Tag Archive for: Amo Racing

Amo Racing lining up strong Royal Ascot challenge

Kia Joorabchian is no stranger to success in the football boardroom, but the man who helped bring Carlos Tevez to the Premier League could be about to make his mark on horse racing’s biggest stage as his Amo Racing venture bids to find the back of the Royal Ascot net for the first time.

Joorabchian’s passionate pursuit of success on the racecourse is bearing fruit this season with a plethora of his big-money buys proving worthy of their price-tag on track.

Amo Racing invested heavily in juvenile stock at both last year’s yearling sales and at the early-season breeze-ups and have been rewarded with an enviable squad of youngsters who will take to the pitch at Royal Ascot.

Soccer – Barclays Premier League – Fulham v Blackpool – Craven Cottage
Football agent Kia Joorabchian is the man behind Amo Racing Limited (Nick Potts/PA)

Two-year-olds Persian Force, Walbank, Omniqueen and Queen Olly are all towards the top of the betting for their respective Royal Ascot targets, with Amo having a wealth of options in the juvenile contests.

“Keeping (horses) separate to a degree is good but there is only one Royal Ascot, so if we end up having more than one juvenile in the two-year-old races then that might be an inevitability,” said Emily Scott, racing manager for Amo Racing, when asked how they plan to shuffle the Ascot pack.

“If they have proven themselves worthy of running, I don’t think it is fair to hold them back, even if it means having a couple in each race. There’s also then more chance of winning of course.”

One of the most precocious of Amo’s two-year-olds is Persian Force, who was out on track on the first day of the Flat turf season to land the Brocklesby in impressive fashion and his trainer Richard Hannon has not been shy in comparing him to the yard’s former star Canford Cliffs.

Canford Cliffs won the Coventry Stakes in 2009 and that is the most likely destination for the unbeaten son of Mehmas, who made it two from two at Newbury last time out.

“The manner in which Persian Force won the Brockelsby was pretty amazing and he backed that up well at Newbury by showing he got six furlongs. So, it is looking like the Coventry could be an option for him which is exciting,” said Scott.

Persian Force is disputing favouritism at a general 7-2 for the opening two-year-old race of the meeting, while another Amo Racing-owned colt to impress on track is Walbank, with the 525,000 guineas buy off the mark at the second attempt at York and set to stay over the minimum trip for now.

Scott continued: “He did the business second time at York and I think speed is his main weapon and it could be that he stays at five furlongs for Royal Ascot and goes for something like the Norfolk.

“Both Persian Force and Walbank have the attributes you need to be a good racehorse and it is really encouraging to see them do it on track when you’ve seen what they can do at home.”

Walbank is housed at David Loughnane’s Helshaw Grange stables with the young Irishman becoming one of Amo’s go-to trainers over the past 12 months.

Having come close to opening Amo’s Ascot account with Go Bears Go at last year’s Royal meeting, he could hold plenty of aces in 2022, with talented fillies Queen Olly and Omniqueen set to make the first-team line-up for the summer showpiece.

Queen Olly burst onto the scene at York and Scott explained just why the daughter of No Nay Never made such a big impression on the Knavesmire.

Dante Festival 2022 – Day Two – York Racecourse
Queen Olly ridden by Rossa Ryan (right) wins The Frank Whittle Partnership ebfstallions.com Maiden Stakes during day two of the Dante Festival 2022 at York (Tim Goode/PA)

She said: “There were so many reasons to be impressed with that run. Mainly, it just looked like she was hacking along when the rest of them were going as quick as they could. She was able to cruise at a high speed very easily.

“The other thing was that she had to barge her way through a gap that didn’t look to be there, which I think is always a sign of a good horse because it means they have lots left in the tank.

“Then the way she went clear in the final half-furlong was great to see. The length of stride she has is amazing and so far, her mind is A1, which is so important if you’re going to be looking at Ascot with a two-year-old as they need to be very mentally stable as well as having the physical ability.

“She seems to have all the right attributes and I would say the Albany is likely at this stage.”

If Queen Olly is set to reign at six furlongs, then Omniqueen could be the answer to Amo’s five-furlong prayers.

Sent off at 11-4 on debut at Ascot, she made every single yard to record a professional victory and can be backed at 10-1 for a red-hot edition of the Queen Mary.

“That race was an interesting one as everyone came there with high opinions of their horses. You can get a feel in the paddock and I think everyone had high expectations, so there was no real confidence she would do what she did that day,” explained Scott.

“But she was a bullet from the stalls and straight as a die while everything else around her looked green and went the shortest route straight up the track and never saw another horse.

“She’s clearly got loads of ability and there are plenty of options for her. She’s got entries in Ireland, but Ascot is before that and we’ll keep her in everything. She couldn’t have done much more on debut and hopefully the sky is the limit for her.”

Mojo Star limbering up for reappearance at Royal Ascot

Last year’s Derby and St Leger runner-up Mojo Star is reported to be training well ahead of his intended reappearance at Royal Ascot.

The Amo Racing-owned colt was sent off at 50-1 for the premier Classic in 2021, but outran his odds to finish closest to four-and-a-half-length winner Adayar and the son of Sea The Stars picked up another Classic silver medal when upped in trip at Doncaster later in the season.

Having raced six times at three and finished his campaign with a disappointing showing in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Mojo Star has been given plenty of time to get over last year’s exertions, but is now nearing his return to the track.

Newbury Races – Saturday August 14th
Mojo Star, here ridden by David Egan, placed in both the Derby and St. Leger last season (John Walton/PA)

The Richard Hannon-trained four-year-old holds entries for both the mile-and-a-half Hardwicke Stakes and the Gold Cup over an extra mile at Ascot and although a final decision on his likely destination is yet to be made, he is doing nothing but please connections in his preparation for the Royal meeting.

“We’ve got him in the Gold Cup and the Hardwicke, he’s training away at home and looking great,” explained Emily Scott, racing manager for Amo Racing.

“A decision hasn’t been made yet about what trip he’ll run over, but he stayed well in the St Leger last year and I think he has to have both options open to him.

“He had a busy campaign last year and we gave him plenty of time off over the winter. There is a lot of racing for him throughout the year, so we just want to get him right for when he does hit the track again. He’s a massive horse and all he achieved as a three-year-old we hope he can go on and build on that as a four-year-old.

“I think as his fast work picks up, we’ll be able to make more of an informed decision on where he goes, but we’re hopeful he makes Ascot and everything is going well so far with his training.”

Scott also provided an update on David Loughnane’s Go Bears Go, who is still on course for the Commonwealth Cup following his run in Haydock’s Sandy Lane Stakes.

Things did not go to plan for the son of Kodi Bear on Merseyside with the three-year-old stumbling leaving the stalls, but he has a fine track record at Ascot and having already scored over the Commonwealth Cup track and trip earlier this season, heads back to Berkshire a best price of 10-1 for Group One glory at the Royal meeting.

“It was just unfortunate that he sort of fell on his knees as the stalls opened and he lost all that ground,” continued Scott.

“He got himself together and stayed on well to finish fourth, but I think the race was over by then and some of his best performances have been when he’s up on the pace, albeit when racing in America when he finished very strongly to finish second.

“He had been down the field that day off a quick pace, so he can do it both ways but in these sprint races you can’t be giving away vital ground at the start and hopefully you will see a different horse when he turns up in the Commonwealth Cup because that is very much still the plan with him.

Royal Ascot Trials Day – Ascot Racecourse
Go Bears Go ridden here by Rossa Ryan (centre) when winning the Pavilion Stakes at Ascot, is set to return to the Berkshire track for the Commonwealth Cup (John Walton/PA)

“I think the stiff six at Ascot will suit him, he’s won twice there and finished second in a Norfolk, so it’s a great track for him.

“Although he’s a sprinting horse, he does stay very well and it has always been the case the jockey has struggled to pull him up after the line, so I think the Commonwealth Cup will be right up his street and after Haydock I think we will end up going there more an underdog than a favourite. We hold him in really high regard and it is going to be exciting to see him run.”