Quest For More has eyes on Champions Day after victory at Chantilly
Quest For More who has been one of the flat seasons best ‘stayers’ is being primed for a tilt at the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup, despite taking Saturday’s Group One Qatar Prix Du Cadran at Chantilly.
That victory in Paris was a maiden Group One victory for the Roger Charlton six-year-old who has enjoyed a tremendous season which saw him claim the Group Two Lonsdale Cup at York Ebor Festival, before finishing runner-up in the Doncaster Cup.
The Long Distance Cup is the opening race of Champions Day at Ascot and will be a fascinating contest with the likes of 2015 Ascot Gold Cup hero Trip To Paris and 2014 Long Distance Cup winner Forgotten Rules set to line-up.
But Charlton is confident in his charge, saying: “He came back last night and he’s fine this morning. I’m keeping an open mind about it (Ascot). Before yesterday I was sort of thinking it was either/or, but we’ll see how he is nearer the time.
“Ascot is probably the most realistic target if we feel it’s the right thing to do.”
Shalaa returning for Champions Day after Ascot success
Despite having just one run in 2016, Shalaa is set to return to Ascot for the QIPCO British Champions Sprint in 10-days’ time.
The John Gosden three-year-old was a dual Group One winner in 2015 taking the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville, before scoring in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, capping off a fabulous juvenile season which saw him win five of his six starts.
An injury problem had prevented the talented colt from running until October 1st but the long-break had seemed to have little effect as Frankie Dettori guided his mount to victory in the Group Three John Guest Bengough Stakes.
After a 371-day absence, SHALAA, one of the best 2yos in 2015, returned with victory at Ascot – his 6th win in a row! pic.twitter.com/5lF3xWJPnG
— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) October 1, 2016
After the race Gosden was full of praise for both horse and rider saying: “The horse is just full of himself – and so is the jockey! It is nice for him to have a double 20 years on. It is fantastic for him,” he said.
“We are very lucky we had the race two weeks before we have the big one. If we are happy with the horse over the next few days, we’re longing to come back.
“It was a good prep, hands and heels, it was not our plan to do any more than that. I told him your stick is for holding – it is only for balance.”