The Richard Hannon trained Ventura Tormenta put in a very disappointing performance last time out in the Group One Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh and it has left his connections confused.
The two year old son of Acclamation two starts ago gave the performance of his career when landing the Group Two Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly seeing off a strong challenge from Norfolk Stakes winner The Lir Jet.
However, getting his chance in he big time and stepping up to the Group One Phoenix Stakes he completely flopped finishing last of the 10 runners and it has left his trainer and owners Middleham Park racing with questions that need answering.
(Credit ATR) Tim Palin, racing manager for the owners said: “We’re struggling for an explanation really.
“Even if we nicked a couple of lengths off The Lir Jet at the start in the Papin, he should have been within a couple of lengths of him at the weekend.
“We think the ground, while officially good to yielding and it was good to soft at Chantilly, we think the going at the Curragh was softer than France even though they sort of read the same.
“We’re pretty certain now soft ground doesn’t suit him and that he needs quick ground to be at his best.
“Even if we’d absolutely run our race and finished with The Lir Jet we’d have still been in put in our place by an outstanding winner (Lucky Vega). So no excuses, we might not be good enough to win a Group One but there might be reasons to explain why he didn’t finish closer.
“I think we need to chase fast ground. Unless the Prix Morny is run on quick ground and looks like it’s cutting up we wouldn’t go there.
“We could look at the Gimcrack with a penalty if the ground is going to be quick or the Flying Childers makes sense as he wouldn’t have a penalty – but that means going back to five (furlongs) and you’re in the lap of the gods with the ground at Doncaster in September.
“One thing Richard did mention was the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Turf Sprint). He thinks almost six furlongs round a bend could be right up his street.”