Tag Archive for: Ken Condon

Condon has York in mind for Teresa Mendoza

Teresa Mendoza could be set for a trip to York following her first win since her debut at the Curragh on Saturday.

The Ken Condon-trained filly was produced late by Billy Lee to win a Listed sprint in good style, for just a second success in 15 races.

However, she has been consistent in between and the form of her previous race at Haydock could not have worked out stronger with the winner, Sense Of Duty, winning the Chipchase, the second Flotus going close in the Commonwealth Cup and the third Benefit winning a Listed race.

“In the main she’s been very consistent and was second in the same race last year, so it was great she did it on Derby day,” said Condon.

“She got a superb ride from Billy and it was great to watch. We were delighted to get it done.

“I think the race set up perfectly. It was her ideal scenario, six furlongs on the easy side of good and a strong pace. She has a good record at the Curragh too, she’s only been out of the frame once.

“She’ll probably run in Group Threes now, the Phoenix Sprint back at the Curragh will be a target but before that she’ll have an entry in the Summer Stakes at York on Friday week, a six-furlong race for fillies only.

“York is a track we’ve had some luck at and it’s easily accessible for us from Holyhead.

“Her Haydock race has well and truly worked out so I think it will probably be York next.”

Teresa Mendoza swoops late for Curragh glory

Billy Lee excelled when guiding Teresa Mendoza to success in the Dubai Duty Free Dash at the Curragh.

The race was run at a ferocious gallop thanks to Measure Of Magic who had the field well strung out at halfway but Colin Keane appeared to have things covered on Power Under Me.

It initially seemed that his main danger was going to be Prisoner’s Dilemma and those two got involved in a tussle, but Lee had all the while been creeping closer on Ken Condon’s filly.

A smart juvenile, she had finished second in the corresponding Listed 12 race 12 months ago and had been well backed into 4-1 to go one better.

She ended up getting there by half a length from Prisoner’s Dilemma, with the same back to Power Under Me.

“I took a chance and took my time as they went fast. They came back to me and I was able to sit longer than I usually do,” said Lee.

“She had been running well in Listed races and one of them was going to fall her away eventually.”

Jim Bolger’s Irish Guineas fourth Wexford Native (18-5) came out on top in a thrilling battle with The Acropolis to win the Dubai Duty Free Celebration Stakes.

Unplaced in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, he was back out again quickly and was handy under Kevin Manning.

Headed inside the final furlong by The Acropolis, he battled back gamely to win by a neck.

“He’s been a work in progress and didn’t run until he was three, so we are trying to make up for lost time,” said Bolger.

“We’ll be stepping him up now to probably 10 furlongs and hopefully he’ll progress.

“I bought the dam (Yes Oh Yes) in America many moons ago. She’s bred a few winners but nothing of his class and hopefully we will be able to build a pedigree from here.”

Jockey Dylan McMonagle and trainer Joseph O’Brien (left) with Night Of Romance
Jockey Dylan McMonagle and trainer Joseph O’Brien (left) with Night Of Romance (Niall Carson/PA)

Joseph O’Brien’s Night Of Romance is clearly thriving and followed up a win at Gowran last time out by taking the Dubai Duty Free Summer Fillies Handicap off a 9lb higher mark.

“She’s improving and the step up to seven furlongs has probably been the key to her. She has taken her form to a new level and she hit the line well,” said the trainer.

“Dylan (Brown McMonagle) gave her a good ride and had her in a great position from a wide draw.

“We’ll see what the handicapper does and we will probably be forced into black type now, but I’m very happy with her.

Indices camp consider Golden Eagle bid

Connections of Laws Of Indices are debating whether to send the classy colt to Australia for the A$7.5million Golden Eagle race at Rosehill in Sydney.

The Ken Condon-trained three-year-old could go for the seven-and-a-half-furlong contest on October 30, founded in 2019, or stay closer to home – in which case the Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp would be the prime objective.

Law Of Indices has already taken one big pot in France this year, the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville last month.

“He is a possible for the Golden Eagle in Sydney. By the end of the week, I think the owners will have their minds made up,” said Condon.

“It will be there, or he could run in the Foret and possibly take in the Boomerang before then, if he stays here. We’ll know more at the weekend.”

The lure of an Australian adventure is not being dismissed easily.

Condon added: “The Golden Eagle is worth a lot of money. It’s an option his ownership, comprising five friends, are considering.

“They have had a great journey with him so far – and they are weighing up whether to have a go at that or to stay put and go for the Foret. It’s entirely their prerogative, and we’ll see what they want to do.”

Deauville double on Indices’ agenda

Ken Condon may send his Prix Jean Prat hero Law Of Indices back to Deauville for next month’s Prix Maurice de Gheest.

Fifth in the six-furlong Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, the three-year-old successfully moved back up to seven to claim Group One glory in France last weekend under an excellent front-running ride from Olivier Peslier.

Condon immediately nominated October’s Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp as a likely end-of-season target, but Laws Of Indices could head back across the Channel before then for another top-level assignment.

“He’s come back very well – he was back on Tuesday and cantered Wednesday,” said Condon.

“He’s having a quiet week after the travelling and everything, but he’s in good shape.

“I think there’s a very good chance that he’ll run in the Prix Maurice de Gheest on August 8.

“It’s a month between the races. Straight after the Prix Jean Prat I had it in my head it was only three weeks, but that extra week could swing things.

“It’s the travel that takes more out of them than the racing, and that extra week could be crucial when we make up our minds.

“He’s back in his routine, and the initial verdict is good, so I suspect it will be the Maurice de Gheest next. After that, we could then wait until the Prix de la Foret – I think that’s probably what will happen.”

Condon will be encouraged if there is some give in the ground at Deauville.

“It was yielding or good to soft ground the last day, and you’d be hoping for something similar,” he said.

“I guess coming back in trip (to six and a half furlongs) you wouldn’t want it very quick, which it could be at Deauville in August. We’ll play that by ear and see where we are closer to the time.

“We were delighted with him on Sunday. He ran a huge race under an excellent ride, and everything fell into place.”

Laws Of Indices rules for Ken Condon in Prix Jean Prat

Ken Condon’s Laws Of Indices was a hugely-determined winner of the Group One Haras d’Etreham Prix Jean Prat at Deauville.

Olivier Peslier had Laws Of Indices prominent throughout in the centre of the course and then held off a series of challengers on all sides in the final two furlongs to win at 28-1, leading home an Irish one-two by a head from Joseph O’Brien’s Thunder Moon.

For County Kildare trainer Condon, this was a third Group One victory – following Romanised’s successes in the 2018 Irish 2,000 Guineas and 2019 Jacques le Marois at this course.

Laws Of Indices had to be very tough, stepping back up in trip and winning for the first time since springing an even bigger surprise in the Group Two Railway Stakes at the Curragh 12 months ago.

He proved himself again, though, to see off Thunder Moon – with Andre Fabre’s joint-favourite Midtown another length and a half back in third.

Condon was delighted that the ambitious plan had paid off, with a horse he knew was still improving.

“It’s just a dream result, fantastic,” he said.

“He got a super ride, an uncontested lead – and when he got there still travelling well, I knew he should be in the shake-up.

“I think he was headed, and he fought back at the end. So it’s brilliant.”

Laws Of Indices has established a handy knack, in his brief career to date, of confounding the odds against him.

Condon added: “These races – 28-1 – (but) the owners are ambitious, and were willing to have a go, not afraid to lose. Sometimes it works!

“I’m delighted the five owners were all of the same mind to have a go, and they’ve been rewarded.

“He’s a horse that’s kept improving, and this is huge for them.

“He was an eight-grand yearling – it’s a great story.

“I thought he’d been sold a few times, but it just never happened. Group Ones are so hard to come by.”

Laws Of Indices was winless in his previous six starts, but Condon had not lost belief in him.

“I knew when he ran so well in the Guineas trial (in fifth at Leopardstown in April) that he’d trained on,” said Condon.

“Under his Group Two penalty there – yes, Poetic Flare won it, but he showed up well.

“Then he ran well at Naas, and you’d forgive him Royal Ascot on very heavy ground.

“He was 66-1 when he won the Railway – he was fifth (in the Commonwealth Cup) but only had one behind him two (furlongs) down, well out of his ground on heavy, really deep ground and finished well.”

Further overseas trips are likely to be on the agenda for the son of Power – after a break to recover from this weekend’s travel and exertions.

“It’s the last three-year-old only of the year – you have to meet your elders now,” said Condon.

“The Haydock Sprint Cup is normally very soft ground, (and) I see him as a seven-furlong horse. I think that’s his optimum trip.

“So maybe the (Prix de la) Foret I’d say – you’d just hope that Longchamp at that time of year is not too deep. It can go either way, but I don’t think he wants extremes.

“With a horse like him you’d look at a Breeders’ Cup Mile as well, because you need pace there.”

Condon also paid tribute to Peslier, who had won the first of his many career Group Ones in this same race on Le Balafre back in 1993.

“One of the guys asked me beforehand, ‘what did you tell Olivier Peslier how to ride him’?” he said.

“I said ‘you don’t tell him what to do’. I knew we were in good hands, just leave it to him.”

Laws Of Indices’ victory was one of three on the card for British and Irish challengers.

Jessica Harrington’s Loch Lein also won the Listed Prix Armandine for Ireland – and at the same level, in the opening Prix Yacowlef, Monmouthshire trainer David Evans’ juvenile filly Choux was a neck winner in the Chris Kiely colours which have been so successful this season with dual Group and Royal Ascot-winning sprinter Rohaan.

Return to Newmarket – and quick ground – firmly on the agenda for Miss Amulet

Ken Condon is banking on Newmarket to provide Miss Amulet’s preferred sound surface as he targets the July Cup for his top-class filly.

Miss Amulet has encountered wretched luck with the weather so far this season, as rain has repeatedly scuppered her big-race chances.

It has restricted her, in fact, to just one appearance – when well-beaten in the mud at the Curragh in last month’s Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Deluges have also twice conspired against her at the 11th hour, forcing Condon to pull her out of an intended first start of the campaign in the French Guineas at ParisLongchamp and then again when the heavens opened on the eve of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last week.

“It was obviously very disappointing,” Condon said of Miss Amulet’s most recent misadventure

“I rang her owner Michael Tabor on Friday just as we were taking cover from biblical rain.

“But we’ll aim for the July Cup next, two weeks on Saturday.”

Experience tells the County Kildare trainer that another trip to Britain may well deliver a level playing field at last for Miss Amulet.

“Nine times out of 10 (at Newmarket in July), it’s quick ground,” he said.

“It’s going to shape up to be a very strong race, with the three-year-olds coming through and your older horses again.

“But that’s where we’d like to see her. If we get on her optimum conditions, six furlongs on top of the ground, we hope we can see how we’re going.”

The daughter of Sir Prancealot proved on several occasions as a juvenile last year that she is highly capable – including when twice placed at Group One level, second over six furlongs of the Rowley Mile in the Cheveley Park Stakes and then third at Keeneland during the Breeders’ Cup.

Condon resolved to give her a shot at a Classic this season, but he is happy to revert to the sprint trip at which the Lowther Stakes winner has already excelled.

“She’s very non-demonstrative in her homework – she’s never been any different,” he said.

“But she’s in very good form, so we’re looking forward to seeing her back on the racecourse.

“She’s one that comes alive at the races. Whether it was America, or England or Naas or whatever, it didn’t matter – she turned up and looked very progressive last year.

“She remains a filly we have high expectations for. So let’s hope in two weeks’ time, we get to see her.”

Miss Amulet would be unlucky indeed if she encountered soft ground again on the July course.

Miss Amulet and James Doyle (left) win the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York
Miss Amulet and James Doyle (left) win the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York (David Davies/PA)

“I’ve been there a few times, and the biggest thing is watering and keeping it safe,” added Condon.

“Often you can get a tailwind – and the last time I was there, there were a couple of track records lowered.

“We’d a runner in the Duchess of Cambridge two years ago (Celtic Beauty), and it was very quick conditions.

“That would hold no fears for her.”

He reports Miss Amulet in fine heart at home despite her latest wasted overseas excursion

“She had an aborted trip the other day,” said Condon.

“But she’s back home and did a little breeze on Tuesday morning, and all is well with her.

“So Newmarket is where we’re going next, and that’ll dictate the rest of our season then.

“We’re very much looking forward to that.”

Thunder ready to roll at Carlisle

Ken Condon senses plenty is in place for Thunder Beauty as she bids to provide him and owner David Kelly with a second success in Carlisle’s British Stallion Studs EBF Eternal Stakes.

Elusive Beauty struck in the 2017 edition of Wednesday’s Listed feature for Condon, in the same colours, and connections have again enlisted the services of Danny Tudhope – who was on board four years ago.

Thunder Beauty will receive 3lb from Mick Channon’s Goodwood Listed winner Illykato, so is marginally favoured on ratings alongside Ralph Beckett’s Meu Amor – while the most obvious potential improver in an eight-strong field is the unbeaten Cloudy Dawn, from William Haggas’ yard.

Kildare trainer Condon will be pleased to see a little of the forecast rain to bolster hopes, but is confident a return to seven furlongs in this grade is the right assignment after Thunder Beauty stayed on well from an unfavourable position to be beaten under four lengths in Group Three company at the Curragh.

He said: “There was a bit of an element of taking our medicine there, with the last race, in so far as the draw she had just meant that (jockey) Niall (McCullagh) had to take his time with her.

“But we were very happy the way she finished out her race, and she needed to do that after running so poorly at Newmarket (when last of 11 in the 1000 Guineas).

“It was important to try to get her back on track, and we were happy with the way she went through the race well (at the Curragh), and she did finish off nicely from an unpromising position.

“This is a race that the owner has been lucky in before – we had a horse that won the race a few years ago, with Daniel riding her as well.”

Condon set Thunder Beauty a tough task when she went for Classic glory on her seasonal debut, but she put herself in that bracket with some high-class juvenile form – including a close fifth in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes, over this trip.

“This filly has obviously shown nice form as a two-year-old, particularly in the Moyglare – so we hope she can run a nice race,” he added.

“I see there’s a chance of rain on Wednesday. So if we did get that, it would be a positive.

“All in all, we’ve been happy with her since her Curragh run, and hope she can run well.”

Thunder Beauty was equipped with a tongue strap for the first time three weeks ago, and will run with one again at Carlisle.

“We needed to make a few changes after Newmarket,” said Condon.

“The ground was quite quick, but we couldn’t really find anything obvious to explain it.

“But back to the Curragh, over six, she did finish out well – and she obviously had that very good run in the Moyglare over seven, so I think this trip will be fine.

“I just would prefer nice, safe ground with no jar, so I wouldn’t mind a bit of rain.

“If it did come on Wednesday afternoon, I’d say that would help her.

“We’re willing to take a chance. I’m sure it’s nice ground – I see the official description is good to firm, good in places. But with that chance of rain, we’d welcome it if it did come.”

Haggas is mindful that Cloudy Dawn is still rated a stone below three of her rivals, having taken her career record to a perfect three from three in a Yarmouth handicap at the start of this month.

She is also moving up to seven furlongs for the first time.

Her Newmarket trainer said: “She’s got a bit to find on the figures, but she’s entitled to have a shot at a race like that – she’s done nothing wrong.

“I think she’ll get the trip – I think she wants a trip now.

“It is a decent race, but all Listed races are difficult.”

Elsewhere on a very competitive card, Keith Dalgleish trains two of four joint top-weights – Howzer Black and Chichester – in the course’s signature race, the Stablemate By AGMA Carlisle Bell Handicap.

David O’Meara’s eight-year-old Waarif receives just 1lb from the top four as he returns to try to regain the crown he won in 2018.

Condon assessing weekend target for Laws Of Indices

Laws Of Indices is pencilled in for a string of high-profile races after a fine performance in the Group Three Goffs Lacken Stakes at Naas on Sunday.

Ken Condon’s colt was beaten by just three quarters of a length in fourth when carrying a 3lb penalty, awarded for his Group Two victory in the Railway Stakes last season.

The performance followed the three-year-old’s fifth-placed run on his seasonal debut, when he lined up in the Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes and was defeated by Poetic Flare – subsequent winner of the English 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The son of Power could head next to the Group Two Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock on Saturday, but Condon has plenty of international engagements in mind should conditions not suit at the Merseyside track.

“We were very pleased with him,” the Kildare trainer said.

“It was a very solid run carrying his penalty, I think had he been without a penalty that would have made a difference to him.

“Timeform see it as the best run of his career so it’s nice to think he’s improved, we felt he had come forward from his first run at Leopardstown.

“To my eye he looked sharper and he broke smartly, which he hasn’t done at all times in the past.

“It was a good run and even when he was passed in the last 50 yards, he was coming back again so it all bodes well.”

Royal Ascot features prominently on the list of probable next steps, with further Group One contests in France also on Condon’s radar.

“He’s got races like the Commonwealth Cup to aim for and he’ll have an entry in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, maybe even the Prix Jean Prat,” he said.

“He’ll be campaigned ambitiously, but he’s a horse that’s very solid and looks to be improving.

“He turns up, and when they always turn up you always have a chance.

“He’s got an entry for the Sandy Lane on Saturday, we’re taking a look at that.

“The ground is soft and the weather is probably going to be something similar to what we’re wanting, he will have an entry there but I won’t know until later in the week when I’ve discussed it with everybody.

“I think if he does go there it will be the Commonwealth Cup next.”

Ground key to Miss Amulet’s Curragh Classic challenge

Miss Amulet’s Irish 1,000 Guineas bid hinges on going conditions after heavy ground scuppered her run in the French version of the race on Sunday.

The filly was an intended starter in ParisLongchamp’s Poule d’Essai des Pouliches – the French 1000 Guineas – but very soft going at the Paris track put paid to that plan.

The race was supposed to be the grey’s opening run of the season, with heavy rainfall in both England and Ireland leaving conditions closer to home similarly dubious for a horse that favours good ground.

Miss Amulet is entered in Sunday’s Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas, but her participation at the Curragh is reliant on the ground drying out and the current forecast does not fill trainer Ken Condon with hope.

“She might run at the Curragh on Sunday, we’ll just have to see how the weather plays out,” he said.

“She’s very well and she’s ready to run. We’re happy with our decision not to run her on what we would call heavy ground.

“It wouldn’t have been the right thing by her, we’ll just have to see how the rest of this week goes.

“We’re anxious to get her started, we’ll just see how the week develops as it’s a bit of a mixed bag weather-wise, we’ll just keep an eye on that.”

The Curragh conditions were described as yielding to soft when the track last raced on May 3, with the weather between then and the weekend meaning Miss Amulet’s preferred good ground is highly unlikely to materialise.

“We’re not going to get our ideal conditions. She likes nice ground, she’s a good ground horse and we won’t have that,” Condon said.

“We might be able to run her on the easy side of good, or good to yielding. We’ll just see, we won’t get her ideal conditions as it’s rather like you have in England, there’s plenty of rain about.”

Miss Amulet enjoyed a successful two-year-old season, gaining her first victory in Stakes company when winning the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York before going on to finish second in Newmarket’s Cheveley Park Stakes and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland – the latter both Group One contests.

If the damp spring weather means a tilt at a Classic evades the filly, Royal Ascot in June is next on the agenda with the six-furlong Commonwealth Cup and the one-mile Coronation Stakes both under consideration.

“She’s a filly that, with her two-year-old career, deserves a chance at a Classic,” said Condon.

“I think she’s unfortunate with the weather. Nine years out of 10 you can depend on it being good ground or faster, but it’s in the lap of the gods unfortunately.

“We’ll see about this weekend and if not, it will be Royal Ascot as she has a few entries there.

“It’s a long season, she’s in very good form and I’m sure she’ll make up for it when she gets a chance.”

Mother Earth aiming to back up Newmarket victory in France

Mother Earth must see off a strong challenge from both the home contingent and fellow travellers as she bids for a Classic double in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at ParisLongchamp.

Aidan O’Brien’s 1000 Guineas heroine will seek to add the French equivalent to her expanding CV on Sunday – and her trainer anticipates that, whether she follows up on not, her performance will also provide clues to future assignments.

Among Mother Earth’s most prominent rivals this weekend are Andre Fabre’s unbeaten filly Philomene, Kildare trainer Ken Condon’s returning Group Two winner Miss Amulet and Lullaby Moon for Ralph Beckett.

Francis-Henri Graffard’s Sweet Lady is also  a major contender, having managed only a close fourth as an odds-on favourite but stayed on very well from an unpromising position over course and distance at Group Three level last month.

Aidan O'Brien and Frankie Dettori with Mother Earth at Newmarket
Aidan O’Brien and Frankie Dettori with Mother Earth at Newmarket (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mother Earth was a convincing winner at Newmarket two weeks ago, and O’Brien said: “We’re really looking forward to seeing her run again.

“Obviously she hasn’t done much since she won at Newmarket – she’s just had an easy time.

“I’m not sure yet if she’ll get further than a mile as the year goes on.

“She’s from a fast pedigree, but Frankie (Dettori, winning jockey at Newmarket) felt she might get a little bit further the last time he rode her.”

Coronavirus travel restrictions mean Christophe Soumillon takes over in Paris – while Condon has recruited Ioritz Mendizabal to partner Miss Amulet.

Miss Amulet (right) gave Alcohol Free a run for her money in the Cheveley Park
Miss Amulet (right) gave Alcohol Free a run for her money in the Cheveley Park (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

It is by design that last year’s Lowther Stakes winner begins her three-year-old campaign here, having had a busy and fruitful juvenile season which culminated in a fine third over this trip at the Breeders’ Cup.

Condon said: “She accumulated plenty of experience as a juvenile – eight runs, been abroad and obviously finished her year in the Breeders’ Cup.

“So she’s not lacking in that department. It was something I discussed with (owner’s husband) Michael Tabor, and everyone was happy to just aim for this race.

“She does like nice ground too, so I didn’t think the likelihood of nice ground in the trials in the spring was probably realistic – so we were happy to go straight there.”

Condon hopes Miss Amulet will have the necessary stamina – but admits he does not know for certain yet.

“You’d need to see more evidence, I suppose, before you could be categorical about the trip,” he said.

“But to my eyes, she ran on well and was strong going to the line (over a mile at Keeneland).”

He is confident about her readiness, adding: “She’s in very good condition.

“We’ve had an uninterrupted prep. She’s fit and looks a picture, all is well with her.

“She’s not a flamboyant worker, or anything like that, but she’s done everything we’ve wanted. She’s been on the grass with all the fillies here at the Curragh, and she won’t lack for fitness anyway.

“She’s drawn 13, which will be difficult out there. But I’ll speak with Ioritz Mendizabal and Michael, and we’ll try to formulate a plan.”

Lullaby Moon (right) in winning action at Goodwood
Lullaby Moon (right) in winning action at Goodwood (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Beckett is happy with Lullaby Moon – but will be even more pleased if the ground eases from its forecast good to soft for his filly’s first start of the year, after she concluded her two-year-old career with a Group Three win in heavy at Chantilly.

“Lullaby Moon has worked well this spring and is ready for this task,” said the Hampshire trainer.

“Every drop of rain that falls up to post time will help.”

A daughter of Dubawi, Philomene most recently won the Group Three Prix Penelope over an extended 10 furlongs at Saint-Cloud.

Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin told www.godolphin.com: “Philomene is a very straightforward filly, who has enjoyed an uninterrupted preparation. Dropping her back in trip came under discussion very quickly after the Prix Penelope and Andre Fabre felt this race worked best for her timing-wise.

“She is a filly with a lot of class and Andre has very few worries about the trip. It’s obviously unusual to drop back in distance from a prep race to the Pouliches, but it has been done before and he felt that it was the right thing to do.

“This is very much a springboard for the Prix de Diane, but we are hopeful that she can run very well.”

Like Beckett, Sweet Lady’s handler would also like to see rain, as she is already twice a winner in heavy ground.

“Sweet Lady is in great shape and, the more rain there is, the happier I will be,” Graffard said.

“She ran well in the Prix de la Grotte, which was a bit of a strange race, with little pace.

“Christophe Soumillon looked after her that day. She has improved a lot for the run and looks in very good order to me. We are following the tried-and-tested route.”

Group One-winning juvenile Tiger Tanaka is likely to be running her final race before retirement – and trainer Charley Rossi knows he has huge reason to be thankful to his Prix Marcel Boussac heroine.

Tiger Tanaka won that prize over this course and distance in October, and will again be ridden by Rossi’s wife Jessica Marcialis.

He said: “We are calm. Tiger Tanaka is doing well – she showed us that she was in very good order during her work on Wednesday.

“I think this will be her last race. She has had some health issues in the past, and we want to do what is right by her.

“It is a great privilege to train such a filly. It is thanks to her that my wife, Jessica Marcialis, made racing history. Tiger Tanaka certainly has captured the imagination.”

Ken Condon outlines Classic aims for star fillies

Ken Condon is preparing both Thunder Beauty and Miss Amulet for tilts at Guineas glory – with Thunder Beauty heading to Newmarket and Miss Amulet bound for France.

Thunder Beauty made a big impression on her racecourse debut at the Curragh last summer before going on to finish fifth in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and seventh in the Prix Marcel Boussac in Paris.

The Night Of Thunder filly will be an outsider for the Qipco 1000 Guineas over the Rowley Mile on May 2, but Condon believes she could outrun her odds.

He said: “Thunder Beauty will go straight for the 1000 Guineas. She seems to be very well and is forward in her coat. Her fast work up to this point has gone very well. She’ll take her chance in Newmarket.

“She’s relatively lightly-raced. She won her maiden at the Curragh nicely and I thought she ran a lovely race in the Moyglare from an outside draw.

“I’d forgive her France. It was very bad ground and there was a bit of barging and scrimmaging in the straight. Billy (Lee) looked after her when her chance had gone.

“She’ll be a big price, but she’s by a nice sire and we’re happy with her.”

Stablemate Miss Amulet won three of her eight starts as a juvenile, including a notable Group Two success over Wednesday’s Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Sacred in the Lowther at York.

She rounded off her campaign with two excellent efforts in defeat – finishing second in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket and third at the Breeders’ Cup – and Condon views the French 1000 Guineas as a suitable target.

“Miss Amulet will hopefully start back in the French 1000 Guineas. She’ll go straight there on May 16,” the trainer added.

“She had a very good year last year and kept progressing. She finished off with a third in the Breeders’ Cup over a mile.

“Longchamp might be the most suitable place for her to run in a Classic. In future she may come back in trip.

“Hopefully she has trained on – you never really know until they run.

“She’s done well physically, she looks well and is training nicely. All the signs are pretty good. She’ll take her chance and we’ll make a plan after that.”

Two other three-year-olds Condon is looking forward to campaigning this season are Teresa Mendoza and Laws Of Indices.

Teresa Mendoza has not been seen since finishing 10th in the Moyglare in September, while Laws of Indices was not disgraced in finishing fifth on his reappearance in the 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown last weekend.

Condon said: “Teresa Mendoza is another nice filly and she will start back in the Polonia (Listed race) in Cork on May 7.

“She looks a pacey filly and disappointed in the Moyglare. She won her maiden first time up and ran very well behind New Treasure on very heavy ground in a Group Three at the Curragh.

“Hopefully she gets on a nice surface and it looks a nice race to start her back

“I was pleased with Laws Of Indices at Leopardstown. I thought he ran well carrying a penalty.

“There are a few people involved and a decision will have to be made whether to run him over six or seven furlongs. He can be a bit slowly away from stalls.

“He could go for the Lacken Stakes (six-furlong Group Three at Naas on May 16), or the Jersey at Royal Ascot is an option over seven.”

Of his two-year-old squad, the trainer added: “We’ll probably run the first of them next week. We have a good team of them and there is a Bated Breath filly and a Hot Streak that are ready to go.

“It’s still early days, but they are shaping up well.”

O’Brien looking to Magical for first Hong Kong Cup success

Magical bids to provide Aidan O’Brien with his first victory in Sunday’s Longines Hong Kong Cup.

The brilliant mare extended her Group One tally to seven when successfully defending her crown in the Irish Champion Stakes in September, subsequently finishing third in the Champion Stakes at Ascot and second to fellow Irish raider Tarnawa at the Breeders’ Cup.

Magical has travelled to the Far East for what could be her swansong before retirement, with her rider Ryan Moore hoping to secure a third Hong Kong Cup success following his previous triumphs aboard Snow Fairy (2010) and Maurice (2016).

O’Brien said: “Magical has travelled plenty and she likes travelling. Pat (Keating, travelling head lad) has been happy with her since she arrived there. Everything looks perfect at the moment.

“She’s a relaxed filly with a good mind and she’s raced all the way from seven furlongs to a mile and a half. She’s a mature adult now and she’s very easy to handle, very straightforward and very genuine.

“She’ll be very happy if there’s a good pace on – that would suit her. She likes to be at a high tempo to be seen at her best.”

Magical renews rivalry with French challenger Skalleti, who was one place and half a length ahead of her in the Champion Stakes.

Jerome Reynier’s stable star had previously beaten subsequent Arc hero Sottsass in a Group Three at Deauville, before winning the Prix Dollar for the second year in succession on Arc weekend.

“We beat Magical last time, but this might be more to her taste and we are here to see what we can do,” said Reynier.

“He is quite exceptional. It’s rare to have a horse that can win a Premio Roma and two Prix Dollars on heavy ground going right-handed, who can also win on the all-weather at left-handed Marseille-Vivaux and a Prix Quincey up a straight 1,600 metres at Deauville on good ground. He adapts to anything.

“I am quite confident and he’s a horse that never disappoints.”

O’Brien has enjoyed more success in the Hong Kong Vase, having saddled Highland Reel to win the race in both 2015 and 2017.

This year’s Ballydoyle representative is Mogul, who finished fifth behind the aforementioned Tarnawa in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last time.

“We always thought a lot more of him than he was showing in his runs until he won the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp. He’s a big, powerful horse and you would be hoping the plan is to keep him in training next year as well,” said O’Brien.

“The Grand Prix de Paris was a good race and it was the first time we really took the decision to drop out completely, take our time and ride him for pace. That’s what we did and it worked very well.”

Mogul’s opponents include Reynier’s Royal Julius and Hong Kong favourite Exultant, who won this race in 2018 and finished third last year.

Golden Sixty is the undoubted star attraction in the Hong Kong Mile, having extended his winning streak to 10 – and claimed his 13th win from 14 career starts overall – with a brilliant performance in the Jockey Club Mile three weeks ago.

Trainer Francis Lui said: “I’m confident on the horse but the overseas horses – their form is good.

“I’m very happy with his trackwork because he was quite relaxed – everything is ready.”

Jockey Vincent Ho added: “He’s a super horse. He’s got a great mentality – he just wants to chase whatever is in front of him in the straight.

“Every jockey dreams of a horse like this. When you’re on him, it’s just so special.”

Irish hopes are carried by O’Brien’s surprise Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Order Of Australia and Ken Condon’s stable star Romanised.

O’Brien said: “We always had it in our heads that Order Of Australia could be a miler, but he’s by Australia, so we started him as a Derby-type horse and he ran very well when fourth in the Irish Derby.

“We then went back to a mile and a quarter and he ran very well in a French Derby, so it was always possible we were going to back in distance, but it looked like we were going to run out of time.

“In the Breeders’ Cup, he looked like a horse you could shorten up a little bit more because he travelled strongly through the race and we were over the moon with the run.

“We’ve been happy with him since and we’re looking forward to seeing him running again.”

Romanised was a beaten odds-on favourite at Dundalk on his latest outing after blowing the start, but Condon is confident he can make his presence felt at Sha Tin.

He said: “If Billy (Lee) is where he wants to be, Romanised will be the last horse off the bridle. He’ll travel for you further than anything else. I can see him doing that and he might just enjoy it.

“I’m looking forward to it and the fire still burns in him, while he looks a picture for the time of the year.”

Of Golden Sixty, he added: “I’ve watched a few of his races and he can produce a quick quarter-mile when he needs to and go under 22 seconds – he’s got that ability.”

Hong Kong option remains open for Romanised

A trip to Hong Kong remains on the table for Romanised despite his odds-on defeat at Dundalk on Monday.

Making his first appearance since finishing last of six runners in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp in early September, Ken Condon’s dual Group One winner was a short-priced favourite for what was his first ever start on the all-weather in County Louth.

However, the five-year-old lost several lengths at the start and ended up being beaten into third place by Saltonstall.

Condon said: “I think it served its purpose – it was a prep run and he blew the start.

“Billy (Lee, jockey) had to get him into the race, then he was in his hands a bit. He travelled really well through the race, like we know he can, and went to win his race and just took a blow and got a bit tired.

“If you take him in isolation, it was an interesting exercise as he’s run his race faster than anything else, if that makes sense.

“If he’d jumped away with them, it would have been a different story. Billy was particularly happy and he’s the one that is the most relevant in this jigsaw.”

Condon was previously keen on a tilt at the Hong Kong Mile and while disappointed to see his stable star suffer defeat, he believes there was enough encouragement in his performance to stick to the plan, provided Romanised takes his Dundalk exertions well.

He added: “We’ll see how he is in the next week – we don’t have to commit to Hong Kong immediately. But I still think we’re on course and he’ll get something from the race (at Dundalk), as he’d been off the track a while.

“All things considered, it was a solid run. It’s important now to see how he trains in the next week as it’s a long way to go and we want to be going there with a horse in top condition.

“I was initially disappointed that he got beaten, but after I analysed it closely and watched the race several times and listened to everybody, I think he’s run well.”

French Guineas target for Miss Amulet

Miss Amulet will be aimed at next year’s French 1000 Guineas after her meritorious run at the Breeders’ Cup.

Ken Condon’s charge was having her eighth start of a busy campaign, in which she has won the Lowther Stakes at York and finished second in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Bought for just £7,500, the daughter of Sir Prancealot changed hands halfway through the season and now runs in the colours of Michael Tabor’s wife, Doreen.

She was just denied second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland behind the brilliant Aunt Pearl when caught on the line by Aidan O’Brien’s Mother Earth, owned by the Coolmore partners.

“The mile was always a question mark – but to my eyes she got it well, and we were delighted with her,” said Condon.

“She’s had a busy season, but she’s retained her form well, and there is plenty to look forward to next year.

“I think her main aim early on will be the French Guineas – we think that might suit her better. I know all the Guineas are run over a mile, but some tracks are stiffer than others.

“The winner the other night (Aunt Pearl) is obviously very good – she set sensible fractions, and we knew then it would be difficult to come from behind, but we were delighted with how our filly finished off and put a bit of daylight between the fourth, who won the Prix Morny (Campanelle).

“She’s been on the go since the first week racing resumed. She’s been to England twice – that was her eighth run, so credit to her, she has exceeded all expectations.

“She’s very reliable. When you get to this time of year you never know with fillies, but she handled the travel and produced a great run.

“We know if she doesn’t stay a mile we have the option of coming back in trip, but I had a quick exchange with Michael Tabor after the race and I think the French Guineas is where we are going.”

Hong Kong trip hinges on Dundalk run for Romanised

Romanised will run at Dundalk next week before Ken Condon confirms a trip to Hong Kong.

The dual Group One-winner, who won the Minstrel Stakes for a second time in July, has been below his best the last twice – in the Jacques le Marois and the Prix du Moulin.

Romanised is due to head to stud next year – so should he fail to fire at Dundalk, in a conditions race over a mile on Monday, it is likely to be his last run.

But Condon has been happy with him and is keen on a last hurrah in the Hong Kong Mile.

“He’s in good shape, and we’ve freshened him up since the Moulin,” said the County Kildare trainer.

“The plan is to run on Monday at Dundalk in a conditions race. He’ll have plenty of penalties, but that’s fine, it’s just a long way to go to Hong Kong on the back of his Moulin run.

“We’ll decide whether he goes to Hong Kong or not depending on how he runs at Dundalk. He’s never been on Polytrack before but he’s fresh and well so we’ll see how he gets on.

“If everyone is happy and he gives a good performance then we’ll have a good look at Hong Kong.

“We’d like to go, but it depends on how he runs on Monday.”