'He Has An Amazing Temperament': Boughey on Coventry Favourite Asadna

Soprano and Asadna working in Newmarket on Tuesday with Charles Eddery and William Buick | Emma Berry


NEWMARKET, UK–George Boughey is aiming to build on his two winners at Royal Ascot last year by taking a team of around 20 to next week's meeting, led by the G2 Coventry S. favourite Asadna (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}).

Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah's colt, who earned a TDN Rising Star with his 12-length win at Ripon on his sole start, will be ridden by William Buick, who partnered him in a gallop on Tuesday morning. Buick will also ride Soprano (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) in the G3 Albany S. 

“The two-year-olds will probably be leading the charge,” said Boughey, who also plans to send Muqtahem (Ire) (Soldier's Call {Ire}) to either the G2 Norfolk S. or Windsor Castle S., and Graceful Thunder (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}) for the G2 Queen Mary S.

“Asadna was very good at Chelmsford in a piece of work the other day. Oisin Murphy rode him there and William rode him this morning and was very happy.

“He has a super attitude. I think we will watch him walk round the paddock ahead of the Coventry like he is here in the paddock. He'll go there with a good chance.

“He just has an amazing temperament. He doesn't sweat, he doesn't do anything wrong. He's a very sound horse. He just loves his work.”

Hosting owners and press at his stable on Tuesday morning, Boughey took all of his Ascot hopefuls onto the nearby watered gallop alongside the Rowley Mile. Soprano, owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, won at Newmarket on Guineas weekend, beating Midnight Affair (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), who subsequently won Saturday's Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley.

“Soprano was very good at Newmarket,” Boughey added. “She's certainly not a five-furlong horse. When she steps up in trip we'll see a better filly.”

Amo Racing's retained jockey Kevin Stott was aboard Graceful Thunder, a winner on debut at Sandown, alongside Pat Cosgrave and Pontefract winner Muqtahem, who could bid to emulate his sire Soldier's Call by winning the Listed Windsor Castle S.

“The two-year-olds are still learning. We worked six, and four of them will go to Ascot,” Boughey said. 

“I didn't find anything out, necessarily. They are just teaching each other as they go along. Asadna, Soprano, Muqtahem, Graceful Thunder, they are all going to their respective races and it was all pretty straightforward work, but they all pleased me.”

Among his older horses, Boughey has two candidates for the G1 Commonwealth Cup in Al Dasim (Ire) (Harry Angel {Ire}) and Believing (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), who each have Group 3 wins to their credit already this year, in Dubai and France respectively. 

He said of Al Dasim, “He was meant to go to the Sandy Lane and we just weren't happy with the ground that day for him. He needs fast ground and I don't think we'll see the same horse at Ascot if we do get the rain. His work on fast ground is much better. He worked well on the watered gallop with a bit of ease in the ground and he's in good shape; I couldn't be happier with him.”

George Boughey alongside his string in Newmarket on Tuesday | Emma Berry


Having saddled both Inver Park (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) and Missed The Cut (Quality Road) to win at Royal Ascot last year, Boughey, who now has just over 100 horses across three yards in Newmarket, is understandably hungry for more success. 

He added, “This is by far the best team we've had [going to Ascot] so far. It's the international stage. We're trying to find horses to run around the world, everyone's there and it really is the be-all-and-end-all for us at this time of the year. Obviously the better two-year-old races happen towards the end of the year but at the moment this is what everyone is gearing up to. It's the feature event.”

The trainer notched an important first Classic win in 2022 with Cachet (Ire) (Aclaim {Ire}) in the 1,000 Guineas, and the Highclere-owned filly has not raced since running at Royal Ascot last year.

“Cachet looks better than she has all spring,” Boughey noted. “It wasn't fair to take her straight to Royal Ascot after a year off the track, running six furlongs for the first time, and I also didn't think it was fair to run her in a Group 2 over a mile, not having been a convincing stayer on the stiff track.

“I haven't really got a plan at the moment. She's training away nicely, but at the end of the day, her main target is a mares' sale at the end of the year.

“She wasn't right to go to a sale at the end of last year and we will try to have her as busy as she can be into December, but I'm not going to rush her. She's a valuable filly and doesn't really need to prove anything else.”

He added, “She has done a couple of bits [of work], but she's not sparkled yet and we know what she can do, so we've given her plenty of time. I don't know why she hasn't [sparkled]. It's very warm now and she is starting to thrive, but it has been a pretty hard spring for them and she just hasn't for some reason.”

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