'He's unbelievably quick' – Caravaggio powers home at Naas
Star juvenile Caravaggio returned with a bang at Naas on Sunday, extending his unbeaten record with a wildly impressive four-and-three-quarter-length victory over Psychedelic Funk to fuel champion sprinter dreams.
Reappearing in the Group 3 Lacken Stakes, he quickened superbly under Ryan Moore to chalk up a fifth victory and cement his position as favourite for the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next month.
BoyleSports went evens (from 5-2) while Betfred and William Hill are offering a best price of 6-4.
The son of Scat Daddy, who is also entered in the King’s Stand and St James's Palace at Royal Ascot, notched a second success for Aidan O’Brien in the contest’s four-year history following Due Diligence’s victory in the inaugural running in 2014.
O'Brien said: "Caravaggio is an unbelievably quick horse. We've never seen one quicker than him at home, and that's why we're going to keep him sprinting. The Commonwealth Cup will be his next race, all going well.
"You'd have to be delighted with that performance, and as he's a good bit heavier than he was last year you'd imagine he'll come on from today's race."
That is a frightening thought for connections of potential rivals at Royal Ascot. Blue Point is second favourite for the Commonwealth Cup at 5-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair.
O'Brien added: "There's nothing to say he wouldn't get a mile. We worked him over seven furlongs and the petrol gauge never shifted. But he's so quick sprinting looked the way to go with him."
Winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, when Psychedelic Funk finished third, beaten exactly the same margin as he was here, Caravaggio is already a Group 1 winner having landed the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August on his final start last season.
This latest success could not have been more straightforward. Settled initially towards the rear, Moore steered Caravaggio to the outside of the field with just over two furlongs to run, and under a hands and heels ride the pair were soon clear.
It was left to Psychedelic Funk, Mr Scarlet and pacesetter Gorane to battle it out for the places. Mr Scarlet finished one and three-quarter lengths behind Psychedelic Funk in third, with Gorane a head back in fourth.