Andrew Balding: I'd love a crack at the Derby with Kameko
The Betway ambassador reflects on arguably the greatest success of his career in the 2000 Guineas and reveals the latest plans for some of his other stars.
What a fantastic – if somewhat surreal! – experience it was to win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday with Kameko.
He was an impressive winner and it’s a huge thrill for all the team. They have all worked so hard over the last few months.
It was a shame not to be able to properly congratulate connections after winning a race as usual, but the victory still gave me the same amount of elation, joy and pure satisfaction.
As I’ve said in my previous blogs, he’s come on and we’ve always been happy with him, especially as we stepped up his work routine during the spring. He’s improved after each run and has come out of Saturday fantastically well.
We don’t know where we’ll go next – it’s up to his owners to decide – but I’d love a crack at the Derby. It’s a shame that this year’s conditions have changed for the Eclipse, because that could also have been a likely next destination.
He cantered away this morning and is very well and we’re looking forward to seeing just how far our dual Group 1 winner can progress. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s very exciting to have one like him in the yard.
We had a good week last week and it was great to see most of the horses perform with credit.
Tactical ran very well on his first outing at Newmarket on Thursday. I think it’s fair to say he perhaps didn’t get the rub of the green, but the experience will not be lost on him. He will stay 6f in time but might stay over five in the short term.
Bright Devil impressed me with his success at Newmarket on Thursday. He went from the front and won well on his first career start. He’ll stay further, so I’d suggest that, if all goes well, we could see him in the Chesham Stakes.
I was very happy with Imperial Force’s debut performance. He was a good second to Creative Force of Charlie Appleby’s and, to my eye, was probably the best two-year-old we’ve seen so far this year.
It was good to get Bell Rock back to winning ways at Newmarket on Sunday. He’s a lovely horse who hit the line well. We won’t make a call just yet, but he could run next in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.
We were absolutely delighted with Dashing Willoughby. We’ve learned a lot about him and, on the basis that he goes well fresh, we’ll probably bypass Ascot. He might go to the July meeting at Newmarket next, but we’ll just take our time.
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