Ascot gamble Kaboo back in action at Sandown

Kaboo bids to build on a promising debut run at Royal Ascot when he lines up for the Coral Dragon Stakes at Sandown on Friday.

The Karl Burke-trained youngster is highly-regarded by connections and was backed at big odds down to 15-2 for the Windsor Castle Stakes.

Though the gamble went astray he was a respectable sixth to Chipotle, with Burke wishing the son of More Than Ready had been blessed with a more favourable draw on the day.

“He’s come out of Ascot really well. We could have gone for a little novice somewhere, but he is a very high-class horse who can gallop, so we thought we’d roll the dice again,” said the Middleham handler.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the strongest Listed race I’ve ever seen and we’ve got a good draw (in stall one), so we’ll give it a go.

“The ground would be a little bit of an unknown – I’d prefer it if they didn’t get any more rain – but apart from that, no negatives.

“I’m sure if he’d been drawn on the wing rather than down the middle, we’d definitely have been second at Ascot and I think we’d have gone close to winning, to be honest.”

Instinctive Move has to redeem himself after being withdrawn from the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting after getting upset in the stalls.

Trainer Clive Cox believes it was a one-off and expects the Showcasing colt, who made a winning debut at Bath, to be on his best behaviour.

“He’s passed a stalls test since Ascot and we’ve had no problems,” he said.

“He’s got a wonderful temperament, so it was a real surprise – he obviously got spooked in the stalls and that was it really.

“I’m pleased he’s got a chance to run here. He’s still fresh and well and has got a nice draw (four).

“Hopefully he’ll appreciate the track.”

Mojomaker returns to Sandown for the Dragon Stakes after getting off the mark over the course and distance
Mojomaker returns to Sandown for the Dragon Stakes after getting off the mark over the course and distance (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Mojomaker trotted up by six lengths over this course when opening his account at the third attempt three weeks ago.

Trainer David Loughnane reports the son of Mehmas to be in fine form and is looking forward to running him in the Listed contest.

“He was very impressive the last day and has come out of it well,” said the Shropshire handler.

“I’d like to think if he can produce something similar on Friday he should be right up there in the mix of things.

“We’d like to think there’s more to come from the horse.”

Bradley delighted by Royal Ascot efforts

Nick Bradley reflected on Royal Ascot with pride after a busy and successful meeting for his eponymous racing partnerships.

The syndicate had entrants on all five days of the Royal meeting, with Eldrickjones coming closest to victory when finishing second behind Berkshire Shadow in the Group Two Coventry Stakes.

The son of Cotai Glory was beaten by a length and a quarter having started at huge odds of 66-1, and Bradley feels the Roger Fell-trained bay could have gone one better had luck been on his side.

“The two two-year-old colts ran really well, with Eldrickjones finishing second in the Coventry,” he said.

Eldrickjones (right) finishing second in the Coventry Stakes
Eldrickjones (right) finishing second in the Coventry Stakes (David Davies/PA)

“I think if you ran that race again and it worked out slightly differently, he’d probably win.”

Bradley’s other two-year-old colt was racecourse debutant Kaboo, who finished sixth in the Windsor Castle Stakes after finding himself at the centre of a huge gamble that saw him backed from 66-1 down to 15-2.

“That was an almighty debut to finish sixth,” Bradley said of the colt’s run.

“Again, I think if you ran that race on a different day he’d be finishing better than sixth.

“Both are exciting colts to take forwards. We’ve only got three two-year-old colts in training, so for two of them to run so well at Royal Ascot, it says a lot about what we’re trying to do.”

The syndicate enjoyed a third-placed finish in the Group Three Albany Stakes, a race they won last season with Dandalla, with George Boughey’s Oscula this time carrying the hopes of the partnership when galloping alone down the inside rail to cross the line two lengths behind the winner.

“We took a brave man’s tactic in that race, I sent both of them up the rail,” Bradley said of the tactics employed by Oscula and Hellomydarlin, his second runner in the contest.

“I said to the jockeys ‘if we get it right, you can claim the glory, if we get it wrong, it’s my fault’.

“I just thought, with the way the races were running previous to that, that the rail would be the place to be.

“We very nearly pulled it off. I think if we had won I would be smiling for a very long time, especially having won it the previous year.

“Mark (Crehan, jockey) gave her (Oscula) a great ride, she’s a filly that we didn’t pay a lot of money for competing against Dubawis and £400,000 yearlings.

“We were proud of her performance.”

Dandalla returned to the fixture after her success last year, this time taking aim at the Group One Commonwealth Cup and finishing fourth at 33-1 after failing to fire in previous runs at Newbury and Haydock.

Dandalla winning the Albany Stakes during the 2020 Royal meeting
Dandalla winning the Albany Stakes during the 2020 Royal meeting (Edward Whitaker/PA)

“Myself and Karl always had faith in Dandalla, we knew that the engine was still there,” Bradley said.

“It was just a case of getting things wrong at Haydock and we’ve put the record straight.

“To put the record straight in a race like the Commonwealth Cup was very rewarding. Fourth in a race like that, behind two rockets that finished first and second (Campanelle and Dragon Symbol), it’s probably a career best run.”

After a busy Royal Ascot the syndicate will now look forward to Newmarket’s July meeting as their next target.

“We have had runners there every day of the week, I think we took over 200 owners there in total,” said Bradley.

“It was rewarding and we’re now going to look forward to the next one and try to get things right for fixtures like the Newmarket July meeting.”