Group One winner Supremacy for Clive Cox has been given the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot as his early season target, with the experienced handler having a superb group of three year olds heading into the new flat season.
Cox's three year old laid down a big gauntlet for the rest of the sprinting division last season by landing the Group Two Richmond Stakes by four lengths at Glorious Goodwood, following in the footsteps of his sire Mehmas.
This came on just his third run in his career, where before he had landed a nice event at Windsor and after that Cox was dreaming big with the pacy youngster.
Having skipped the Prix Morny and Gimcrack Stakes to be fresh for the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, it paid off as he ran out a smart winner of the event.
Cox is now looking for him to follow in the footsteps of his stable star Golden Horde and head into the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June.
Other smart sprinters in the yard are Group Two Coventry Stakes winner Nando Parrado who looks set for the 2000 Guineas and also Isabella Giles, who is likely to end up in the second Classic of the flat season.
(Credit ATR)“I’m very pleased with all three of them,” he said.
“Supremacy will stay at six furlongs, so we’re looking at the Pavilion, the normal sprinting route – with possibly the Sandy Lane en route to Royal Ascot and the Commonwealth.
“He’s wintered really well and looks very strong. I’m very pleased with him indeed.”
Talking about Nando Parrado the handler added: "Nando has done very well after a good season last year, winning at Royal Ascot and then positive Group One performances in the Morny and the Lagardere.
“We’ll be looking at one of the trials for him – but I very much intend to run him in the Guineas, all being well.
“He does handle soft ground but won at Ascot on a quicker surface. I’m pleased with how he has done physically.
“He was a very able two-year-old who has done well over the winter so I see no reason why he can’t maintain that performance at the top level at three.”
The filly Isabella Giles was highly consistent throughout the season with her win in the Group Two Rockfel Stakes being her best performance of the season at Newmarket.
“The filly has done very well too – she’s done some nice work and is making good progress,” said Cox.“I think she had a busy enough time in the autumn, and we probably ran her once too many by the time of the Fillies’ Mile, and she’d just gone off the boil.
“I would be very pleased with her now. She’s a Group Two winner at two, and her work is pleasing me at the moment to suggest we can look forward to what she does at three.
“It’s really nice to have the conversations we’re having at this stage, and we’re looking forward to more of them hopefully as the season progresses.”