Whistlejacket proves picture-perfect in July Stakes win

Whistlejacket stamped his class on the Kingdom Of Bahrain July Stakes at Newmarket.

Runner-up on his debut before running out an impressive winner of a Listed event at the Curragh, the No Nay Never colt lined up as an odds-on favourite for the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, but only picked up minor money in fourth.

Stepping back up in trip from five to six furlongs, Aidan O’Brien’s youngster was an 11-10 shot to reward those who kept the faith and ultimately did so decisively under Ryan Moore.

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Whistlejacket was in front from an early stage on the July Course and while there were several still in with a chance passing the final furlong marker, the further the market leader went, the better he looked, passing the post with a length and three-quarters in hand despite drifting left.

Billboard Star was best of the rest in second, with the previously unbeaten Windsor Castle winner Ain’t Nobody a disappointing last of six.

Paddy Power make the winner a 25-1 shot from 50-1 for next year’s 2000 Guineas.

Whistlejacket was a clear winner at Newmarket
Whistlejacket was a clear winner at Newmarket (Joe Giddens/PA)

Coolmore’s Paul Smith indicated the colt will now step up to Group One level for his next assignment.

He said: “He did it well and we’re very happy with him. He probably learnt a lot at Ascot and he was a little bit green that day, but I think he has appreciated the step up to six and a little cut in the ground and it worked well.

“He’s always found work very easy at home and ticked many of the boxes, so we were very hopeful. He ran a good race at Ascot and came fourth. He learnt a lot and that showed on the track today.

“I think we will look at something like the Prix Morny or the Phoenix Stakes, those two races come to mind.”

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Moore felt the return to a longer trip had played to Whistlejacket’s strengths.

He said: “Obviously Ascot was good to firm and today is good to soft, but it’s not too bad at all. Perhaps the extra furlong is more probably significant (than ground).

“He didn’t run a bad race at Ascot, he wasn’t beaten far and as you saw today, it’s his fourth race and he’s still racing green. I think he’s a smart colt and he will have to step up again but he has class.

“He’s just a little bit of a raw horse still, a big, big boy. He does his work quite easily at home. He’s a fast horse and I think we will probably stay at six furlongs for the time being.”

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