ising More Than Ready star Strategical started a 1/20 favourite and had little more than a training gallop during an leisurely 11 length victory at Wolverhampton on Monday evening.
Strategical (2c More Than Ready – Mary Ellise by In Excess) was an easy winner at Yarmouth on August 8 and he went out a prohibitive 1/20 favourite in the Like Us On Facebook Stakes (1000m). Burdened with 59.5kg under Mickael Barzalona, he tracked the leaders before pushing well clear at the furlong. WATCH HERE
Strategical (USA) is raced by Sheikh Mohammed and cost 320,000 guineas at the Tattersalls Craven 2YO Sale in April. He was consigned John Egan who labelled the colt a “Group 1 winner of the future” at the Newmarket Sale.
Strategical could back up in the Julia Graves Roses Stakes (L 1000m) at York this Saturday.
This Saturday is also D-Day for More Than Ready colt Verrazano in the 144th edition of the G1 Travers Stakes (2000m) at Saratoga.
Verrazano (3c More Than Ready – Enchanted Rock by Giant’s Causeway) went with Capo Bastone in his final workout under Johnny Velazquez on Monday clocking a half-mile in 48.65s. “He always gallops in company,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “I thought he went very well. We got what we were looking for.”
Verrazano won the G1 Haskell Invitational (1800m) by 10 lengths last time out and Pletcher doesn’t see at problem stretching out to 2000 metres this Saturday. “The Haskell was run on a very deep, demanding track. He finished strongly that day and the extra (200m) shouldn’t be an issue.”
Of more concern to the trainer is saddling up Verrazano and stablemate Palace Malice in a race worth $1 million. Palace Malice won the G1 Belmont Stakes (2400m) in June and the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes (1800m) at Saratoga in July.
Both colts have similar on-pace running styles and Pletcher is aware that could cause complications. “Johnny (Velazquez) and Mike (Smith) are going to have to make decisions on where they want to be. Hopefully, they don’t get in each other’s way, but each of them will have to run their own race to try and win.”
More Than Ready will stand for a $99,000 (inc gst) service fee at Vinery this year.