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Belloccio could be set for Supreme adventure after hurdling return at Galway

Belloccio could be set for Supreme adventure after hurdling return at Galway
Belloccio could be set for Supreme adventure after hurdling return at Galway

Belloccio has a Galway hurdling return on his agenda as connections may begin to plot a path to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle following his Royal Ascot triumph.

The grey was previously trained by David Menuisier, for whom he won a Listed race alongside four further contests on the level.

He was then sold via the Arqana horses in training sale, where he was sourced by Philip Hackett and purchased by Anthony Bromley for Thurloe Thoroughbreds before being sent to Willie Mullins’ stable in County Carlow.

Royal Ascot 2024 – Day One – Ascot Racecourse
Belloccio and William Buick en route to victory in the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot (David Davies/PA)

The gelding made his debut for new connections in a two-mile Punchestown maiden hurdle in late May, where he got off to the perfect start with a taking nine-length success.

After that performance, Belloccio reverted to the Flat for the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot, where he followed in the footsteps of stablemate Vauban to help Mullins land the race for a second consecutive year.

Unlike Vauban, who then took aim at the Melbourne Cup, a switch back to hurdling now awaits Belloccio as he has the Galway Festival, which begins at the end of the month, as his next appointment for a Listed contest over the smaller obstacles.

Jess Stafford of Thurloe Thoroughbreds said: “We had a couple of thoughts immediately after Ascot, we were thinking about the Ebor and there were murmurs about the Melbourne Cup, but I think you can get carried away.

“Willie thinks he could be a serious horse for the jumps and that he could be a Supreme horse.

“We’ll run him at Galway and we’ll see how he is after that, I think we’ll have to give him a break and then go to a jumps campaign, taking it race by race.

“I’m not sure that will be the last ever time he runs on the Flat, but I think for now, with the stage he’s at in his jumping career, we may as well make the most of it because it gets harder after the novice hurdling career.

“He’s only six and Willie has the confidence that he could be a Supreme horse and basically, we do what he says!

“We bought him and then Willie wanted to give him a bit of time off over the winter months, we didn’t really know what he would become and this has turned out to be a bit of a whirlwind.

“Having an Ascot winner was just brilliant, everybody wants to be at Cheltenham and Ascot, and Galway is like the cherry on the top.”

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