Go Bears Go is set to return to Ireland for the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes following his impressive victory at the Curragh on Saturday.
A winner on his racecourse debut at Ascot in May, the Kodi Bear colt returned to the Berkshire circuit with plenty of confidence behind him at the Royal meeting a couple of weeks ago – and ran an excellent race to finish a head second to Perfect Power in the Norfolk Stakes.
Connections boldly stumped up the £10,000 supplementary fee and allowed him to turn out just nine days later for the Group Two Railway Stakes, a decision which was fully justified as Dave Loughnane’s stable star comfortably beat the Irish in their own back yard.
“We were obviously thrilled with the horse, especially after going so close at Royal Ascot,” said the Shropshire-based trainer.
“We went into Royal Ascot thinking we were good enough to win and walked away thinking we were good enough to win. Just on the day we were drawn on the wrong side, not taking anything away from the winner.
“The lad who rides him every day sat on him on Monday morning and said ‘God, he feels as good as he did before Ascot’. I had a sit on him on Tuesday morning and felt the same.
“It was Kia Joorabchian’s (owner) son Max, who is only 10 or 11 years old, who actually suggested supplementing him for the Railway. It probably wasn’t on our agenda as it was so soon after Royal Ascot, but once I’d sat on him Tuesday morning, we decided to give it a go.
“Royal Ascot clearly took nothing out of him – he’s got a great constitution and a great mind.
“We rolled the dice and we reaped the rewards, so it was brilliant – a huge day.”
Loughnane confirmed the Phoenix Stakes on August 8 is next on the agenda, adding: “We’ve got six weeks until the Phoenix and I think that’s where we’ll go.
“He’s had a busy 10 days now, so we’ll give him a quiet couple of weeks and then we’ve got three and a half to four weeks to get him ready for the Phoenix. That’s the most logical step, I think.
“I’ve not seen too many yet that I’d be afraid of and that is hopefully the plan.”
With Go Bears Go having now proved his stamina over six furlongs, his proud trainer is not ruling out the possibility of the colt tackling even longer distances in the future.
He said: “I think he’d stay seven furlongs if we needed him to, but it’s not something we need to think about for now.
“He’s got so much boot and is so effective over five and six, we can stick to that for the time being. I think he would settle if we needed him to – he travels away so strongly and drops the bridle when you want him to, so I don’t see stepping up being a problem.
“It’s great to have a horse like him in the yard. It gives us an opportunity to show what we can do on the next level.”