ASTRONG EARLY marker for next year’s Classics has been laid down by Quorto who turned out to be a commanding winner in the 1400m Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket’s July Festival. The 2yo Dubawi colt, an impressive debut winner over 1200m for trainer Charlie Appleby at the same course on 22 June, broke smartly under William Buick and soon disputed third of the seven runners. Quorto travelled strongly into the race and quickened well to take the lead approaching the final furlong before powering clear to win easily. Appleby said: “We were confident coming in to this race that Quorto had definitely come forward since winning on debut and the step up in trip was going to suit.
“He has shown some gears and William said that the horse has a great racing mind; he travels very sweetly in your hands. “Quorto has picked up well on the rising ground and is an exciting horse, for sure. Being by Dubawi, one would hope you are going to see more improvement as time goes on. “I would say that he might go for the Group 1 National Stakes on The Curragh. Seven furlongs looks his trip at the moment, but hopefully a mile will be for him further down the line.” Buick added: “Quorto really impressed me. He has done everything right at home and is just very natural.
His father Dubawi won this race in 2004 and I am sure this will give HH Sheikh Mohammed plenty of pleasure. “I was travelling so well before there became a stage in the race when I had to give him the message to go and stretch. Ideally, we would have liked something to follow for a little bit longer. “I really liked the pace he showed. He had to make up a bit of ground and did it easily. For an inexperienced 2yo, I thought he did exceptionally well. “He has plenty of speed and doesn’t need to go further for now. I am sure there will be some flashy races being looked at for him and he should make it into a lovely 3yo.”
The previous afternoon, Appleby recorded a quickfire double on day two of the July Festival, with Hamada and Al Hilalee both gaining decisive victories. Hamada and Buick completed a hat-trick of wins this year when powering to a seven length success in a 2800m handicap and a trip to Australia later in the year could be on the cards for the son of Cape Cross. Appleby said: “Hamada had a setback as a 3yo and has done nothing but thrive from run to run this year. We felt that he had come forward since his win at York and were confident that this trip is his forte. I think he will get further as well.
“We would start a campaign with the Melbourne Cup in mind. He is by Cape Cross, and is very neat and nimble, so a sounder surface is definitely better for him.” Meanwhile, Al Hilalee, under James Doyle, made a striking debut in a 1400m maiden as he overcame inexperience to beat another Godolphin runner, Al Mureib, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Pat Cosgrave. Appleby said: “Al Hilalee is out of a very good race mare, who had her own idiosyncrasies, and he has shown some today, but that experience will teach him plenty. “Once he was asked to quicken, he rolled around a bit so he is entitled to come on from the run and staying is going to be his forte.
“We will get him home and see where we are, but I have it in the back of my mind that he could be a horse for something like the Racing Post Trophy. He has a bright future.” Appleby and Buick could have tasted more success at Newmarket, but Wells Farhh Go was too strong for Loxley to catch, winning the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy Stakes by two lengths. Elsewhere, in France, Cascadian went down fighting in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat. Looking for his third straight success and fourth win in five starts, the Andre Fabreschooled Cascadian put in a solid performance under Mickael Barzalona, but could not catch Intellogent before the post.