Sangster dreaming of Guineas glory with Shuwari

By Sports Desk October 16, 2023

Shuwari will be pointed towards the Qipco 1000 Guineas, with Ollie Sangster delighted to have unearthed a Classic contender in his first season in the training ranks.

The daughter of New Bay has been the standout performer of Sangster’s Manton-based string during the early stages of his career and capped a fine juvenile campaign by finishing second to Aidan O’Brien’s Ylang Ylang in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

Shuwari fell victim to the winner’s superior stamina in the closing stages of that Group One event but Sangster was more than happy to come so close to registering a first top-table success as attentions turn to next season.

Sangster said: “It was great and we were delighted. If you could have told me at the start of the season that I would have a horse contesting a Group One, let alone finishing second, I would have been thrilled.

“Obviously, we all want to win and to come so close was tough, but she ran fantastically and gives us a lot to look forward to next year.

“I see us being a miler and I suspect the winner will probably end up getting a bit further. I think in the last 50 yards, Shuwari just got outstayed really.

“You dream to have a horse like this any year, so for one to come along now is just great.”

Another trip to Newmarket for the 1000 Guineas is now firmly on the radar and having had the honour of being the young handler’s first runner in a Group One, she could be his first in one of racing’s crown jewel events when she returns next spring.

However, her route back to the Rowley Mile is still to be finalised, with Newbury’s Fred Darling looking the most likely destination if an early-season tune-up is required.

Sangster added: “Touch wood she can stay healthy through the winter and the spring and hopefully that (the 1000 Guineas) will be on our agenda.

“She’s not a filly I feel I would need to (run before) and she’s kind of straightforward to train, but if I did, I suspect I would probably go for the Fred Darling.

“Newbury is our local track and she also has the course experience already, so I wouldn’t feel the need to go back to Newmarket probably. But equally she could easily go straight there.”

Sangster is also retaining plenty of faith in Per Contra, who after two eye-catching victories in minor events, finished fifth when upped in class for the Autumn Stakes.

“I thought he ran a nice enough race,” continued the trainer.

“Obviously, it was a big step up in class and completely different tempo to what he has had before. In reality, it was sort of his first proper race and his first two races have been fairly non-events where he has won them straightforward.

“He will have learned a lot and I kind of wish he had just got into the race a bit earlier. James (Doyle, jockey) kind of had the revs up the whole way. He made a nice mid-race move and then he just got tired.

“If he had got a tow into the race, he may have finished a bit closer, but in reality, he ran a nice race and hopefully he will have learned a lot for next season.

“He’s a big horse and a horse for next year. I suspect a mile will be his minimum – a mile, mile and a quarter. He’s a big horse and should do very well from two to three over the winter.”

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