Godolphin are shipping in an American-trained two-year-old to run at Royal Ascot — and his trainer is confident he can make his mark.
Eoin Harty, one of Godolphin's trainers in the States, is sending the unbeaten Drafted to run in the five-furlong Listed Windsor Castle Stakes on June 14 — and the juvenile sprinter is set to make the trip off the back of a stunning track gallop.
“He worked on turf over five furlongs at Arlington, and it was a was a fantastic piece of work,” Harty reported from the States.
Drafted, a grey by Field Commission, was purchased by Godolphin after he broke the track record for four and a half furlongs at Keeneland on his debut in late April. He clocked 50.45secs for the distance, after running his first half-mile in 44.34secs.
“He's straightforward and precocious. We are always on the look-out for horses with potential, and he's basically ideal for what we have in mind.
“He's your typical precocious two-year-old. He's got a big quarter horse forearm — and he is fast. He leaves here on Thursday (June 2),” the trainer added.
This will not be Harty's first runner at the Royal meeting. He saddled American sprinter Lydgate, who finished ninth of 19 runners in the 2004 King's Stand Stakes, won by The Tatling. “Unfortunately, he was drawn on the 'wrong' side of the course,” Harty recalled.
Parochial attitudes have sometimes prevented American horses, who have done well abroad, getting their full credit back home. But Harty believes that is changing.
“I think people in the States have a much better understanding and appreciation of Royal Ascot these days. There has been lots of exposure on TV, and there is more awareness here of the meeting,” he pointed out.
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