Reports25 May 2023

'He's got the potential to be a superstar' - Elite Status shoots to Royal Ascot favouritism with stunning success

Elite Status: hot favourite for next month's Norfolk Stakes
Elite Status: hot favourite for next month's Norfolk StakesCredit: Edward Whitaker

Elite Status lived up to his name with a dazzling performance in the Listed National Stakes to shoot to the head of the market for next month's Norfolk at Royal Ascot. 

The two-year-old made a mockery of a competitive field to storm to a five-length triumph under Clifford Lee, notching a second victory in the 5f contest for Karl Burke. 

The winner was promoted to 2-1 favourite for the Group 2 on the third day of Royal Ascot, with stablemate and runner-up World Of Darcy also expected to head to the meeting for the Windsor Castle Stakes. 

"I think he's a very good horse – he's got the potential to be a superstar," Burke said. "He's got the scope too. He's a lovely horse with a big stride – we thought he may be a little too green on the ground but Clifford made a move to switch him out early and that was important."

Burke has won the National Stakes with Elite Status's sire Havana Grey and believes he has unearthed a worthy successor in the Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum-owned colt, who was having just his second start following a maiden victory at Doncaster three weeks ago. 

"No disrespect to Havana Grey as a racehorse but this fella has the potential to be a much better racehorse," Burke added. "He's a long way from wound up – we haven't forced him at home at all. 

"If he arrives at Ascot as I think I can get him there then he's got as good a chance as [Queen Mary winner] Dramatised did last year at the royal meeting."

Roberto Escbarr (Richard Kingscote) wins the Henry II Stakes
Roberto Escbarr (Richard Kingscote) wins the Henry II StakesCredit: Edward Whitaker

Roberto on top 

Roberto Escobarr finally claimed his first Group victory as he battled to success in the Henry II Stakes. 

The William Haggas-trained six-year-old was well beaten by Trueshan on his last start in Group company in October, but after a couple of all-weather starts earlier in the year he managed to prevail returned to turf in the 2m Group 3, denying the rallying effort of Nate The Great. 

"His brother Pablo Escobarr won a Group race [Goodwood's Glorious Stakes] and it's brilliant for him to get a Group-race win too," said Richard Knight, racing manager to owner Hussain Alabbas Lootah. 

"I don't see any reason why he can't take another step up into Group 1 company. We were more positive tactics-wise than we've ever been, so potentially that made the difference."

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Catherine MacraeReporter
David GriffithsReporter
Published on 25 May 2023Last updated 20:04, 25 May 2023