Saturday 7 December 2019

'Jet' set prepare to cash in by selling Guineas heroine

Keatley: Trainer of Jet Setting. Photo: Alain Barr
Keatley: Trainer of Jet Setting. Photo: Alain Barr

Richard Forristal

A fairytale that began with a £12,600 purchase and led to Curragh Classic glory looks sure to end even more happily after connections revealed that Jet Setting will be offered for public auction on the eve of the big Royal Ascot meeting.

The Richard Hannon reject's sole defeat in four starts this year for rising star Adrian Keatley came on unsuitably fast ground in the 1,000 Guineas.

Jet Setting then went on to foil Coolmore's Newmarket heroine Minding in the Irish equivalent, a momentous feat that will go down as one of Flat racing's most audacious acts of giant-slaying.

She could next tackle Royal Ascot's Coronation Stakes, but will likely sport new colours wherever she runs after a date at Goffs London Sale the day before the royal meeting begins.

The Monday evening sale is in its third year, and Irish-trained horses have topped both previous offerings.

In 2014, Ger Lyons' Cappella Sansevero was acquired by Qatar Racing for the princely sum of £1.3m having completed a hat-trick in a Curragh Listed race. A year ago, Tracey Collins's Majestic Queen sold for £825,000 following a Group Three success at Lingfield. Majestic Queen would don Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin blue on three occasions without success, while Cappella Sansevero managed just a Group Three win in eight starts for Sheikh Fahad Al Thani's firm.

That, however, is unlikely to deter Jet Setting's potential suitors. As a Group One winner, her profile is already superior to that of the aforementioned duo, so a six-figure sale is plausible.

That would constitute some return for the Equinegrowthpartners Syndicate, which is headed by John Kilbride, the bloodstock agent who sourced the filly as a lowly-rated maiden. "Jet Setting gave us our best ever day at the races at the Curragh and we now look forward to another big day in London," Kilbride said of the prospect yesterday.

"We have had plenty of interest and we feel it best to let the market decide. With buyers from all over the world in one place, the Goffs London Sale provides a wonderful setting on the eve of Royal Ascot in which to do this."

Ground conditions at Epsom have eased again ahead of the two-day Derby fixture. Following a further five millimetres of rainfall yesterday, the going is now soft, good to soft in places.

Aidan O'Brien has seven to choose from in Saturday's Classic, though one of those, Bravery, is among just two Ballydoyle horses left in the French Derby, the other being Black Sea.

Elsewhere, Flat racing is to cease at Wexford with immediate effect.

Since the course was switched to a left-handed circuit last year, Flat fields have been reduced to a maximum of 10 runners, and a review of the track's suitability led Horse Racing Ireland to conclude that it should now host only jumps fixtures on safety grounds.

Grand National-winning rider David Mullins, meanwhile, could be sidelined for around a month after breaking his collarbone and puncturing a lung in a fall at Ballinrobe on Tuesday evening.

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