Heavy Metal – the 2yo colt out of the Ascot-bred Rock Opera champion 2yo filly won the Gr2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday.
Runner-up in the Listed Woodcote S. over this trip at Epsom June 2 following wins at Brighton and Newmarket, Heavy Metal was unlucky not to finish closer than ninth after meeting trouble in running in the G2 Coventry S. at Royal Ascot June 19.
Subsequently last of seven on soft ground in the G2 July S. at Newmarket July 12, the bay bounced back on this far livelier surface to battle to a first black-type success. Always in the front rank, he took the lead passing halfway and gamely held off the Richard Hannon trainee Master of War in the run to the line.
“He battled very well and always does,” jockey Joe Fanning said. “He traveled well today and I just sat on him. He seemed better for a lead and is very game.” Trainer Mark Johnston added, “He’s seen the trip out well today, and clearly he wasn’t right last time. He just hasn’t been seeing his races out, and that’s been the story over the last month to six weeks for us. Whether it’s deserved or not, our horses have a reputation for finishing their races and always running on at the end, but they haven’t been doing that. We’ve had a lot of infections and respiratory disease, which is probably related to the weather we’ve had, and once it gets in there it spreads like wildfire around the yard.” Connections are considering a tilt at the G2 Gimcrack S. at York Aug. 24, where he could renew rivalry with the runner-up.2 August, Goodwood, Britain
AUDI RICHMOND S.G2, 70,000, 8-2, 2yo, c/g, 6fT, 1:11.41, gd.
1 - HEAVY METAL (GB), 126, c, 2, by Exceed and Excel (Aus); 1st Dam: Rock Opera (SAf) – Drummer Girl (SAf) (Al Mufti) – bred by Ascot Stud (South Africa), chp. 2yo in SAf. 4w (2) 4sts (2) in SAf, $79,777, placed in 6sts (4,5) in UAE, $36,000. 1st Allan Robertson Fillies Championship (SAf-G1), Ascot Stud Fillies Nursery (SAf-G2), 3rd Gulf News UAE One Thousand Guineas (UAE). Dam of 2 foals, both starters, 1 winner HEAVY METAL (GB). O-Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum; B-Darley; T-Mark Johnston; J-Joe Fanning; 39,697. Lifetime Record: 7-3-1-0, 55,878.
2 - Master of War (GB), 126, c, 2, Compton Place (GB)-Mamma Morton (Ire), by Elnadim. (28,000gns wnlg 10 TATDEC). O-M S Al Shahi; B-R J Cornelius;T-Richard Hannon; ,15,050. 3 - Cay Verde (GB), 126, c, 2, Bahamian Bounty (GB)-All Quiet (GB), by Piccolo (GB). (,27,000 yrl 11DONAUG). O-Qatar Racing Ltd; B-Lady Whent; T-Mick Channon; ,7,532.
Margins: HF, 2, NK. Odds: 9-1, 3-1, 4-1.
Also Ran: Ginger Goose (GB), Euxton Hall (Ire), Top Boy (GB), Ahern (GB), Secret Sign (GB)