Bucanero Fuerte provided trainer Adrian Murray and owners Amo Racing with a first taste of Group One success with an impressive display in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.
Third behind the unbeaten River Tiber in the Coventry at Royal Ascot, the Wootton Bassett colt had since edged out the reopposing Unquestionable to lift the Group Two Railway Stakes over the Phoenix course and distance.
Unquestionable was the 15-8 favourite for the rematch as he looked to provide Aidan O’Brien with a staggering 18th victory in the race, but Bucanero Fuerte reaffirmed his superiority in no uncertain terms under Kevin Stott.
On the speed from the start, Stott’s mount kicked away from Unquestionable entering the final two furlongs and it was soon all over bar the shouting.
Porta Fortuna, the previously unbeaten Albany Stakes winner, came from further back in an attempt to bridge the gap, but Bucanero Fuerte was well on top and had four lengths in hand at the line.
Stott saluted the crowd on passing the post, having claimed his first top-level win since being appointed number one jockey for owners Amo Racing earlier this year.
“The horse of a lifetime”
Murray said: “He was very impressive. We had him here 10 days ago doing a piece of work and Robson (Aguiar) got off him and said to me ‘this is the best horse I’ve ever ridden’. He was certainly correct in that one.
“He’s a serious horse. That’s three runs and three wins here, he’s the horse of a lifetime.
“I’d say it’ll be the National Stakes now and I don’t think he’ll have any problem stepping up to seven (furlongs).
“He would prefer an ease in the ground, but he has won on good ground. The ground today would be a bit easier than the last day. He was very impressive in his maiden here on heavy ground, but it’s not an issue for him as he’s won on quick ground as well.
“It’s unbelievable and it’s hard to explain it. Robson is a master at picking horses at the sales.”
Retained rider Kevin Stott was delighted to ride a Group One winner for Amo Racing and Kia Joorabchian – a first top-level success for the burgeoning outfit.
“These are the kind of days that everyone wants and it’s just a privilege to ride these horses.
“The race didn’t really go to plan as the pacemaker didn’t jump out on terms and I had to ride my own race.
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“We’ve always thought he was nice since the first day he won here – he was a big baby back then and he’s only grown and strengthened. Adrian and Robson have done a brilliant job with him.”
Looking to the future, he said: “He’s a big horse and takes his racing very well. He settles nicely and you’d like to think he’d get further.”
“He’s done what we thought he would today”
Tom Pennington, racing manager for Amo Racing, reported that Joorabchian was “over the moon” after Group One triumph.
On the Wootton Bassett colt, Pennington added: “Robson said from day one that this was the Group One horse. We knew what we were up againt but we were quietly confident coming into today.”
On future plans, Pennington says Bucanero Fuerte is “next year’s horse” but might still line up for more lofty engagements later in the campaign.
“I’d say maybe the National Stakes / Dewburst – that might be the logical next step.
“I think he’ll be better at up to a mile next year and he’s a very exciting horse.”
- Racing TV