By Nicholas Godfrey
Royal Ascot could be on the agenda in 2020 for Breeders’ Cup winner Sharing, with trainer Graham Motion keen to consider the Coronation Stakes for the star two-year-old.
The daughter of top sprinter Speightstown beat British visitor Daahyeh by a length and a quarter to win the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita at the beginning of the month.
With Prix Marcel Boussac winner Albigna coming fourth, the form looks strong – and English-born Motion, who won the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup with Animal Kingdom, said he plans to discuss Royal Ascot with Sharing’s owners.
“She’d be a good one to bring over and certainly the Coronation is a race I will mention,” said the Maryland-based trainer, who saddled Miss Temple City to finish fourth in the Group One event in 2015.
“Miss Temple City ran really well in that race and this filly is probably just a little ahead of where she was at this stage of the game, so this is definitely something in the back of my mind as a possibility in the spring.”
Sharing was making her debut in Graded-stakes company at Santa Anita after scoring in minor events at Saratoga and Laurel Park for her partnership owners, Eclipse Thoroughbreds and Gainesway Stable.
“We’ll give her a little break now, but I thought she beat two pretty solid Group One European horses at Santa Anita and that speaks well for her participating next year,” added Motion.
“The Flaxman filly (Albigna) probably was left with too much to do because it’s so much quicker over here, but I’ve watched the race a couple of times and I thought the other filly gave herself a pretty good chance. She was never that far behind us during the running of the race.”
Motion was born in Cambridge and brought up at his parents’ Herringswell Manor Stud in Newmarket before the family relocated to the States in 1980.
Based at Fair Hill in Maryland, the 55-year-old has now saddled nearly 2,500 winners, among them four Breeders’ Cup successes and the 2011 Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom, who won the Dubai World Cup two years later.
“One of my ambitions is to come home to England to win a race,” he explained.
“To win a race in Europe would be a goal of mine – whether it’s Ascot or somewhere else – but now that we’ve been to Ascot a couple of times, we have that familiarity, whereas it’s always going to be a bit adventurous to try somewhere like Newmarket!”
Motion’s first visit to Royal Ascot ended in disappointment when Animal Kingdom was well beaten in the Queen Anne in 2013, but Miss Temple City twice made the frame in three trips to England.
“That first year with Animal Kingdom was very daunting; it was very daunting thing to take on,” admitted Motion.
“But now we’ve done it a few times I wouldn’t really want to go back just for the heck of it. I want to go back and feel good about doing it.”
Sharing would probably not be the only US Breeders’ Cup winner at the Royal meeting, as regular visitor Wesley Ward is eyeing the meeting for Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Four Wheel Drive and fourth-placed Kimari.
Looking even further afield, Winx’s trainer Chris Waller has mentioned Royal Ascot with Everest winner Yes Yes Yes and Nature Strip, who won the Darley Sprint Classic at Flemington on her most recent outing.