Qatar Vintage Stakes
|Group 2, Goodwood 14:15
7f, Class 1
|Tuesday 28th July 2020|
1 Battleground 13/8F
2 Devious Company 4/1
3 Youth Spirit 13/2
10 ran Distances: 2l, 1¼l, 1¼l
Time: 1m 28.80s (slow by 4.80s)
Aidan O’Brien's third winner of the seven-furlong contest is certainly bred to be a champion as the first foal of Arc winner Found, by top sire War Front.
After showing infinite promise when fifth on his debut in June, Battleground stepped up to claim the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and he added a Group Two prize with the minimum of fuss on the Downs.
Sent off the 13-8 favourite, Battleground was settled in behind the pace-setting pair of Thunder Of Niagara and King Zain, racing three wide in around fifth place until Moore opted to kick on between the two- and three-furlong markers.
Battleground took a couple of strides to get going, but more than had the measure of second-placed Devious Company, triumphing by two lengths. Youth Spirit was a further length and a quarter back in third.
O’Brien said: “We were very happy with him at home and we just thought it was a lovely race for experience for him. The ground was lovely and safe and I think Ryan was very happy with him.
“We would be thinking his next run would be the National Stakes if everything was well, but he’s a horse we’ve always loved.
“He’s very genuine and a big, powerful horse and that’s the way she (Found) was as well.”
Battleground is 8-1 favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas with Coral, while Ladbrokes go 16-1 about the Derby.
O’Brien thinks a mile will be his trip, adding: “We thought he would be a miler probably – he’s got speed, he’s a strong traveller and he is by War Front and out of Found, so we thought he’d get a mile.
“Obviously all our two-year-olds got a little bit messed up at the start of the season, then we had to rush some of them to get to Ascot, so that wasn’t ideal.
“It’s very early for horses yet and an awful lot of horses will come out – some will improve, some will stand still and some will go back.”
Ryan Moore, who previously won this race on War Decree (2016) said: "Battleground is a beautiful horse. He travelled very easily, picked up the second horse quite quickly and was just doing enough in front. He has plenty of speed and we will see how he develops."
Qatar Vintage Stakes
£50,000 added, 2yo only, 7f, Class 1
Going: Good, Good to Soft (in places)
1 (7) Battleground 2 9-1 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 13/8F
2 (6) 2 Devious Company 2 9-1 Tom Dascombe Richard Kingscote 4/1
3 (8) 1¼ Youth Spirit 2 9-1 Andrew Balding Oisin Murphy 13/2
4 (5) 1¼ Gorytus 2 9-1 Richard Fahey Tom Marquand 28/1
5 (9) ½ Fountain Cross 2 9-1 Richard Hannon Pat Dobbs 100/1
6 (4) 1¼ Dark Lion 2 9-1 Roger Varian David Egan 9/1
7 (1) 4¾ Kraken Power 2 9-1 Iain Jardine Daniel Tudhope 80/1
8 (3) nk King Zain 2 9-1 Mark Johnston Frankie Dettori 6/1
9 (2) 1¾ Painless Potter 2 9-1 Alan King Martin Harley 16/1
10 (10) 13 Thunder Of Niagara 2 9-1 Mark Johnston Joe Fanning 22/1