Star Gate (Imperial Monarch) Wins The Grade 2 Ballymore Winter Novices Hurdle at Sandown

Star Gate Provides Imperial Monarch With Grade 2 Success

Star Gate (4g Imperial Monarch - Supreme Judge, by Brian Boru) created a big impression when extending his unbeaten record in Friday’s feature at Sandown, the Grade 2 Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle.

Bought for £140,000 after winning his sole start for Colin Bowe, the bay made a smart start for the Evan Williams team in a maiden hurdle at Chepstow at the end of October. The impressive nature of that victory saw him sent off favourite as he stepped up in class, with Nico de Boinville riding Mr and Mrs William Rucker’s hope to track the leader. Shaken up to lead approaching the final flight, he quickened clear on the run-in to win by eight and a half lengths with ease.

De Boinville was impressed by the winner, and later commented, “He’s a lovely horse and the world is his oyster.” The winning trainer, however, plans to take his time with Star Gate, explaining, “He's a lovely horse but he's one for the future so we wouldn't have any great plans with him," said Williams. "We'll just take small steps and look after him. He's a very nice young horse, but he does need treating like a very nice young horse.”

Many will now be looking forward to see what Star Gate does next, none more so than breeder James Leahy. The potential star hails from the second crop of Beeches Stud sire Imperial Monarch.