The King’s Stand Stakes of Royal Ascot are next on the international agenda of A Case Of You after his lucrative success in Group 1 on Saturday in Dubai.
Last year’s Prix de l’Abbaye hero doubled his top-flight career in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan to secure the most valuable wins in the careers of trainer Ado McGuinness and jockey Ronan Whelan.
The nearly €800,000 first prize secured by A Case Of You in the 1 minute and 8 seconds it took to run the Al Quoz far exceeded the €674,000 in prize money McGuinness had secured in his best season yet domestically in Ireland in 2021.
McGuinness, who lives near Lusk in north County Dublin, finished ninth in last year’s Irish flat trainer championship.
Such a high-profile victory for a team outside the country’s biggest establishments provided a striking contrast to the concentration of success among the 18 Irish-trained winners at the recent Cheltenham Festival.
The five coaches at the top of the National Hunt table provided 17 of the 18 winners, including Willie Mullins’ record haul of 10. The only exception was Pádraig Roche, who won with Brazil.
McGuinness is targeting both an Abbaye defense and a visit to the Breeders’ Cup later this year but first sets up A Case Of You for a tilt at King’s Stand in June.
“He’ll be fine over a quick five stadiums at Ascot but the big ones are the Abbaye and then the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland where the five and a half stadiums with lots of juice in the ground would be ideal,” the Dubliner told media at the World Cup meeting on Saturday.
“I’ve always said this is a good horse and I think he’ll get credit now because he’s probably one of the best sprinters in the world.
“He’s a two-time Group 1 winner now and that can never be taken away from him.
“We’re still pinching each other. I’ve come a long way – I’m an overnight success after 20 years!” added McGuinness.
A Case Of You is the third favorite for King’s Stand at 9-1 behind US star Golden Pal and Australian sprinter Nature Strip.
His weekend win was a notable early international blow for the Irish connections in 2022 at a meet that saw Frankie Dettori win the $12 million World Cup on Country Grammer for controversial US coach Bob Baffert.
California resident Baffert is embroiled in lawsuits in the US after being suspended from horse running in Kentucky. This is due to the failed drug test of Medina Spirit, who won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs last year.
Otherwise, World Cup night provided further evidence of the emerging power of Japanese racing with four wins for domestically trained horses.
It included Shahryar’s win at the Sheema Classic and Panthalassa’s dramatic dead heat with John Gosden’s Lord North at the Dubai Turf.
“These [Japanese] Horses are so tough. They beat us in Saudi Arabia at six [Saudi Cup meeting] and they came here and won four races,” said Gosden.
Aidan O’Brien’s top Classics contender Luxemburg is a 16-1 shot with Paddy Power, making him the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to win the England Triple Crown this season.
Last year’s Futurity winner worked on Saturday after the race at the Curragh, where the 2022 national flat campaign began on grass.
O’Brien confirmed that both Luxembourg and National Stakes runners-up Point Lonsdale will be targeted at the 2,000 Guineas in Newmarket late next month.
“He [Luxembourg] all very well done and nicely finished. Ryan [Moore] seemed very pleased with him. I was also very satisfied with Point Lonsdale.
“We’ll see how they come out of that, but we’re considering targeting both at Newmarket,” O’Brien said.
Cheveley Park winners Tenebrism are also on course to clash with Inspiral in the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas.
O’Brien needs another Classic win in England to match the record for England Classic wins at 41 alone.
He is currently ranked 40th with 19th-century coach John Scott, who collected his tally between 1827 and 1863. These included the 1853 Triple Crown with Western Australia.
Newbury’s Lockinge Stakes is next for O’Brien’s Mother Earth, who contributed to that classic haul in the 1,000 Guineas last year.
She made a successful return in Saturday’s Group 3 Park Express Stakes.
Also, last year’s Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes winner Perfect Power will be putting his 2,000 Guineas credentials to the test in Newbury’s Greenham Stakes.
The seven-mile race, which has historically proved a stepping stone to Guinean glory, including for Frankel, will see Richard Fahey’s star not be burdened with a Group 1 penalty.
Perfect Power is as low as 11-1 for the Guineas, despite never driving more than six furlongs as a two-year-old.
“He’s in great shape. We are very happy with him. Physically he has developed very well and we will probably start him in Greenham,” said Fahey on Sunday.
“He comes in without a Group 1 penalty. It’s the only Group Three earlier in the year he ends up in without a penalty.
“Going from six to seven would be better than going from six to a mile. After that we will get an idea.”