Cox Plate invitee Solow opened the Royal Ascot five day Carnival with a win in the Group 1 £375,000 The Queen Anne Stakes (1 mile) on Tuesday.
The French star was sent out the 11-8 favourite for the Queen Anne Stakes and made it seven wins on the trot in beating fellow French galloper Esoterique (16-1) by one length with the Aidan O’Brien trained Cougar Mountain (16-1) a neck away in the third spot.
The disappointment of the race was Hong Kong’s super star Able Friend (11-4) who wound up in sixth spot after being on the toe prior to the start.
The Freddy Head trained Solow was one of twelve international horses that Moonee Valley Racing Club Chief Executive Michael Browell had invited to compete in this year’s Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.
Head hasn’t mapped our any definite future plans for the four year old but hinted that he might return to England for the Group 1 £1m QATAR Sussex Stakes (1 mile) at Goodwood on July 29.
“Maybe the Sussex Stakes might be a race for him if he comes out of this race well. He’s a long-striding horse in terms of the Breeders’ Cup so a small track like Keeneland might not suit him,” Head told the Racing Post.
“I want him to last, so he’s not going to race that often. We will choose his races and hopefully he will run for a few more years.”
Able Friend was also among the Cox Plate international invitees and leading Hong Kong trainer John Moore couldn’t hide his disappointment in the five year olds out of character performance.
“It was disappointing. The jockey offered no explanation for the run. If one was going to look for one negative when we saddled him up he wasn’t his usual self, he was on the toe,” Moore said.
“He got down to the gates and the jockey did say that he was quite hot when he got down there. That is not normally him.
“You have got to remember animals travelling long distances, new environments and everything – I think the aura of the whole thing got to him but I am sure he will be okay and we will be looking to come back with either him or something else.”
Able Friend is still at the top of the market order for the 2015 Cox Plate at $7 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Sydney Autumn Carnival weight for age star Contributer is on the second line of betting at $8 just ahead of Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion at $9 and the Gai Waterhouse trained French import Pornichet at $11.