Century can blossom in Queen’s Vase
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has a terrific record in the Queen’s Vase, and Century looks to hold leading credentials of providing him with another winner in today’s renewal (5.00).
The Ballydoyle handler has won the race three times since 2007, and saddled Leading Light to win 12 months ago en route to scoring in the St Leger at Doncaster.
In Century he has an unexposed colt who has had just three starts and looked a potentially top notch performer when making a winning debut as a juvenile.
That race was at the Curragh, and Century overcame greenness after being slowly away to keep on strongly from two out to beat Marakoush by 1 1/2 lengths.
It was a very taking performance, and one which saw Century sent off just 6/1 for the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
However, the son of Montjeu was never travelling in the mile contest at any stage and trailed in a distant last of 11 after being heavily eased two furlongs from home.
It was clear that something was amiss, and Century showed that he remained a horse with potential when making a highly promising seasonal reappearance in the Dee Stakes at Chester.
The three-year-old didn’t seem to handle the track, and got outpaced four furlongs from home when the pace lifted.
Jockey Ryan Moore then gave Century time to find his stride, and after being pulled out wide he stayed on well under tender handling to finish a 3 3/4 length fourth to stable companion Kingfisher in the 1m 2f contest.
The way Century finished off the race suggested a step up in trip would suit, and this looks a good opportunity for the colt to start living up to his tall home reputation.
The main danger is likely to be the John Gosden trained Marzocco.
The colt looked a useful prospect when making a winning debut at Kempton, and was an unlucky loser in the Investec Derby Trial at Epsom when getting badly bumped and going down by just a head to Our Channel.
The son of Kitten’s Joy then ran a really solid race when runner-up to Observational in the 1m 3f Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood when last seen in action, staying on strongly at the finish and leaving the distaint impression that today’s 2m trip would suit.