A new syndicate of racehorse owners, including former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond, will be hoping Run Wild can provide them with a dream victory in the Coronation Stakes (2.25pm) at Royal Ascot on Saturday 20th June, a race that forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Run Wild, trained by John Gosden, will carry the colours of a seven-strong group collectively known as Tweenhills Fillies and she looks to have a leading chance after a commanding win in the Betfair EBF Pretty Polly Stakes on her reappearance at Newmarket this month. The syndicate, who had their first runners last year, own six other fillies and during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown have been kept informed about their horses via video clips, jockey audio messages, photographs and written releases.
Other members of the syndicate include Martin St Quinton, the chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse and owner of Gloucester Rugby Club, plus Swiss businesswoman Barbara Keller, already a Group 1-winning owner. Run Wild is also half-owned by Meridian International, the French bloodstock agency created by Ghislain Bozo.
Tweenhill Fillies was the brainchild of David Redvers, owner and manager of Tweenhills in Gloucestershire and Racing Manager to Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, the driving force of Qatar Racing.
Redvers is himself a member of the syndicate and said: “I’d been thinking for a while that I wanted to put together a team of friends and investors to try and buy some nice fillies. With Qatar [Racing] we’ve got such a good broodmare band and are producing so many of our own that Sheikh Fahad does not tend to buy that many fillies at the sales. I thought I’d hate to leave nice opportunities behind with the speedy type of fillies that I made my name with originally.
“Tweenhill Fillies are a nice make-up of friends and family. Some of them have been following on the periphery for a while, while others have owned racehorses for years. What people fail to appreciate that when you put together a bunch of friends the pressure is tenfold what it normally is, as you don’t want to let them down. They are very much like-minded sports men and women who, thank God, are having a lot of fun at the moment.”
Redvers and Bozo were together when buying Run Wild for 160,000 euros at a sale in Germany late in August, 2018. Redvers said: “She’s got a beautiful pedigree and was by some margin the best filly at the sale. She was expensive but a standout. With her good pedigree she was never going to be worth an awful lot less than we paid for her, so it was a bit of a no-brainer.”
Run Wild showed plenty of ability as a two-year-old and ran her rivals ragged on her return under champion jockey Oisin Murphy. That contest was over a mile and a quarter and is traditionally a trial for the Investec Oaks but the imposing filly will drop back to a mile on Saturday, when she will face six rivals.
Redvers said: “She’s a different filly to last year and filling into her enormous frame. She’s matured into something really quite smart. She seemed to take one stride to everything else’s two in the Pretty Polly and is happiest when being allowed to stride on.
“It’s a big ask dropping back in trip for race like this but at the mile mark [in the Pretty Polly] she was totally dominant to the others and she found it so easy. And when you look at the sectionals she was putting up very similar fractions to Love [the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas winner on the same day] even though she was running over two furlongs further.
“I’m pretty confident dropping her back is going to suit her. She’s not had long between races but is quite battle-hardened, and we are employing the champion trainer, a master of his art, to make the call for us. If he thought the race was going to come too quick we’d have swerved it but everything I’ve heard from Clarehaven has been encouraging.”
Redvers’ one regret is that Murphy, the champion jockey, will not be able to renew the association. He committed to riding the Graham Motion-trained American challenger, Sharing, when he assumed he had no ride in the race.
“Oisin gave his word to Graham and we totally understand,” Redvers said. “He’s fairly tortured about it because he thinks Run Wild’s got a very good chance.” James Doyle will ride Run Wild on Saturday.
The Coronation Stakes was first run 180 years ago and Sharing, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf In November, is seeking to become the first American-trained winner, although Motion was himself born in Cambridge. None of the four previous Coronation Stakes challengers from the United States have finished closer than fourth.
Cloak Of Spirits and Quadrilateral, who finished second and third, respectively to Love in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket this month, will meet again. Quadrilateral’s exploits last year included winning the bet365 Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.
Aidan O’Brien is seeking a fourth win in the race and will be represented by So Wonderful and Love Locket. The former finished third in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas last weekend. Jessica Harrington won with the brilliant Alpha Centauri two years ago and relies on Alpine Star, who is in the same ownership and won the Group 2 Dubutante Stakes at the Curragh last summer.
Article courtesy of QIPCO British Champions Series. Photograph by Rachel Groom.