Royal Lodge winner Ghostwriter firing Cox’s Classic dreams

Mon 2 Oct 2023

Clive Cox is excited to see what the future holds for Ghostwriter following his taking success in Newmarket’s Royal Lodge Stakes.

Having impressed in his first two outings, the son of Invincible Spirit took the step up to both a mile and Group Two level in his stride to run out a convincing winner in the hands of Richard Kingscote when up against a useful cast on the Rowley Mile.

The victory puts the colt in the picture for next year’s Classics, with the youngster as short as 16-1 for both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby and his handler has been delighted with his progress throughout his juvenile campaign.

“He showed improvement from his first run with how he ran under a penalty at Ascot and this was a bigger step up again,” said Cox.

“He acquitted himself very impressively and backed up our hopes and thoughts from what we had been seeing at home.”

Ghostwriter’s Royal Lodge success earns him a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf if connections wish, while he also holds an entry for the Group One Futurity Trophy at Doncaster before the season ends.

Although refusing to completely rule out those options, Cox is minded to think to the future with his talented prospect and would have no qualms about now taking stock with the Jeff Smith-owned two-year-old and returning next spring with his 100 per cent record intact.

“I’m pleased to report he has come home well,” continued Cox.

Ghostwriter on his way to winning the Royal Lodge
Ghostwriter on his way to winning the Royal Lodge

“We’ll discuss it further with Jeff in the meantime. Most importantly we will follow the horse’s appearance and well-being over the next week or so and that would be the guiding light really.

“While I am happy with him, I think physically, he has a big frame to mature into even more and I would definitely be inclined to be thinking from a physical point of view he will be a better horse next year and I’m really excited about the future.”

On the prospect of heading to Santa Anita next month, he added: “I think at this stage of his life that would be a huge step and with his size and scope and being so exciting for the future, I would just be very proud of what he has achieved so far this year.

“The level of expectation is such an exciting thought going forwards that it is a bigger picture than tomorrow and it is more about thinking further down the line.”

Get Ahead (left) finishing second in the Flying Five Stakes
Get Ahead (left) finishing second in the Flying Five Stakes

While Ghostwriter’s career is only just beginning, Cox will bid farewell to the speedster Get Ahead following her fourth-placed finish in the Abbaye as she heads now heads to the paddocks.

An agonising second in the Flying Five Stakes on her previous start, she was somewhat unfortunate not to finish closer to ParisLongchamp winner Highfield Princess having been short of room at a vital stage.

“I guess that’s racing sometimes and they don’t run in lanes, but we’re extremely proud of what she has achieved throughout her career,” said Cox.

“I think to be second in the Flying Five and to back that up amongst some of the best sprinters in the world at Longchamp is quite rewarding and she will be heading to the paddocks now.

“I’m very proud to have been involved with her and, being related to a Guineas winner (her half-brother is Chaldean), she now has a great record on track to back up her pedigree.

“She’s a filly that will last long in our memories without a shadow of a doubt.”

Also heading for a career as a broodmare is Tregony, who was a star of the Racing League last term, but has taken her form to the next level of late and now bows out after a career-best effort to deny New London in the Listed Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Godolphin Stakes.

Tregony winning the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Godolphin Stakes
Tregony winning the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Godolphin Stakes

“She’s been impeccable and the courage she displayed on Friday was amazing,” added Cox.

“We had previously felt she had only just got the mile and a half really, but Saffie (Osborne, jockey) gave her such a wonderful ride and managed to settle her into a perfect rhythm through the race that she was able to display that courage and determination she has always had at a crucial stage.

“I’m just thrilled she has that winning Listed success to go with her previous black-type placed effort and she’s now bound for the paddocks and will surely be a very exciting broodmare.”

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