Group One engagement next for Shouldvebeenaring

Shouldvebeenaring has a Deauville return in the diary after his maiden Group race victory in the Prix de Ris-Orangis on Sunday.

The Havana Grey colt has done his owners proud so many times in pattern events, going down only narrowly in valuable contests such as the Sandy Lane, Sprint Cup, Prix de la Foret and the Duke of York Stakes.

The latter run came earlier this season, where was beaten by a nose in a finish so tight that the judge had to split the winner and the runner-up.

Despite now earning just shy of £500,000 in prize money, victory had proved elusive for the grey as his last win came in the Listed King Charles II Stakes at Newmarket in early May 2023.

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The wait for a sixth career success ended at Deauville on Sunday, where the four-year-old was contesting the Group Three Prix de Ris-Orangis for trainer Richard Hannon and owners Middleham Park Racing.

Partnered as usual by Sean Levey, Shouldvebeenaring was one of a five-strong British contingent and brought the prize home when prevailing by a short neck from James Tate’s Electric Storm.

Group One opportunities await the colt now, and he will return to Deauville to contest the Prix Maurice de Gheest before aiming to go one better in the Sprint Cup at Haydock.

“We were relived to get that first Group win because he’s been knocking on the door in Group Ones and Group Twos, he was devilishly unlucky at York in the Duke of York Stakes,” said Tim Palin of Middleham Park.

“It’s great to set that record straight and get a first Group win under his belt. It was a great ride from Sean, who was really tenacious through that final furlong when he was a bit blocked up.

“He had to come round and pass half a dozen in the final furlong and a half, it was a thoroughly deserved victory.

“He does seem to like Deauville, he’s been there twice now and he was fifth in the Prix Jean Prat, he probably lost a couple of places in the final furlong in the soft ground there.



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“We’ve described him as having two Derbys this season – if you can use the word Derby to describe a sprint race – the Prix Maurice de Gheest, which is where he’ll go next, and then off to Haydock for the Sprint Cup.

“He seems to go well at both of those venues, so it’s back up to Group One company to try to get that icing on the cake.”

Shouldvebeenaring is already engaged to start a new career once his racing days end, with the Irish National Stud adding him their roster of stallions following the conclusion of the season.

“He will retire to the Irish National Stud at the end of the season, we’re looking forward to that chapter in his career already,” said Palin.

“There’s a little bit of unfinished business for us to be focusing on between now and then!”

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