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Sylvester Kirk happy to leave future plans open for Brian

Sylvester Kirk happy to leave future plans open for Brian
Sylvester Kirk happy to leave future plans open for Brian

Options are open for Sylvester Kirk’s Brian after his valiant third-placed run in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The colt had fared well in two starts prior to heading to the Royal meeting, finishing fourth when beaten two lengths on debut and then going down by just a neck to Cool Hoof Luke next time out at Chelmsford.

The form from the latter race was boosted on the opening day of Ascot when that horse was placed fourth in the Coventry Stakes, beaten only three-quarters of a length in a field of 22.

The run looked to bode well for Brian and it proved to be the case as the two-year-old lined up for the Chesham under Liam Keniry for a step up to seven furlongs.

Aidan O’Brien’s impeccably-bred Bedtime Story was the tale of the race as she streaked home nine and a half lengths ahead in a run that earned her comparisons with her sire, Frankel, and was only fractionally slower than Haatem’s Jersey Stakes victory over the same trip.

Behind her in second was George Boughey’s Pentle Bay and half a length further back was Brian, outrunning odds of 28-1 and earning himself nearly £12,000 in prize money having failed to fetch over 6000 guineas in the sales ring as a yearling.

The run has resulted in a opening mark of 94 for the bay, who remains a maiden and will have a variety of options now having taken his Ascot exertions well.

“It was a wonderful run for an inexpensive horse and he’s come out of the race jumping out of his skin,” said Kirk.

“We’re just discussing what to do, he got a rating of 94 so we’ll have a talk and see what we’ll do with him.”

Reflecting on Cool Hoof Luke’s run, the trainer added: “That was very positive, I was disappointed after getting beat at Chelmsford to be honest, when you run in those restricted races you’re not sure if it’s very good stuff but he’s proved now that he can run in quality races.”

While mindful that you cannot precisely compare two races, Kirk is still heartened that the Bedtime Story’s Chesham winning time is only marginally slower than a horse like Haatem could produce in the Jersey.

“The beauty of it is she was only 0.16 slower than the Jersey time, it’s hard to equate two races but it’s a massive run for a two-year-old,” he said.

“You can’t compare directly but it’s a huge run, I know we’re a long way behind her but she looks like a really good filly and let’s hope they’re a good bunch of horses behind her.

“We’ll sit and talk and we’ll see, he’s still a maiden so there’s a load of options for what we could put him in next. The main thing is he’s come out of his race even better than he went into it, he’s filled out again.”

A name like Brian is bound to be popular in its simplicity and at Ascot Kirk was amused to hear racegoers take a liking to his colt in the preliminaries.

He said: “His name is wonderful. Because there’s a lot of Brians about and he was a decent price, you could hear people talking about him around the paddock.

“It’s got that funny connotation to it and it’s lovely, it was a good day.”

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