Justify Doubles Up on Juvenile European Champions
It was a championship double for Justify in Europe with City Of Troy named Europe’s Champion 2-Year-Old Colt and Opera Singer named Europe’s Champion 2-Year-Old Filly.
City Of Troy was an exciting juvenile last year when winning all three of his starts by a combined 12 ½ lengths. Those three victories included a win in the Group I Dewhurst Stakes by 3 ½ lengths and a 6 ½-length Group II Superlative Stakes victory.
Out of Group I winner Together Forever, City Of Troy was rated second among all 13 European champion juvenile colts trained by Aidan O’Brien with a 125 rating, behind only Johannesburg.
“City Of Troy proved himself the cream of the two-year-old crop in Europe with three impressive performances between July and October. His rating of 125 places him alongside high-class horses such as Zafonic and Fasliyev at the same stage of their careers and behind only four-time Group I-winning juvenile Johannesburg among his own stable's illustrious roll call of European champion two-year-olds,” said Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board Handicapper Mark Bird.
O’Brien noted that City Of Troy will likely start 2024 in the Group I 2000 Guineas as the stable’s leading classic hope.
Together Forever has an Uncle Mo juvenile filly to come.
Opera Singer earned a sex-leading 118 rating to be named Europe’s Champion 2-Year-Old Filly.
Making five starts in 2023, Opera Singer won three of those with a close second in the fourth. Just like City Of Troy, she proved to be an impressive winner with her wins coming by a combined 12 ¾ lengths. She ended her campaign with a five-length runaway victory in the Group I Prix Marcel Boussac.
“Opera Singer was a filly who improved with every run as the year went on and she got better as she went up in trip,” said O'Brien. “We were very happy with her last two runs and we haven't seen the best of her at all. She's done well physically and we're thinking she'll probably start in the G1 1000 Guineas,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Justify also had the highest rated juvenile based in France with Ramatuelle’s 114 the best of either sex in that country.
Trained by Christopher Head for Infinity Nine Horses, the filly won her debut by 4 ½ lengths and scored two more victories in her five starts with none of her starts seeing her finish worse than second. The winner of two group races, Ramatuelle was nearly the fifth juvenile Group I winner of the year for her sire when second by just a head in the Group I Prix Morny against the colts.
Ramatuelle’s 114 is also the ninth best of all rated juveniles. Her dam has a juvenile colt by Uncle Mo named Tito Mo Cen to come.
The sire of four 2-year-old Grade I winners last year, Justify is also the sire of Eclipse Awards 2-Year-Old Filly finalists Hard to Justify and Just FYI.