Dragon Leader thrilled connections when winning his second big prize of the season at Redcar on Saturday – but future plans are somewhat up in the air.
The bargain buy took his earnings to over £300,000 for the season in winning the Two Year Old Trophy at the seaside track, adding to his victory at York’s Ebor meeting.
Connections have touched base with the Breeders’ Cup committee to see if he would qualify for a run there, but if not, he is likely to be finished for this season.
With potential buyers showing interest in the Clive Cox-trained colt, there could be a decision to be made by his owners, Kennet Valley Syndicates.
“It was decent ground at Redcar and that was perfect for him. At halfway, he didn’t look like an odds-on shot, but he won going away in the end – he probably wants seven furlongs now,” said syndicate manager Sam Hoskins.
“Obviously, he was getting lots of weight off the others, but he did race on the near side of the track and you usually want to be far side at Redcar, so I do think you can mark him up.
“We were just over the moon, he’s won over £300,000 this year for the syndicate, which is incredible, and for a syndicate like ours it really makes a difference. People don’t go into it to make money but obviously winning a pot like that is great fun. We’re very lucky to have him.
“We have nominated him for the Breeders’ Cup but we’ve heard nothing back and I’m not sure he’ll get in the Juvenile Turf – there’s nothing else domestically, so that will probably be it.”
Regarding next season, Hoskins said: “I don’t know what next season holds, Clive does think he’ll get seven furlongs – but at least we can look at the fixture list now!
“The race which would really have suited him was the old Free Handicap but unfortunately that doesn’t exist anymore. Selfishly, we’ll really miss it next year.
“We have had offers for him, we’ve turned down some big ones. He’s a horse that likes decent ground and has lots of scope, so we’ll just see. No one is immune, but at the same time we’re a syndicate who like our sport and we’ve raced on a lot of older horses like Sir Busker, Magical Memory and Tulius.
“We’ve been digging for oil with Kennet Valley and we haven’t found much recently, we’re not immune but it would take a big offer to sell.
“He might be an interesting one to take to Dubai as a four-year-old, but we haven’t really discussed the future yet and we’ll just enjoy it for now.”