Journey blitzes to a first Group 1 success at Ascot on Saturday
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 3:34PM 18 OCT 2016
JOHN GOSDEN has decided against a trip to the Breeders’ Cup for So Mi Dar and Journey but both fillies are set to stay in training next year.
After an injury-interrupted season that cost her a shot at the Oaks in June, So Mi Dar finished a close third in the Prix de l’Opera at Chantilly on October 2 and although that was only her fourth run of the season, Gosden has confirmed she will not run again this season.
“She’s a very talented filly but at this stage of her life she’s like a 16-year-old ballerina,” said the Newmarket trainer. “It’s too soon to go to California with her; it’s a very long way to go and the ground is fast.
“I’ve discussed it at length with her owners and we’re very clear in our minds that that’s it for the year and we’ll focus on Del Mar and the Breeders’ Cup in 2017.
“I’m not criticising Santa Anita but I have a lot of friends out there and they’re telling me it’s riding lightning fast at the moment – the track only went in in July. We’ll relax and come back next year.”
York the next destination for Journey
Journey became a Group 1 winner with a scintillating performance in Saturday’s Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot but after discussions with her owner George Strawbridge, the decision to remain on home turf has been made.
Gosden said: “I’ve spoken to Mr Strawbridge and he wants to keep her in Europe. She’s won over a mile and a half at Ascot which is a stiff climb from Swinley Bottom to the line and it’s completely different to a mile and a quarter at Santa Anita.
“Mr Strawbridge wants to keep her here and we’ll start off in the Middleton Stakes and go from there. She’s four going on five and she’s just getting really good.”