Roaring Lion to target Guineas after being denied in Racing Post Trophy
Qatar Racing has never had a horse quite like Racing Post Trophy second Roaring Lion, according to racing manager David Redvers, who confirmed the Qipco 2,000 Guineas as the colt's likely first target in 2018.
Roaring Lion looked all over the winner at Doncaster on Saturday when quickening smartly to the front, but hung left and was worried out of it by the history-making Aidan O'Brien winner Saxon Warrior.
He was beaten a neck, but while jockey Oisin Murphy blamed himself for making his move too soon, neither Redvers nor trainer John Gosden were critical of the ride as the colt's acceleration took them by surprise too.
Redvers said on Sunday: "Oisin is only beating himself up because he thinks he was on the best horse in the race and if he had known how instantaneous the acceleration was going to be he would have sat and sat and won comfortably."
He added: "I think we've finally got one. John said to me this morning he thinks we've a proper Guineas horse to dream about over the winter."
Redvers signed himself for Roaring Lion, paying $160,000 at Keeneland last September, and the Kitten's Joy colt was already doing Qatar Racing proud, with three successive wins, the most recent in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket.
Saturday's defeat has only enhanced Roaring Lion's reputation and he is now as short as 7-1 for Newmarket next spring, although still as big as 16-1 with BoyleSports.
Redvers said: "When you go for the Racing Post Trophy it can sometimes be because you think they're a bit dour, but the exciting thing for me is that Roaring Lion almost has too much speed.
"He's putting on weight all the time and getting heavier and stronger with every run. A horse like that is probably going to be a mile and a quarter horse, tops, and he's clearly got the speed for a Guineas. It's really exciting.
"It was great to be part of history anyway, even if we were on the wrong end of it."
Saxon Warrior was O'Brien's 26th Group 1 winner of the year, breaking the 14-year-old world record set by Bobby Frankel.
Two immediate opportunities to improve the new record were lost when Saint-Cloud's Sunday card was abandoned, but bookmakers are already looking ahead to what might be possible in 2018, and Ladbrokes quote O'Brien at 7-1 to beat whatever score he ends up on this year.
Aidan O’Brien 2018 specials
Ladbrokes: 7 break own Group 1 record, 14 win all five British Classics, 33 win all ten UK and British Classics.