Aidan Fogarty is casting his eyes to France next for Forever In Dreams as he maps out a Group One programme for his Commonwealth Cup runner-up.
Fogarty was unsure, in the immediate aftermath of his filly’s outstanding run to finish runner-up at Royal Ascot on Friday, whether Forever In Dreams’ future lay at his Tipperary stable.
She was sold by owner-breeder Con Marnane at the Goffs London Sale on the eve of the five-day meeting to the Phoenix Ladies Syndicate.
But after outrunning her odds of 20-1 to finish a length-and-a-half second to Advertise – owned by the central division of the same operation, Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited – Forever In Dreams arrived back at Fogarty’s yard on Sunday morning.
He can therefore begin planning ahead, and first port of call is August’s Prix Maurice de Gheest – a return to France, where the grey was initially trained by Matthieu Palussiere and won her first two races as a juvenile.
“We got to keep her, so that’s super,” said Fogarty.
“She only travelled home this morning – she’s just arrived back in the yard, and travelled back super.
“We’ll see how she comes out of the race, but I’m leaning towards the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville now. That’s the plan – she’ll probably go back to France for that.”
It will be Forever In Dreams’ second successive Group One assignment against the colts, having hinted at her potential with a decisive Listed win at Haydock last month.
“She’s a big filly, and I hope she should keep improving away,” added Fogarty.
“If she keeps going the way she is, I hope she might win a Group One by the end of the year.”
It was an uncertain as well as hugely exciting week for the Irishman as he waited to discover first whether Forever In Dreams was up to the tough task – and then if the high-profile new owners would keep her with him.
“There was a little bit of pressure on,” he said.
“But she did great, and they’re lovely people to deal with.
“They were very happy with their first runner in England, so everything worked out super – with Phoenix Thoroughbred actually winning the race, as well, great all round for them to have a one-two.”
Fogarty had never previously been to Ascot, and Forever In Dreams’ success at Haydock provided him with a winner at his first attempt in Britain.
After she upped the ante at the Royal meeting, he said: “It was an unreal run, brilliant. I’m delighted with her.
“She massively exceeded our expectations. We went down very hopeful, but we never thought that was going to happen.
“That was my first time at Ascot. We’ll be back again now, anyway!”