Rising star Ghostwriter maintained his unbeaten record with an authoritative victory in the 2023 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, prompting thoughts of next year’s G1 Derby at Epsom rather than a trip to California for the Breeders’ Cup.
Royal Lodge Stakes, G2, £125,000, 1m turf, 2yo males
Ghostwriter on the right page
A Derby dream was born when Ghostwriter made his stakes breakthrough in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket on Saturday, stretching his unbeaten record to three with an impressive defeat of Al Musmak and the favored Capulet.
The 100-30 second-choice, making his stakes debut, was always traveling sweetly for jockey Richard Kingscote behind the fractions laid down by Son and moved smoothly and steadily through to challenge a furlong out, before running down Al Musmak in the last 100 yards to win going away.
Ghostwriter had a length and a quarter in hand at the line, with Al Musmak a half-length clear of the rallying Capulet, who did all his best work late and seemed ready to go even longer.
“He is improving with every run,” said trainer Clive Cox, whose main strength is usually with speed horses. “It is a joy to have a horse like this and the dream of the Derby is alive for next year.”
2023 Royal Lodge Stakes Race Video
The race offered win-and-in status for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, but it appears likely that Ghostwriter is done for the year and will return in the spring.
2023 Royal Lodge Stakes Race Payouts
|2. Al Musmak
Winning time: 1m 37.06s
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