By Simon Jackson.
Hugo Palmer is eyeing the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita in November with Aktabantay after his narrow victory in the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown Park.
The short-head victory for Ryan Moore in the seven furlong contest was Palmer’s first Group-race success and the Newmarket trainer has high hopes for the son of Oasis Dream.
Aktabantay is entered in Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket next month. His delighted trainer said that he may tackle that race and then travel to America, after the colt ran on well from the rear to lead in the last strides at Sandown on Saturday.
“He probably won’t be over-raced a great deal. I’d be surprised if he ran more than twice more this year,” Palmer said.
“He won’t go to the Champagne at Doncaster. He’s in the Dewhurst, and that’s quite a long time away, and he’s in the Jean-Luc Lagardere in Paris.
“I’m sure there’s more to come from this horse when he can feel his feet rattle off fast ground.
“He might get that in the Lagardere and he might not get it in the autumn in the Dewhurst, but it’s a definite possibility.
“Where he will get that is at Santa Anita. The entries for the Breeders’ Cup don’t come out until about October 20 so we’ve got several weeks to chew the future over and it’s an exciting position to be in.
“I think he will be suited by a turning track and by fast ground. He’s bred to get a mile and he races like he’d get a mile.
“He more and more looks like a horse who’s going to make a lovely three-year-old miler next year.”
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