Like father, like son ? Quorto emulates Dubawi with decisive National Stakes win
Quorto hardened in the ante-post markets for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas and Investec Derby after emulating his sire Dubawi by stamping his authority all over his Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes opposition.
Too Darn Hot still heads both markets following his Champagne Stakes success 24 hours earlier at Doncaster, but Quorto's decisive performance in the Curragh's seven-furlong Group 1 on Sunday went a long way towards advancing his Classic claims.
William Buick nudged the Godolphin colt past Anthony Van Dyck just before the furlong pole. From there, he gave him a few backhanders and the response was impressive.
Quorto quickened again to pass the post a length and a quarter clear of Anthony Van Dyck, with Christmas a further four and a half lengths back in third.
To the naked eye it looked like Quorto was learning on the job, and connections did have to endure a stewards' inquiry after he leaned right and into Anthony Van Dyck, who was on the inside rail.
Dubawi failed to justify favouritism in the 2,000 Guineas after winning the Curragh contest 14 years ago, before then making amends in the Irish equivalent, and Charlie Appleby feels there is a lot of the father about the son.
"Coming here today we were very confident," the trainer said of his first Irish Group 1 winner.
"He's a typical Dubawi. From the Superlative Stakes to here, he needed all of that time and he had a spell where he went a bit quiet on us, but that's typical of a Dubawi.
"I'm in one of those fortunate positions that I've probably got the most experience with Dubawis. They go through that patch, but in the last ten days he came back to where he was and we were all confident coming into today he was as good as he was going into the Superlative – if not better."
Appleby suggested Quorto could now be aimed at the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, although he was quick to add the caveat that the horse's wellbeing will dictate plans for the rest of the year.
"That's the most logical route," he said of the Newmarket Group 1 on October 13, "but he's a Dubawi and is the first Group 1-winning Dubawi two-year-old colt.
"I've been very fortunate to train the last two fillies to do that, but that's his first colt. If we need to put him away for the winter, that wouldn't worry me at all and we can live the dream until the spring. He's an exciting horse but he'll tell us how he is."
Quorto was cut to a general 8-1 (from 14) for the 2,000 Guineas and to 16-1 (from 25) for the Derby, though Appleby suggested a mile and a half might stretch him.
"There's a lot of stamina on the dam's side – Volume was placed in the Oaks – but from what we've seen so far he travels very well through his races. If you were to pin me down now I'd say a mile was his trip.
"A mile and a quarter might be his maximum. He's very much a Dubawi – the stamp of him, the way he travels through his races, his mentality.
"To say hypothetically that we'd be stepping him up to be a Derby horse, I'd be sitting on the sidelines for the moment. Hopefully we'll get the Guineas out of the way and work from there."
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