Romanised classic coup proves actions speak louder than words. Ken Condon, who achieved a milestone first Classic victory when Romanised won the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas
Watch the full replay of the 2019 Minstrel Stakes at the link below.
Europe has been searching for a leader for its older mile division and in Romanised – who streaked to an impressive success in one of the most reliable indicators in the calendar – it may transpire that the answer was hiding in plain sight.
Adding a Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois to his Classic success from 15 months ago, Romanised may have done just that, building on an upward trajectory that had been evident in each of his last three starts.
And as no-excuses clean victories go, this was as clearcut as it gets, as Billy Lee guided the son of Holy Roman Emperor past two pacemakers to stretch away from Shaman, with Line Of Duty in third and Coronation Stakes winner Watch Me fourth.
It is a quirk of the mile calendar that you need a reasonable quotient of stamina at the start of the year before speed becomes the absolute prerequisite from the Sussex Stakes onwards.
Fortunately for Condon and owner Robert Ng, that increase in tempo is coinciding with Romanised becoming more and more pacy with time and age.
“We used to see that speed in training but when he won the Guineas he looked like he just outstayed everything else and that he could go a mile and a quarter,” said Condon.
“He’s just demonstrating that speed we’ve always seen and they ran 1m22s at the Curragh for the seven furlongs, which is the quickest Minstrel Stakes in 14 years.
Condon added: “I think you’ll maybe see him in the Foret or he may go for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. If he goes Breeders’ Cup Mile, he may just stay home at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend [for the Boomerang Stakes].”
Paddy Power installed Romanised as a 14-1 chance for Santa Anita, while Condon believes he has a different horse on his hands this year.
“He won the Guineas at a big price and we campaigned him ambitiously because we’ve always felt he was a very nice horse. After the Guineas last year he went to Ascot and didn’t have a great experience there. This year he seems to be mentally better and more mature, he’s an improving horse and you could see it today. It was a very good performance.”
Lee said he had expected to have many more horses in front of him than behind him but was always in the perfect position behind Shaman and the two trailblazers.
Condon worked for the sponsoring Niarchos family as a young man and Lee also felt a debt of gratitude towards the same quarter.
“It’s particularly special because they provided me with a first Group 1 and it’s lovely that I’ve won another and they sponsor it,” said Lee. “My lad’s just getting more uncomplicated with each race and it was a good performance.
“Shane Foley was riding him last year and then he took the job with Jessica Harrington so he wasn’t able to commit to Ken and the horse. Luckily enough Ken gave me the call earlier in the year and thanks to Willie McCreery and Paddy Twomey, they had no problem and so riding for all three is a pleasure.”
To watch the full race please click on the link below :
Ken Condon’s Irish 2000 Guineas winner added another Group 1 when he won the Prix Jacques Le Marois in impressive style in Deauville.
Romanised gained ownership of the leader’s yellow jersey in the highly volatile race to become Europe’s top miler of 2019 when gaining a superb victory for Ireland in the Group 1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville last Sunday
Ken Condon has made his first full season training at Osborne Lodge one to remember and, with the final chapters yet to be written with his Classic winner Romanised as well as a trio of Group 1s being targeted with a crop of classy juveniles, the future looks brighter than ever.
Ken Condon has called on the services of legendary French jockey Olivier Peslier to ride top-class miler Romanised in Sunday’s Group 1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp, with regular rider Billy Lee set to stay at home and ride at Longines Irish Champions Weekend the following week.
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