Fort Bastion, one of the best maiden juveniles in the country, is a possible contender for the Group 2 32Red Superlative Stakes at Newmarket’s eagerly anticipated July meeting, writes Elliot Slater.
The Richard Hannon-trained colt ran a fine race at Royal Ascot earlier this month when finishing second to the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly Maybe (now a clear ante-post favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas), in the seven furlong Chesham Stakes, and seemed to have made tremendous progress from his debut effort when filling the same position behind Mezmaar in a Haydock maiden event over six furlongs.
Fort Bastion’s Ascot effort raised a few eyebrows as he stormed through to take up the running approaching the final furlong having been held up in the early stages of the contest, only to find Maybe’s withering pace in the final 150 yards too hot to handle. Nonetheless, the Lawman colt finished a clear best of the rest and is definitely a horse with a serious future and those looking at the Newmarket betting should remember this.
Barry Simpson, racing manager to Fort Bastions’s owner Sir Robert Ogden, confirmed that the Superlative Stakes is amongst a number of possible alternatives for their charge, but wouldn’t be drawn on whether he will take his chance in the Group 2 affair. He did confirm however that Ogden’s colt has come out of the Chesham Stakes in great form and appears in tremendous heart.
Richard Hannon has a fine record in the Superlative Stakes having won the race three times in the last 10 years. He took the 2001 running with Redback, followed up two years later with King’s Point, and then struck again 12 months ago when his King Torus, (like Fort Bastion owned by Sir Robert Ogden), beat Ecliptic by a neck before going on to follow up at Glorious Goodwood when winning the Group 2 Vintage Stakes by six-lengths from Stentorian.