Tormenta display leaves connections puzzled

Papin winner to regroup and could have long-range Breeders’ Cup target.

  • Tuesday 11 August
  • News
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Ventura Tormenta’s disappointing run in the Phoenix Stakes is proving hard to fathom for his connections – but a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup could be on his agenda later in the year.

Winner of the Prix Robert Papin where he edged out The Lir Jet, Ventura Tormenta was last of 10 in Ireland while The Lir Jet crossed the line in third, subsequently being placed second after an inquiry.

With a Group Two win over six furlongs already in the bag, he could be hard to place for the rest of the season, although trainer Richard Hannon has mentioned the possibility of a trip to Keeneland.

“We’re struggling for an explanation really,” said Tim Palin, racing manager for the owners, Middleham Park Racing.

“Even if we nicked a couple of lengths off The Lir Jet at the start in the Papin, he should have been within a couple of lengths of him at the weekend.

“We think the ground, while officially good to yielding and it was good to soft at Chantilly, we think the going at the Curragh was softer than France even though they sort of read the same.

“We’re pretty certain now soft ground doesn’t suit him and that he needs quick ground to be at his best.

“Even if we’d absolutely run our race and finished with The Lir Jet we’d have still been in put in our place by an outstanding winner (Lucky Vega). So no excuses, we might not be good enough to win a Group One but there might be reasons to explain why he didn’t finish closer.

“I think we need to chase fast ground. Unless the Prix Morny is run on quick ground and looks like it’s cutting up we wouldn’t go there.

“We could look at the Gimcrack with a penalty if the ground is going to be quick or the Flying Childers makes sense as he wouldn’t have a penalty – but that means going back to five (furlongs) and you’re in the lap of the gods with the ground at Doncaster in September.

“One thing Richard did mention was the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Turf Sprint). He thinks almost six furlongs round a bend could be right up his street.”

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