George Boughey has confirmed Asadna firmly on course for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot next month following his sensational debut victory at Ripon last weekend.
A 160,000 guineas purchase from the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, the Mehmas colt put his rivals to the sword in North Yorkshire to record a remarkable 12-length success.
While trainer George Boughey was hoping his youngster would run with credit on his introduction, the Newmarket handler admits even he was taken aback by the nature of his performance.
He said: “Asadna was great on Sunday. It was a little bit unexpected, but his work’s been good since he came from the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up. We hoped that he might go close, but to go and put his head down and stride away like that was impressive.
“Even watching him, I felt he got a little bit lost as they started to quicken and he’s a six-furlong horse. Ascot is tailor-made for him. I think the way he does quicken on fast ground and is able to relax, you can put him anywhere in the race.
“He is right towards the top end of the market in the Coventry and we’ll obviously now head to Royal Ascot in search of a £125,000 Tattersalls Craven Royal Ascot Breeze Up Bonus.
“He’s got a very good mind – he just eats, sleeps and trains. I’m slightly worried half the time because he’s lying down, he’s a very relaxed horse.”
Another Tattersalls purchase for whom Boughey holds Royal Ascot aspirations is Soprano, who impressed on her racecourse bow at Newmarket and is being targeted at the Group Two Albany Stakes.
The daughter of Starspangledbanner was bought for 100,000 guineas on behalf of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, for whom Boughey trained Cachet to win last year’s 1000 Guineas.
Boughey added: “Soprano was very impressive on debut, and it didn’t really come as a huge surprise. She’d been showing up well at home and she’d done plenty of work through the dip at Newmarket.
“We wanted to start over five furlongs because it gave us a bit more time to let her have a bit of downtime before bringing her back up to try to have a tilt at the Albany Stakes.
“She’s a very straightforward filly and one we’ve got high hopes for through the summer and into the backend of the year.”