A New Zealand trained racehorse may follow in the hoofprints of great Australian mare Black Caviar and race at Britain’s Royal Ascot meeting this year.
The connections of superstar galloper Xtravagant will pass up the Sydney autumn carnival in favour of an historic assault on Royal Ascot in June.
Australia’s loss will be a huge gain for UK racing as the extraordinary three-year-old would be the first New Zealand-trained star to race at Royal Ascot since the famous carnival started attracting horses from the southern hemisphere over a decade ago.
Australian success at the meeting was last achieved by Black Caviar, who won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2012.
Xtravagant’s managing owner David Ellis and trainer Steve Autridge have made their British intentions clear, stating that the colt will be set to take on the world’s best at Royal Ascot should he continue his impressive winning form in the $750,000 Australian Guineas on March 5.
“The thinking is he may go to Royal Ascot if he won the Australian Guineas, and if that decision was confirmed then he wouldn’t race in Sydney,” Autridge said.
The 2000 Guineas winner Xtravagant beatg the older horses by eight lengths in the Group One weight-for-age $200,000 NRM Sprint over 1400m at Te Rapa earlier this month.
The win, his fifth from eight starts, took his earnings to $425,000.
The colt purchased by David Ellis as a yearling for $375,000 at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Sale, from the draft of Rich Hill Stud.
Xtravagant is by Pentire, the sire of last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Prince of Penzanze, and out of the Zabeel mare Axiom.