Devious Company remains on course for this weekend’s Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes at Naas after his fine effort to finish runner-up at York.
Tom Dascombe’s classy two-year-old was just outdone by Happy Romance in Thursday’s Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes, but the plan is still to run him in Ireland on Sunday.
Devious Company won his first two starts in maiden and novice company at Haydock, and was then twice a Group Two runner up – in the bet365 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket and the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
The son of Fast Company stepped down to six furlongs at York, something Dascombe felt contributed to his defeat.
“Sadly, for me, not for Richard Hannon (trainer of Happy Romance), the one danger was dropping back in trip on a faster track,” he said.
“He’s never been the fastest out of the stalls – but he’s always got away with it until now, to some degree.
“Yesterday after a hundred yards, he couldn’t win. He’s a nice horse, but the winner is obviously very good. I thought we ran a great race – it just didn’t work out for us.”
Dascombe is considering another six-furlong test at Naas, in a lucrative race open to juveniles whose sire stands at median fee of no more than 75,000 euros.
The near 150,000 euros on offer to the winner is especially attractive to the Cheshire trainer when he compares it to reduced levels of prize money currently in Britain because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s very tempting to go to Ireland on Sunday for that sales race,” he said.
“As we all know, the prize money this year is absolutely shocking. Ballyhane, the sponsor, have done a fantastic job of putting on really good prize money – and they deserve to be really well supported.
“I would dearly love to run him, but if I think there’s any reason not to then I’ve got until midday tomorrow to make up my mind. The intention is definitely to run on Sunday, if there’s no reason not to.”
Recent rainfall has left the Naas turf yielding to soft, but Dascombe is not perturbed by the further rain forecast and feels his consistent colt can perform in all conditions.
“Honestly I don’t think he minds,” he said.
“He’s just a totally professional two-year-old colt who will pretty much respond in any way that he can. If I give him a challenge that he can’t do, well then he can’t do it.
“Yesterday I asked him to take on a very good filly over an inadequate trip on a fast track – but that was my fault, not his.”