After a smart win in the July Cup over the weekend the Clive Cox-trained sprinter Lethal Force is being considered for a trip down under for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival later in the year.
The striking grey son of Dark Angel made it back-to-back Group 1’s when they backed up from their Diamond Jubilee Stakes success at Royal Ascot to take out the £500,000 Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
Connections of the champion sprinter are now weighing up where-to-next options with invitations flowing from far and wide.
“There are lots of nice options and beyond that we’ve had kind invitations from Australia and Hong Kong but we will take it one step at a time,” Cox said.
“I am delighted to have had all of the invitations and I am delighted to have a horse of such a calibre that we can think about it so we will just see how he comes back.
“I don’t see why he would not travel well – he is a four-year-old who we have brought along sensibly even though he has been campaigned at a high level.”
One of those invites comes from Racing Victoria with Lethal Force a chance to run in the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Melbourne’s famous Flemington Racecourse.
Held on Emirates Stakes Day, Saturday November 9, the Patinack Farm Classic win would also see Lethal Force take home a lucrative $600,000 Global Sprint Challenge bonus.
Along with the Patinack Farm Classic in Australia Lethal Force is also being considered for the Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin in December which is also part of the Global Sprint Series.
The July Cup quinella was the same one-two as the Diamond Jubilee with the Adam Kirby-ridden Lethal Force once again beating home Society Rock who had earlier gotten the better of them in the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes (1200m) in May.
“He is class. I jumped him out and he got into a beautiful rhythm and everything was going nicely to plan,” the winning hoop said.
“But just after the two-furlong marker I had to give him a smack and he jinked and nearly slipped. But he is a very, very good horse and he showed that by coming back after that mishap.
“He gave me a proper feel at Ascot, has improved and is a proper horse now.
“I get a big buzz from this. It gets your confidence up and I can look forward to the rest of the year.”
In third was Ireland’s Slade Power just ahead of South African’s Shea Shea in fourth who jumped favourite after their last-start King’s Stand Stakes success but who found the step up from 1000m to 1200m unsuitable.
Cox was thrilled with the July Cup result believing it finally confirmed Lethal Force as the kind of heroic racehorse he always knew he was capable of being.
“I am so proud of him because he has always promised,” he said.
“Even when he won at Royal Ascot they kind of said he was lucky and that it was a good ride, but he confirmed that he is pretty good. He has done that nicely.
“This is very special and I’m delighted to win. The course record is something I will cherish.
“You dream of days like this – it’s why you get up in the morning. It’s just amazing.”
Before deciding on their end of year grand final Cox will first take Lethal Force to Deauville in France next month for the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest (1300m).
“I would think the Maurice de Gheest is logical at this stage and that race is about four weeks away,” he said.