Prix Morny on the radar for Middleham Park's Group 2 winner Ventura Tormenta
Connections are planning to step Ventura Tormenta up to Group 1 level and have pinpointed the Prix Morny at Deauville next month.
The talented two-year-old was supplemented for the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly on Sunday when he beat Norfolk Stakes winner The Lir Jet by a short head under Christophe Soumillon.
"As soon as they weighed in we began planning for the next race," said Middleham Park director of racing, Tim Palin, who helped to convince Richard Hannon to send Ventura Tormenta to Chantilly.
"The logical thing to do is to look upwards and the Morny looks a likely target. After the race Christophe said he'd see me in Deauville.
"We're not in the Phoenix Stakes, which closed a little before we showed our hand, but we did supplement Kool Kompany for that. He finished second at the Curragh after winning the 2014 Robert Papin."
Palin is hopeful Middleham Park can continue to represent syndicates at Group level, and he added: "For a syndicate to have a two-year-old as highly rated as him is a real achievement.
"There are hundreds of syndicates and the RSA does a fabulous job promoting the experience. We hope to champion the cause for syndicates in Group and festival races, rather than wet Wednesdays at smaller tracks – but we do love to have a winner anywhere.
"Buying and placing horses are two of the most enjoyable parts of our job. We try to add value when we can to trainers' race placement because we have far fewer horses than the trainers and we can hopefully unearth the odd little opportunity like we did on Sunday."
Palin did not travel to Chantilly, nor did syndicate members, and he has not yet been to a British racecourse since racing's resumption, but said the response from those who have watched their runners has been positive.
"The feedback our owners have given us is that it's a bit like a football match without a crowd. It's not quite the same," he said. "The racecourses just lack the normal spark and atmosphere but they appreciate we're in difficult times and are grateful to be racing."
On average, there are 16 Middleham Park members assigned to each horse but under the BHA's behind-closed-doors protocols, only two owners per horse are allowed to watch their horse at the track.
"I think if they were able to safely double the number to four it would be a game changer," said Palin. "Ordinarily, we probably have up to six members who can make a race on any given day.
"For every two people we send to the track, we have to disappoint two more. If we're able to allow four individual owners to attend that would mean we're able to service the requests from our owners."
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