Wootton Bassett's Royal Patronage Makes All in the Acomb

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Royal Patronage | PA Media

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Trading as the largely unconsidered 25-1 outsider-of-five for Wednesday's G3 Tattersalls Acomb S. at York, Highclere Thoroughbred Racing's Royal Patronage (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) turned that logic on its head with a command performance from the front. Coming off an impressive five-length success over this seven-furlong trip in an Epsom novice July 29, the bay was on his mettle at the break and a sharp getaway yielded immediate control. Unflustered on the lead down the centre of the track in the straight, he bore all the hallmarks of a typical Mark Johnston galloper to record an ultimately comfortable 2 1/4-length success from Imperial Fighter (Ire) (The Gurkha {Ire}), with TDN Rising Star and 7-4 favourite Dubawi Legend (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) two lengths further adrift in third with no excuses. “I was very confident of this lad, he gave me a nice feel at Epsom and the way he was travelling down the straight I thought it would take a good one to pass me,” winning jockey Jason Hart said. “For a two-year-old, he's a sort of push-button type of ride. He's all there. I think he's fine at seven for the time being, but I don't see any reason why he wouldn't get a mile.”

Royal Patronage, who was fifth on his debut over six furlongs here May 22 before finishing four-lengths second to the subsequent G2 Superlative S. winner Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) in a Sandown maiden upped to this distance June 11, had looked a colt of above-average ability in a decent contest at Epsom last time. His starting price here may have had more to do with the reputations of the unexposed TDN Rising Stars Dubawi Legend and Ehraz (GB) (Showcasing {GB}), but there is no doubt that it was inflated given the nature of his display on the famed Downs. “We thought he deserved to be here, in hindsight it's easy to say 'it was no surprise',” Johnston said. “Anything that wins the Acomb is a potential Guineas horse. We had him over six furlongs the first time and that was probably a bit of a liberty, as he'll stay further in time.”

Royal Patronage is the first foal out of the Aga Khan cast-off Shaloushka (Ire) (Dalakhani {Ire}), who was bought by Blandford Bloodstock for €100,000 at the 2008 Arqana December Sale. She is a half-sister to the G1 Irish Derby third Shalapour (Ire) (Darshaan {GB}) and to the dam of the group 3-placed duo Shikarpour (Ire) (Dr Fong) and Shebella (Ire) (Dubai Destination) from the family of Shahrastani. Her 2021 colt is by Magna Grecia (Ire).

Wednesday, York, Britain
TATTERSALLS ACOMB S.-G3, £100,000, York, 8-18, 2yo, 7fT, 1:23.56, gd.
1–ROYAL PATRONAGE (FR), 127, c, 2, by Wootton Bassett (GB)
1st Dam: Shaloushka (Ire), by Dalakhani (Ire)
2nd Dam: Shalama (Ire), by Kahyasi (Ire)
3rd Dam: Shademah (Ire), by Thatch
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN; 1ST GROUP WIN. (62,000gns Ylg '20 TATOCT). O-Highclere Thoroughbred Racing (Woodland Walk); B-Emma Capon Bloodstock (FR); T-Mark Johnston; J-Jason Hart. £56,710. Lifetime Record: 4-2-1-0, $88,272. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Imperial Fighter (Ire), 127, c, 2, The Gurkha (Ire)–Endure (Ire), by Green Desert. (£30,000 Ylg '20 GOFOR). O-Michael Blencowe; B-Lynn Lodge Stud (IRE); T-Andrew Balding. £21,500.
3–Dubawi Legend (Ire), 127, c, 2, Dubawi (Ire)–Lovely Pass (Ire), by Raven's Pass. O-Dr Ali Ridha; B-Rabbah Bloodstock Ltd (IRE); T-Hugo Palmer. £10,760.
Margins: 2 1/4, 2, 1. Odds: 25.00, 5.50, 1.75.
Also Ran: Noble Truth (Fr), Ehraz (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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