Breeze Easy LLC’s Kentucky-bred Shang Shang Shang and AlMaohamediya Racing’s Konchek (GB) lead 10 2-year-olds in Thursday’s 5 furlong Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot, with the winner receiving the first automatic berth into the new $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 82 stakes races, whose winners receive automatic starting positons and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, Nov. 2-3.
Thursday’s race is the third of four Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races to be held at Royal Ascot this year. The Queen Anne Stakes (G1), which gave Accidental Agent a free berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) was run earlier today. The Prince of Wales Stakes (G1) will be run on Wednesday for an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) on Saturday, June 23, will provide the winner an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Norfolk Stakes to start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, which will be run at 5.5 furlongs. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. If not Breeders’ Cup eligible, the Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of October 22 to receive the rewards.
Ward Trainee Dazzled in Debut
Shang Shang Shang was dazzling in his debut at Keeneland, winning a 4 ½ -furlong maiden special weight on April 28, defeating stablemate Moonlight Romance by 2 ¼ lengths. Trained by Wesley Ward, who won this race in 2013 with No Nay Never, Shang Shang Shang is a 2-year-old son of 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby out of Yankee Victoria by Yankee Victor. Joel Rosario will ride from post 10.
The Clive Cox-trained Konchek broke his maiden in his first try at Newmarket in May, winning the Havana Gold Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths. In his most recent start, the listed five-furlong Matchbook Commission National Stakes at Sandown on May 24, the black son of Lethal Force (IRE) dwelt at the start but made steady progress through the final furlong, closing for third place and just a half-length behind the winner Vintage Brut (GB). Adam Kirby has the mount, breaking from post 4.
King Power Racing’s Vintage Brut is unbeaten in his two career starts. Trained by Tim Easterby and ridden from post 9 by David Allan, Vintage Brut, a bay son of Dick Turbin (IRE), broke his maiden at Thirsk on April 21 by seven lengths in the 5-furlong Visit the All New racing.com stakes.
David Hudd, Chris Wright and Ann Black’s Kinks (GB) has won two of his four career starts. Trained by Mick Channon, the Sixties Icon (IRE) colt broke his maiden in the Courage Best Stakes at Bath at five furlongs on April 20, and won again eight days later taking the Novice Auction Stakes at Ripon by 2 ¼ lengths. In his subsequent start, the Matchbook Stakes, he encountered traffic trouble, and wound up finishing sixth.
Road to the Breeders’ Cup Package
Get Michael’s Best Plays Report each Saturday which will include all of the U.S. based Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races from now to October and Michael Dempsey’s 2-Day Breeders’ Cup Report.
Michael’s two day Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the two-day championship event.