Passenger Strikes Late to Secure Eighth Huxley for Sir Michael Stoute

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Last term's G1 Derby 12th Passenger (Ulysses {Ire}–Dilmun, by War Front) continued on his pathway back to the highest level when striking late to secure a record-extending eighth renewal for veteran maestro Sir Michael Stoute in Friday's G2 Huxley S. at Chester.

Flaxman Stables' homebred 4-year-old settled into a smooth rhythm, within range of the leaders, in fifth for most of the extended 10-furlong test. Making eyecatching headway on the bridle into contention rounding the home turn, the 7-4 second favourite swept by last term's G2 Princess Of Wales's S. victor Israr (GB) (Muhaarar {GB}) with 100 yards remaining and drew off from there to score by an ultimately comfortable 1 1/2-length margin in track-record time. The winner's slow-starting stablemate Regal Reality (GB) (Intello {Ger}) made late headway to finish 5 1/2 lengths adrift in third.

Passenger, untested as a juvenile, opened up last term with victory in Newmarket's famed “Wood Ditton” before hitting the board in York's May 18 G2 Dante S. and came back off a break after his Derby reversal to close his sophomore campaign with a stakes breakthrough in August's G3 Winter Hill S. at Windsor when last seen.

“I had a good chat with Ryan [Moore] yesterday, we wanted to use Israr for as long as possible really and it's nice when a race goes to plan,” said Richard Kingscote. “This lad does battle, but obviously he's still lightly raced. We had to have a good battle at Windsor last year when I probably got to the front a little early. Today, when he went by, he didn't hesitate and he put the race to bed really nicely. The Dante was a mess, I overcomplicated things and that was always going to be how we rode the race today. It's nice when things go our way. I think I let the horse down a couple of times last year, this went better so hopefully we can keep going forward. Sir Michael doesn't like bigging them up, but he's a very likeable horse. The race was smooth for him, but you could just feel he was learning a bit on the job which is why I just feel Sir Michael loves coming here. He's one to look forward to. Sir Michael has been at the top table a very long time, there's a group of people who love him and are delighted to see him do well. Hopefully we've got another nice one.”

Pedigree Notes

Passenger, the second of four live foals, is one of two scorers produced by a winning half-sister to G3 Flame Of Tara S. victrix Liquid Amber (Kitten's Joy). The March-foaled bay's second dam, MGSW GI Spinster S. and G1 Personal Ensign Invitational runner-up Pachattack (Pulpit), is a daughter of Listed Chalice S. second El Laoob (Red Ransom) and thus kin to the stakes-winning La Mina (Mineshaft), G3 Thoroughbred Breeders S. runner-up El Sagrado (GB) (Azamour {Ire}) and the dual stakes-placed Absolute Crackers (Ire) (Giant's Causeway). Passenger's dam Dilmun (War Front), who was bred to McKinzie last year, has the unraced 2-year-old colt Proteus (Karakontie {Jpn}) and a yearling filly by Karakontie (Jpn) to come.


Friday, Chester, Britain
IRE-INCENTIVE, IT PAYS TO BUY IRISH HUXLEY S.-G2, £130,000, Chester, 5-10, 4yo/up, 10f 70yT, 2:05.24 (NTR), g/f.
1–PASSENGER, 129, c, 4, by Ulysses (Ire)
1st Dam: Dilmun, by War Front
2nd Dam: Pachattack, by Pulpit
3rd Dam: El Laoob, by Red Ransom
O-Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd; B-Flaxman Holdings Ltd (KY); T-Sir Michael Stoute; J-Richard Kingscote. £72,826. Lifetime Record: 5-3-0-1, $166,794. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Israr (GB), 129, h, 5, Muhaarar (GB)–Taghrooda (GB), by Sea The Stars (Ire). O/B-Shadwell Estate Company Ltd (GB); T-John & Thady Gosden. £27,729.
3–Regal Reality (GB), 129, g, 9, Intello (Ger)–Regal Realm (GB), by Medicean (GB). O-Peter Done; B-Cheveley Park Stud Ltd (GB); T-Sir Michael Stoute. £13,884.
Margins: 1HF, 5HF, HF. Odds: 1.75, 1.63, 11.00.
Also Ran: Mashhoor (GB), Hans Andersen (GB), Oviedo (Ire). Scratched: Certain Lad (GB), Royal Rhyme (Ire), Sunchart (GB).

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