Already the proud holder of a free ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), British-based Perfect Power scored another in Sunday’s “Win and You’re In” Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville. The Richard Fahey trainee kicked off his Breeders’ Cup Challenge double in the June 17 Norfolk (G2) at Royal Ascot.
Coming off a troubled fifth in the July 29 Richmond (G2) at Glorious Goodwood, Perfect Power briefly evoked a sense of déjà vu at Deauville. The 3.80-1 chance scrimmaged with Trident as both launched bids from the back of the pack, but this time, Perfect Power had enough room to deploy his turn of foot.
The Morny pace also offered a much better set-up than the crawl of the Richmond. Fellow Royal Ascot winner Quick Suzy, who captured the Queen Mary (G2) for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, flashed speed on the stands’ side, while 123-1 longshot Solotov raced exuberantly on the opposite wing. Perfect Power was anchored on that far side until Christophe Soumillon opted to tack over in search of a path, and he had to win the barging match with Trident to secure it.
Asymmetric, the Richmond winner, knifed between foes to strike the front, but the tandem of Perfect Power and Trident were now in top gear. Perfect Power finished with a flourish to pull 1 1/4 lengths clear of Trident, with Asymmetric another half-length back in third.
Armor, the 2.40-1 favorite on the strength of his Molecomb (G3) win, checked in a close fourth in his first try beyond five furlongs. He edged his Richard Hannon stablemate, Gubbass, who snared fifth from Have a Good Day and Baghed. Next came Toimy Son; Quick Suzy; Fahey’s other runner, Khunan; Velocidad; January Moon; Josejosephine; and Solotov.
Quick Suzy could prefer reverting to five furlongs, the distance of the Juvenile Turf Sprint. Considering that her Queen Mary came at that trip on good-to-firm, that is arguably more relevant to her Breeders’ Cup hopes than the Morny at about six furlongs on good-to-soft.
Perfect Power clocked 1:10.81 and advanced his scorecard to 5-3-0-1. Sheikh Rashid Dalmook al Maktoum’s runner was a slow-starting third in his Newcastle debut before an impressive last-to-first performance at Hamilton. A 14-1 overlay at Royal Ascot, Perfect Power surged late to head Go Bears Go in the five-furlong Norfolk.
His running style implied that six furlongs would suit him. Although the Richmond was inconclusive as a messy race for him, the Morny proved his effectiveness over the extra panel. Now Perfect Power will set his sights on the Sept. 25 Middle Park (G1) at Newmarket.
“I’m just delighted,” Fahey said. “It looked a very solid race there today. Christophe gave him a very confident ride, and it got tight for two strides or so, but he came through it, which was great.
“He’ll definitely go for the Middle Park next. It’s not often you make a plan for a horse, but the two races myself and Sheikh Rashid mentioned were the Prix Morny and then the Middle Park, and it’s very nice to have one in the bag already.”
Bred by Tally-Ho Stud in Ireland, Perfect Power is from the first crop of Ardad, a Kodiac stallion who was himself a top juvenile sprinter. The £110,000 Goffs UK Breeze Up purchase is also the first foal from the Frozen Power mare Sagely, who descends from the deep family of 1998 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) winner Sagamix; fellow French highweights Sagacity and Sageburg; and multiple Group 1-winning brothers Japan and Mogul. This same female line is responsible for recent Prix Rothschild (G1) near-misser Sagamiyra.
Also at Deauville Sunday, reigning Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) champion Audarya was just mugged on the line in her Prix Jean Romanet (G1) title defense. The 23-1 Grand Glory sprang the upset by a short head, and Irish shipper Thundering Nights was third.
Audarya’s trainer, James Fanshawe, told Racing Post that she could return to France for the Oct. 3 Prix de l’Opera (G1) and possibly go for a Breeders’ Cup repeat at Del Mar.