soft, I think he’ll handle it.”
Anthony Van Dyck, who is also a 16-1 shot for next season’s Rowley Mile Classic, is one of four runners for O’Brien along with Christmas, Land Force and Mohawk.
He said: “Anthony Van Dyck is in good form. We were delighted with him the last day and he seems to have come out of the race well.
“He’s a lazy type of horse. He has the experience now with four runs under his belt and we can finish up after this or he can step up.”
Fozzy Stack’s pair of Highland Fortune and Wargrave complete the seven-strong field.
The juvenile fillies get their chance to shine in the preceding Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has confirmed that Loxley will join Old Persian in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.
Old Persian booked his ticket for the final Classic of the season when winning the Great Voltigeur at York.
Loxley finished second in the Bahrain Trophy in July but since then has won twice in France impressively and had been under consideration for the Prix Niel this weekend but will instead stay closer to home.
Having already won the Derby with Masar this season, the 43-year-old is aiming for a notable double.
Appleby is currently at the sales in Keeneland but confirmed to www.godolphin.com: “We have decided to run two in the Leger – Old Persian will be ridden by William Buick, while James Doyle will be on Loxley.”