Ken Condon eyeing big-race riches with Romanised and classy crop of juveniles
Ken Condon has made his first full season training at Osborne Lodge one to remember and, with the final chapters yet to be written with his Classic winner Romanised as well as a trio of Group 1s being targeted with a crop of classy juveniles, the future looks brighter than ever.
Winner of the 2018 Irish 2,000 Guineas as well as last year's Prix Jacques le Marois, Romanised came unstuck in the heavy ground when bidding for a repeat win at Deauville ten days ago and could only manage fifth behind Palace Pier.
However, Condon is putting that defeat down to the testing conditions and provided the rain stays away, he is planning a return to France followed by an audacious trip for the Hong Kong Mile, which could prove to be the colt's swansong.
He explained: “We'll look to the Prix du Moulin, which is coming up quite quickly on Sunday week, but we'll keep a close eye on the weather. If the ground is suitable, he might take his chance.
"He also has the option of the Prix de la Foret but the ground can be either way on Arc weekend. There is a chance he could finish his career in the Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin in December. His owner would obviously be present and that would be a distinct possibility. Ground will dictate it really.”
Reflecting on Deauville, Condon added: “He travelled through the race really well and was the last horse off the bridle, but the ground was just too deep. Thankfully, he's come out of the race well and he seems very well.”
Where Romanised will stand as a stallion has yet to be decided, according to Condon, who revealed such decisions will be made by the five-year-old’s owner Robert Ng, along with his racing manager Rupert Pritchard-Gordon.
He explained: “It hasn't been decided where he goes to stud yet. There is obviously interest in him from various stud farms in various different countries and obviously that will all be decided by Robert Ng and his racing manager Rupert Pritchard-Gordon. In the next month to six weeks they will make a few decisions.”
If Romanised is the horse who put Condon on the map, Laws Of Indices and Miss Amulet have helped keep the trainer's name in lights and ensured a seamless transition to the iconic Osborne Lodge Stables on the Curragh.
Miss Amulet was an impressive winner of the Lowther Stakes at York last week, while fellow basement-buy Laws Of Indices snared another major juvenile contest when landing the Railway Stakes last month.
Speaking about the stable move, Condon said: “There have been countless Grade 1 winners trained here by the Hughes family. If you go back further, there has been 18 Irish Classic winners and three Derby winners to come out of here, so there is a huge tradition of top-class horses being produced. That was a huge thing for myself and Pauline [Condon's wife].”
Condon added: “We are all horse people and we may have been a bit superstitious, but it feels right and certainly the early indication would be that the luck of Osborne Lodge has rubbed off on us. We're just custodians of a yard that will hopefully continue on in the future. It's a privilege to be here and we're very pleased with how things have started for us.”
Condon will be hoping that the luck will continue when Miss Amulet lines up in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket next month, while Laws Of Indices is being geared up for the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend.
Add to that the fact that classy prospect Teresa Mendoza is being aimed at Friday’s Group 3 Round Tower Stakes and Thunder Beauty has the Group 1 Moyglare Stakes as a target.
None of those juveniles cost a lot of money. In fact, at £42,000, Thunder Beauty is by far the most expensive as Miss Amulet and Teresa Mendoza went through the ring for less than €10,000 each.
Conscious to deflect any credit, Condon said: “It's good for the game. It's good for buyers and vendors that these colts and fillies can come along. It proves that they are out there and they can be bought. We've been very lucky this year. It's a good story and just gives everyone a bit more hope and encouragement that you can find a horse.”
Condon’s classy crop of juveniles
Miss Amulet is a lovely filly and she showed that the other day at York. She has a super attitude and she never flinched at York, where she was very straight and resolute, showing all of the attributes we look for in a racehorse.
The narrative with her is nice as she wasn't expensive. We liked her in the spring but we didn't think she would end up being a Group 2 Lowther winner. She's obviously very progressive and is going forward with every run.
The Cheveley Park will be next for her. She's entitled to go there and go there with a very strong chance. She seems to have come out of York very well and there is a nice gap from now until the race.
Teresa Mendoza won her maiden very nicely at the Curragh, catching a few people's attention in the style that she did it. She's a very nice filly, and like every other horse, we'll get to know her strong points at the races. It's not something we go looking for at home.
We're looking forward to running her in the Round Tower Stakes on Friday. It's a step up in class and the ground is going to be a bit slower to what she won on. We'll know more after Friday but certainly she looks a nice prospect.
Interestingly, Teresa Mendoza's dam is a half-sister to the dam of Tactical, so it's a family that may have been dormant for a while but certainly has come alive this year. Hopefully we've plenty more to look forward to her.
Laws Of Indices is a solid colt and the plan for him is to go for the Irish National Stakes. He took a big step forward when winning the Railway Stakes and was a little bit slowly away in the Phoenix Stakes, but the winner looked very good that day.
I thought our guy acquitted himself well after making a bit of a mess of the start and got back into the race on the wing. He showed a good attitude and Billy [Lee] was very happy by how he finished out.
It's not beyond the realms of possibility that he could go to France for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and maybe even a Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf after that. He might be the right type of horse for that.
Thunder Beauty won her maiden at the Curragh quite impressively. She's a very nice filly, bred by the Kavanagh family, and is by a sire who is making waves.
She's from a stout, staying German pedigree and we see her more of a filly for next year but her next start will be in the Moyglare Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend. We think a lot of her. I think she's a filly with quite a big future.
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