All systems go for Perfect Power on Champions Day

Wed 5 Oct 2022

Richard Fahey reports stable star Perfect Power to be firmly on course for the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Saturday week.

The Ardad colt claimed his third victory at Group One level in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June, adding to his previous top-level wins as a two-year-old in the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes.

However, he has since disappointed as favourite for both the July Cup at Newmarket and on his return to France for the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville in early August.

Having given his charge a short mid-season break, Fahey is hopeful he will show his true colours on Champions Day.

“He’s in great form – we’re very happy with him,” said the Musley Bank handler. “We gave him a little bit of a break and he’s been training real good. We’ve had him away a couple of times, he’s in great order and we’re looking forward to it.

“He loves Ascot. I thought about going to France, but speaking to Sheikh Rashid (Dalmook Al Maktoum, owner) we decided to go straight there (Ascot) with him.

“He just doesn’t want the ground very firm. He’s had quite a few runs on very firm ground and it just wasn’t suiting him. A bit of decent ground would be great.”

With Perfect Power’s regular rider Christophe Soumillon sidelined by suspension following a well-publicised incident at Saint-Cloud last week, connections are on the lookout for a replacement.

He added: “There have been discussions and Bruce Raymond (owner’s racing manager) is on with that at the moment.”

Stradivarius to parade

 Stradivarius will be appearing at Champions Day for a sixth time (Pic: Focusonracing)
Stradivarius will be appearing at Champions Day for a sixth time (Pic: Focusonracing)

Superstar stayer Stradivarius will be paraded on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot next week.

Connections announced last week that following a glittering career, the John and Thady Gosden-trained eight-year-old was being retired to commence stallion duties from next year.

Racegoers will get their chance to show their appreciation on Saturday week, with Stradivarius being paraded after the Qipco British Champions Sprint.

The son of Sea The Stars won the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day in 2018 and retires with a record 16 Qipco British Champions Series wins. The brilliant Frankel is next best with nine.

Stradivarius’ owner-breeder Bjorn Nielsen said: “He has been a joy to own. He turned up and ran his race every time with marvellous consistency.

“The last six years have been an absolute privilege and I particularly want to thank Ascot, Goodwood and York racecourses as well as everyone who has come out to support him during his career.

“He has been an absolute credit to the Gosdens and their staff at Clarehaven who managed to maintain his performance and enthusiasm for so long.”

Stradivarius will stand at the National Stud from 2023. Anna Kerr, the National Stud’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have a racehorse of the calibre of Stradivarius joining the roster at the National Stud.

“He has consistently demonstrated many of the attributes of his sire Sea The Stars – consistency, soundness and a phenomenal temperament. Parading at Qipco British Champions Day provides the perfect opportunity for racing fans to say farewell to a true icon of our sport.”

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