Carlos Felix follows the script for owner Darren Yates at Ascot
Son of Lope De Vega was bought for €700,000 at Arqana last year
With not only a lofty price tag but quite a name to live up to, Carlos Felix took a significant step in the right direction with an effortless victory in the mile and a half handicap at Ascot.
The son of Lope De Vega represents the first major acquisition in Flat racing by high-rolling owner Darren Yates, who broke the record for the largest sum ever paid for a jumps horse in training when buying Interconnected for £620,000 at Goffs UK in May last year.
It was to emerge that Yates and his wife Annaley had already made an investment at the Arqana breeze-up in Carlos Felix, who was knocked down to David Simcock.
The chestnut is a half-brother of the 2017 Sussex Stakes winner Here Comes When, bred by Old Carhue and Graeng Bloodstock as well as Park Hill runner-up Melodic Motion.
Although unable to win before this and now gelded, Carlos Felix had finished in the first four in each of his previous four starts and was a revelation stepped up to a mile and a half, stretching four and a half lengths clear in the "Play Nifty Fifty Exclusively At Betfred" Handicap.
Yates had been interviewed on ITV prior to the race and explained the inspiration behind the horse's name came from the 17th century Spanish playwright Lope de Vega, rather than the Ballylinch stallion.
"Lope de Vega's favourite son was called Carlos, who died at an early age," he said. "So I’m hoping this will end up being Lope De Vega’s favourite son ever."
After watching Carlos Felix galloping to glory, he added: "David has been telling me all along to be patient, I’m not a very patient person to be honest, but, wow.
"He’s done it really really well, I don’t think we’ll see the best of this horse until he’s four, maybe even five like his half brother Here Comes When, I don’t think he won his Group 1 until he was seven. I think he’ll be far better with age, he’s won amazing there."
Carlos Felix is in good company as a graduate of last year’s Arqana sale. His price was trumped by only two others at the auction - the €1,100,000 Ocean Atlantique, who remains a bright prospect despite a slightly ordinary run in the French Derby, and Godolphin’s recent Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner Summer Romance.
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