More Than Ready lifts profile in England

More Than Ready’s influence as a global sire enters an exciting new dimension in England this week.

The Vinery champion has sired 128 stakes winners world-wide – the latest of them was celebrated on the Kentucky Oaks card courtesy of A Little Bit Sassy in the LR Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs.

In Australia, he unearthed another promising prospect when Next Level won on debut at Warwick Farm last Wednesday.  Trainer Gary Portelli plans to send the colt north for the G1 J J Atkins Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.

In South Africa, Banaadeer is another More Than Ready two year-old heading for a Group 1.  He won by 8 lengths on debut and then stepped up for a Listed victory in the Storm Bird Stakes at Turffontein.

Trainer Mike De Kock will be taking a strong team down to the KwaZulu Natal carnival and Banaadeer will commence his winter campaign in the G1 Sun Medallion (1200m) at Scottsville on May 24.

In England on Saturday, More Than Ready kicked off what could be a ground-breaking week when Wild Tobacco cruised home on debut at Lingfield.

The Richard Hannon trained colt clearly knew his job from the outset.  He made the most of an inside draw and was easily on top before going on to score by over a length.  And he looked good value for more.

“That was a very pleasing start and he’s a horse who should progress,” Hannon said.  “He flew out of the stalls and travelled well.  Then he quickened up a second time when they came at him.”

More Than Ready can continue to lift his English profile with the Kentucky bred imports Strategical and Verrazano later this week.

Unbeaten colt Strategical cost 320,000 guineas (AUD 516,130) at the 2013 Tattersalls Breeze-Up Sale and he has been nominated to resume racing at York’s Dante Stakes meeting on Thursday.

He was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed 12 months ago and won at Yarmouth, Wolverhampton and Sandown shouldering as much as 63kg.

Verrazano was a dual Group 1 winner of the 2013 Wood Memorial and Haskell Invitational before transferring to Aidan O’Brien in Ireland earlier this year.

The More Than Ready four year-old stood his ground when acceptances closed for the G1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury this Saturday.  O’Brien has also entered G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Magician and will decide his final line-up later this week.

The Ballydoyle trainer has indicated Verrazano will be set for the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17.

wild tobacco sean leveyWILD TOBACCO