Commonwealth Cup ‘ideal race’ for Perfect Power

Richard Fahey is excited to see Perfect Power return to what he feels is his natural game in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

A dual Group One winner over six furlongs as a juvenile last season, the Ardad colt successfully stepped up to seven on his return to action in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury in mid-April, prompting connections to roll the dice over the Rowley Mile in last month’s 2000 Guineas.

After travelling well for a long way Perfect Power – who took the Norfolk Stakes at this meeting 12 months ago – faded into seventh place, but having been given plenty of time to recover from those exertions, the three-year-old is reported to be in rude health ahead of his return to sprinting in Friday’s six-furlong feature.

“I feel dropping him in trip is the route he needs to go and I’m not disappointed I missed the St James’s Palace Stakes. This looks the ideal race for him,” said the Musley Bank handler.

“I wasn’t really tempted for the St James’s Palace, not after the Guineas. He didn’t have an easy run in the Guineas, but he has bounced right back and he is in great form. We are very pleased with him.

“I see him as a sprinter now – six or seven furlongs is his trip.”

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Fahey is keen to see how Perfect Power fares at Ascot before considering future targets, adding: “There is the Maurice de Gheest, there is a decent seven-furlong at York and there is the Foret over seven furlongs – all the decent sprints.

“Let’s see how we get on and work away from there.”

El Caballo at Haydock
El Caballo at Haydock (Richard Sellers/PA)

Perfect Power is joined at the head of the betting by a fellow northern challenger in the Karl Burke-trained El Caballo, who following four successive wins on the all-weather successfully switched to the turf in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock – a key trial for the Commonwealth Cup.

The only factor tempering Burke’s enthusiasm ahead of El Caballo’s bid for a seventh win from eight starts is fast ground.

He said: “He did his final little blow on Tuesday morning and moved really well – he’s in great form.

“Ideally I’d have preferred good ground, but I’m sure he’ll cope with it as he is a very good horse and ground permitting I think he’ll step up on his run in the Sandy Lane.

“He slightly goes under the radar because he only just gets the job done each time, but I think he’s still on an upward curve. We went into the Sandy Lane with a couple of niggles about him and I’m pretty confident he’s improved again.

“If it was good or good to soft ground I’d be very bullish.”

Go Bears Go (centre) winning at Ascot earlier this season
Go Bears Go (centre) winning at Ascot earlier this season (John Walton/PA)

El Caballo renews rivalries with the second, third and fourth from the Sandy Lane in the Hugo Palmer-trained Flaming Rib, Clive Cox’s Wings Of War and Go Bears Go from David Loughnane’s yard.

The latter beat Perfect Power by a head when landing the Norfolk Stakes at last year’s Royal meeting and connections are optimistic he can at least close the gap on El Caballo.

Emily Scott, racing manager for part-owners Amo Racing, said: “It was really unfortunate when he fell to his knees coming out of the stalls at Haydock last time and I think had that not happened he would have finished much closer, if not won.

“He loves the track and he’s in great form, so we’re really excited to see him run again.

“To win an elusive Group One would be very exciting.”

The shortest-priced Irish raider is Michael O’Callaghan’s Twilight Jet, who made an impressive start to his campaign in the in the Group Three Lacken Stakes at Naas.

O’Callaghan said: “He arrived in on Wednesday morning and we’re very much looking forward to it.

“He’s in the form of his life and I think he’s going to run a big race.

“He’s come out of Naas that well and is working that well, whatever beats him will win.”

Other hopefuls include American challenger Slipstream (Christophe Clement) and the first six home from the Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury where the first and second, Tiber Flow (William Haggas) and Ehraz (Richard Hannon), were split by just a short head.

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