Edited Breeders’ Cup Release — The Jeff Smith-owned Ghostwriter (IRE) coasted clear of the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) field on Saturday at Newmarket in an impressive manner to win his first start in Group company. With this victory in the 1-mile race for 2-year-old colts, the son of Invincible Spirit (IRE) earned an automatic starting position into the $1 million Prevagen Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 80 Graded/Group stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
After a level break, the nine-runner field split into two groups as the Richard Hannon-trained Son (GB) and 9-5 favorite Capulet, trained by Aidan O’Brien, set a steady pace.
As the runners approached halfway, Ghostwriter, trained by Clive Cox, was settled midfield alongside Caviar Heights (IRE) and Al Musmak (IRE). Inside the final 2 furlongs, the eventual winner was traveling with ease. He responded well when jockey Richard Kingscote asked him to quicken, and surged to keep his unbeaten record intact with a 1 1/4-length victory at odds of 3-1. Al Musmak finished a half-length ahead of Capulet for runner-up honors.
Ghostwriter, now 3-for-3, completed the mile in 1:37:06 over a course listed as good to firm.
Cox, who is closing in on his 1000th winner as a trainer, said: “He was very much learning on the job on each of his first two runs. Today was a proper test and we couldn’t be more pleased. He’s got lots of class. I’m so pleased for Jeff (Smith), and all the team at home.
“It’s a real joy to have a winner like this on a day like this. He’s definitely going to want a bit further, but we’ll take it one step at a time. It looks like he could be exciting.”
Kingscote said: “He jumped and got in a nice rhythm… (and) picked up nicely heading into the dip. He’s a very likable sort going forward. He’s going to be a middle-distance horse next year, but he’s not short of toe, he’s got a bit of class.”