Tabor hails Dewhurst hero Troy as ‘our Frankel’

By Sports Desk October 14, 2023

Coolmore’s Michael Tabor described City Of Troy as “our Frankel” after his superb triumph in the Native Trail’s Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

The colt arrived at the track unbeaten after easy wins in a Curragh maiden and the Superlative Stakes, but he was far from a guaranteed contender as the soft ground threatened to scupper his run.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien eventually gave the son of Justify the go-ahead and under Ryan Moore he was sent off the runaway favourite at 8-15.

The juvenile made all the running to cruise to a three-and-a-half-length victory and now the Classics, and indeed a possible Triple Crown bid, beckon.

Owned by Coolmore, a group comprised of John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, the colt has exalted company to contend with but is still regarded as one of the best, if not the best, horse to have ever represented the owners.

Tabor was at the Rowley Mile track to witness the victory and was effusive in his praise for a horse he hopes can develop into Coolmore’s answer to the great Frankel, who bowed out unbeaten in 14 starts with 11 of those victories coming in Group One company.

“This horse is our Frankel, I really think that. There is no question in my mind, by his comments, that Aidan thinks this horse is probably the best he’s ever trained,” he said.

“He was nervous with the ground and when you tackle that unknown factor, there’s always a chance that they just won’t do it. He’s got that action, that very low action, but they say that a good horse goes on any ground.

“This is a good horse and he obviously does go on any ground, but I’d say he’ll be much better on top of the ground.

“I know the way Aidan speaks and we’re all optimists – you have to be in life in my opinion, in this game especially – but this horse is special. No question, he is special. He is the real deal.

“Let’s hope he is as popular as Frankel was but he’ll only get that popularity as time goes. Hopefully as time goes on he’ll win all the big races and the accolades will be given to him. I like to talk before the event and I really feel that this horse could be anything.

“It’s always been John Magnier’s dream to win the Triple Crown and we were very unlucky years ago with Camelot, he got beaten a three-quarters of a length in the St Leger.

“The St Leger trip can be a trip too far but let’s take one at a time, to me the Guineas and the Derby are very realistic. Get me a bookmaker that would lay me a price!

“Aidan says this horse doesn’t get tired! Aidan is very enthusiastic, if he doesn’t believe in something then the yard doesn’t believe in it and you have to give people confidence, but I know the way he is and this is something special.”

The owner’s son MV Magnier echoed the dream of finally winning the Triple Crown after Camelot’s agonising defeat.

He said: “It looks like it’s possible. Beforehand I was talking to Ryan and he said the horse that he rode in the Superlative was the best two-year-old that he’s ridden and he would beat any two-year-old he’s seen. That was some confidence going into the race and then afterwards he said he’s definitely the best two-year-old he’s ridden.

“His mother (Together Forever) won the Fillies’ Mile here a few years ago and her sister won the Oaks. Justify, Bob Baffert always said that he was a very good two-year-old but he got injured, he won the Belmont Stakes over a mile and a half so technically, he should get a mile and a half.

“It’s what everybody wants to do, it’s all about the Derby, it’s all about the Triple Crown, it’s really the pinnacle that everybody aims for. I’ll put it to you this way, we’ll keep trying to win the Triple Crown.”

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