Golden Pal Given Breeders' Cup Assignment After Nunthorpe Flop

Golden Pal

Wesley Ward's star sprinter Golden Pal has now been aimed at the Breeders' Cup meeting at Del Mar in November after he flopped in the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes.

Golden Pal has been a superb sprinter for the yard having been unleashed to British viewers when finishing an extremely close second in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, just being beat by the Michael Bell trained The Lir Jet.

He was set for the Nunthorpe at York in 2020 after that event but instead was kept in America where he went on to land a Stakes contest in taking style.

That set him up perfectly for the Breeders' Cup meeting where he took on a strong field of 13 runners and coming from a horrible draw he managed to clear away from the field at Keeneland to land the Grade Two Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Having suffered a slight setback he missed the King's Stands Stakes at Royal Ascot but instead was then seen winning the Group Three Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga.

His season to date has been set up for a crack at the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York, and having flew out the gates and looking at one stage the one to beat, he ultimately blew up and was well beaten by many in the field.

(Credit ATR) “He came home safe and sound and is back here training at Keeneland like he never left,” said Ward.

“Every trainer is different, but historically for me, when I bring a horse back from a long lay-off and they run a big race like he did at Saratoga, they need a little bit more time before they run again.

“I knew how important the Nunthorpe was to the Coolmore team for his stallion career, as opposed to the Flying Five (at the Curragh in September), so I factored that in and there was no real reason not to run, with the exception of the time factor.

“Every horse is different and this horse trained beautiful going into it and came out of the race beautiful, so I think it was just a question of it kind of zapped him from the inside, that first big race he had (at Saratoga).”

Ward is now keen to give him another big race target where he can show his true colours throughout the whole of the race and although it is likely he will run before it, the Breeders' Cup is the big target in November.

Ward added: “We’ll make a decision on whether we run him in the Woodford here at Keeneland (October 9) and then aim for the Breeders’ Cup – I think that will be the plan.

“Hopefully he can run right here on his home track and he’ll bounce forward right into the Breeders’ Cup and show what he is.”