John Gosden has had a long and fruitful association with American owner/breeder George Strawbridge, training for him, among others, the 2007 St Leger winner Lucarno and top-class filly Rainbow View.
With Lucarno’s full-brother Thought Worthy having proved himself to be one of the leading three-year-old colts of the season, he was duly confirmed on course for the Derby, meaning that Strawbridge would be in the UK to see him line up for the Classic.
“Mr Strawbridge is a very sporting owner and when he won the Fairway Stakes, he said ‘John, we’re going for the Derby. I’m getting on a plane’, so he’s here and that’s great,” said Gosden after another Strawbridge homebred, the Galileo colt Gatewood, won a competitive handicap at Epsom on Oaks day.
Twenty-four hours later, Thought Worthy finished a creditable fourth in the Derby and, despite the potential presence of Triple-Crown chaser Camelot, the rangey colt looks every bit capable of emulating his brother in the St Leger on September 15.
Strawbridge’s European sojourn was further enhanced by a brace of stakes wins in France over the weekend when the highly progressive Aiken, who is a full-brother to Gatewood’s dam Felicity, won the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly following Moonlight Cloud’s victory in the Group 3 Prix du Palais-Royal.
A long and successful jubilee weekend, which Strawbridge marked by donning a red, white and blue rosette in honour of the Queen’s presence on Derby day, was rounded off with a facile victory for another of his colts, the beautifully-bred Utterance, in a Yarmouth maiden. Sent off as odds-on favourite, the three-year-old is by Dansili out of the Gosden-trained Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner Valentine Waltz.