Regally Ready’s victory in the G2 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint highlighted a roller-coaster ride for the Australian connection at Churchill Downs on the weekend.
Regally Ready (4g More Than Ready – Kivi by King of Kings) is a Vinery homebred and he clocked a sizzling 56.40s for 1000 metres on Saturday.
The win came a day after More Than Ready filly Stopshoppingmaria had finished second in the G2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The Todd Pletcher trainer looked home until she was run down by fast closer Stephanie’s Kitten.
Regally Ready shadowed front-runner Rapport and then railed up to establish a winning lead in the straight. “We got away in good shape and had a perfect trip,” jockey Corey Nakatani said. “He was composed and focused and it just showed how good a horse he is.”
His Turf Sprint rivals Chamberlain Bridge (War Chant) and Hoofit (Mossman) were unplaced but both had excuses. Chamberlain Bridge jumped from the outside gate and was caught out in the bleachers. Hoofit was on the wrong end of sever interference at the half-way point of the race.
Regally Ready was a seven length debut winner at Churchill Downs last November. Sent to Santa Anita by trainer Steve Asmussen, he completed a hat-trick culminating with a G3 victory in the San Simeon Hcp.
Returning to Churchill Downs in May, he dominated the G3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint before taking a three month break. He entered the BC Sprint on the back of a G1 victory in the Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine.
His dam Kivi won the Prix Damasco at Saint-Cloud. She is a half-sister to the dam of Danachenka (Danehill) who died after nine years at various Australian studs last December.
Regally Ready’s win was the latest Breeders’ Cup triumph for More Than Ready after Pluck’s G2 victory in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Coolmore experienced its share of highs and lows on Saturday. Montjeu colt St Nicholas Abbey won the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf and High Chaparral colt Wrote scored a two-length victory in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
But their big-ticket signing So You Think finished a well-beaten sixth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic over 2000m.
Coolmore trainer Aidan O’Brien indicated the Anzac hero will be better suited dropping in distance next year. “We are still learning a lot about him,” O’Brien said. “So You Think is a horse with a lot of speed and I look forward to going back to a mile with him.”
So You Think (High Chaparral) claimed two Cox Plates at 2040m and added another four wins in Europe this year at distances from 2000m to 2200m.