ED Walker can now start dreaming of trying to claim a second Royal Ascot victory with Agrotera following her winning return to action in the Listed Racing TV Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at Kempton.
The daughter of Mastercraftsman provided the Lambourn handler with his first winner at the Royal meeting in last year’s Sandringham Stakes, and could return for the Duke of Cambridge Stakes after landing a first blacktype success.
Always travelling well under Gerald Mosse, who was on board for the first time, the Bjorn Nielsen-owned filly picked up well when sent on in the closing stage of the mile contest, before proving a length too strong for Preening.
Last year's Sandringham Stakes winner Agrotera gets back to winning ways in the Racing TV Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes @kemptonparkrace under Gerald Mosse for @edwalkerracing ?? #NicePerformance pic.twitter.com/2E8X1tDJah— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 20, 2019
Walker said: “That was really important and that was the victory we wanted. She just didn’t hit the same levels of her Ascot form in the second half of last season. I think it knocked her mentally.
“She has been hard work and is not easy to train. Fair play to the guys at home. Everyone has played their part. That feels good. She is a very well-bred filly with a huge engine and we’ve thought she is a hell of a lot better than a listed filly.
“It was her head that was going to be the problem. Bjorn (Nielsen, owner) is big breeder, so it is vital she is a stakes winner. Everything else is a bonus and that takes the pressure of the rest of the season.”
A tilt at the Group 2 prize at the Royal meeting could hinge on Walker being allowed to use the now-retired Dannios to continue in his role as being a companion for Agrotera in the preliminaries.
Walker added of the 7/2 joint-favourite: “If her brain will let us I would love her to go back to Ascot for the Duke of Cambridge.
“Whether we go one more time between now and Ascot, I don’t know. The Duke of Cambridge was always my dream. Apart from Derby day there are not many races that are higher pressure and stressful for a horse.
“Dannios was the first horse that arrived in my yard with Riggins and for him to do that job (ponying) so well is amazing. It depends if the stewards want to help us or not, that will really determine if we run at Ascot.”
Name The Wind could be a late contender for next month’s Qipco 2000 Guineas after maintaining his unbeaten record with victory in the Racing TV Conditions Stakes at Kempton.
Having made a winning debut at the track over seven furlongs in September, the James Tate-trained son of Toronado got the mile well in getting the better of favourite Senza Limiti – who was also defending an unbeaten record – by a short-head.
Following the race, Name The Wind (2/1) was cut from 66/1 into 25/1 for the colts’ classic by Paddy Power.
Philip Robinson, assistant racing manager to owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, said: “I didn’t know if he would beat the William Haggas horse (Senza Limiti). I think Far Above (stablemate) would probably be a bit in front of him.
“He was very impressive. We’ve managed to get some more experience into him. He settled in nicely and once he quickened, he was always going to win.
“He is in the 2000 Guineas and we will have a chat with the owner. He has lots of options and maybe we could go for it as there is only one 2000 Guineas.
“James Tate has just taken his time and brought him along nicely. Hopefully he will come on a lot for this.”
CABLE BAY FILLY
Electric Ladyland continued the perfect start to her career when making it two from two with a front-running success in the RTV/British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes at Kempton.
After lowering the two-year-old track record over five furlongs on the all-weather at Lingfield on her debut, the Archie Watson-trained daughter of Cable Bay was not for catching again, beating Littleton Hall by a length and a half to initiate a double for Luke Morris.
The winning rider said of the 11/8 scorer: “She is a very fast filly and has worked very well at home with Lady Kermit. The pair are very nice fillies.
“You would like to think she would end up an Ascot filly and something like the Lily Agnes on the way there has got to be a good option for her, as she is very good on turning tracks.”
Cowboy Soldier (20/1) showed he was ready to roll after a 243 lay off when completing Morris’ brace with a length-and-a-quarter success in the Bet At racingtv.com Handicap.
Greg Chung, assistant trainer to Robert Cowell, said: “He was just going through a growing phase last year, but Rob always thought plenty of the horse last year.
“We were a little bit worried about the draw (stall nine), but he handled that slightly slower surface well. Off a long lay off it was a promising run.”