Almanzor’s son boosts Group 1 hopes

Almanzor’s son boosts Group 1 hopes13 Jul 2023

Castle Way has emerged as a leading G1 English St Leger prospect after the Almanzor colt completed a hat-trick of Newmarket victories.

The talented chestnut three-year-old had won his previous two outings over 2000 metres, including the Listed Newmarket Stakes, and has now added the G3 Bahrain Trophy over 2600 metres to his record.

In the process, the Charlie Appleby-trained Castle Way provided owner Godolphin with its 2000th stakes success.

He rolled along in second spot under jockey William Buick and the half-brother to multiple Group 1 winner Palace Pier stayed on gallantly to triumph in a driving finish.

“William has always had a lot of confidence in Castle Way. Even when he sat on him as a two-year-old, he said, ‘I love him’. The horse has done little wrong in his career and his only real blip was at Epsom on soft ground,” Appleby said.

“We were confident at home that the step up in trip would suit, although it is always a question mark when you are stepping up to a mile and three furlongs from a mile and a-quarter.

“The plan was always to ride him positively and I think he stayed well. William said it turned into a sprint and, when he committed, I thought he would have to find again. To be fair to the horse, he dug deep.

“We will probably go down the St Leger route now and look towards the Great Voltigeur Stakes.”

Buick said Castle Way, who has won four of his six starts, had continued to improve with racing.

“He is a very relaxed horse and I was able to put him where I wanted. My plan was to make my move and then get the fence and he kept finding a bit more and I felt I was well on top at the line.

“This horse has gone from strength to strength and has proven now, even though it was not a stamina test at the trip, that he stays relatively well. Hopefully, this has opened a few more doors for him.”

Castle Way is one of nine stakes winners for Almanzor, who sired this season’s G1 Victoria Derby winner Manzoice.