Wootton Bassett Colt All Class In Group 1 National Stakes
Al Riffa (2c Wootton Bassett - Love On My Mind, by Galileo) picked up strongly to secure Group 1 glory in Sunday’s Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.
Joseph O’Brien’s charge was supplemented for the seven furlong contest following a smart maiden win over course and distance last month and was partnered by Dylan Browne McMonagle once again at Irish Champions Weekend. Ridden patiently at the back of the field, he was asked to quicken passing the two furlong pole and made good headway approaching the final furlong. Ridden soon after, the son of Wootton Bassett ran on strongly to beat Proud And Regal (Galileo) by a length and a quarter.
“It was a special performance,” Joseph O’Brien commented after the race. “It was very impressive to come from the back of the field like that. His family is all stamina, so for him to be doing this at this stage is very positive for the future.”
Looking to the future, O’Brien continued, “I'd imagine he's a Guineas horse for sure and we'll take it from there. The plan coming here was to go on to the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, but we'll see how he comes out of it today and discuss it with the owners.”
Al Riffa is owned by Jassim Bin Ali Al Attiyah and was bred by Haras d’Etreham out of the unraced Galileo mare Love On My Mind, who is a full-sister to Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Mizzou (Galileo).
He continues Wootton Bassett’s incredible rise through the stallion ranks, having sired champion three-year-old Almanzor from a first crop of just 23 foals, while his current five-year-old crop yielded 12 Stakes winners. Each of his three subsequent crops of racing age have now produced Group 1 winners in Incarville, Zellie, and now Al Riffa.