LEOPARDSTOWNDiego Velazquez © carolinenorris.ie/Racing Post PhotosEurope

Diego Velazquez wins the Champions Juvenile

Frankel two-year-old Diego Velazquez stepped up to take Saturday's Gr.2 Champions Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown only four weeks after making his debut.

Taken from the European Bloodstock News, 10th September 2023:

Upped in trip to one mile as well as in grade, the flashy bay had to fight harder this time, as his Aidan O’Brien stablemate Capulet made most of the running and set sail for home down the straight. He proved hard to pass, but Diego Velazquez eventually put his head in front and slowly drew ahead to win by half a length. The pair pulled more than three lengths clear of the third-placed Atlantic Coast.

Owned by Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor, Mrs John Magnier, Westerberg and Peter Brant, the winner had cost a massive 2,400,000gns at Tattersalls as a yearling and holds a handful of further Group entries in the coming weeks, with the Gr.1 Futurity Stakes at Doncaster the likely target, according to O’Brien.

The winning trainer told reporters: “We’re very happy. We liked the second horse a lot and we knew we needed something to take him and stretch him a little bit. They didn’t go very fast for the first half and turned it on from halfway, so he learned a lot."

he added: “The plan was to come here and then go to the Racing Post [Trophy]. We did it with Auguste Rodin last year, but we knew this horse had to learn a lot more than Auguste did last year.”

The winner was bred by Epona Bloodstock and is a half-brother to Gr.1 winner Broome and his Gr.2-winning full brother Point Lonsdale. Their Listed-winning and Gr.3-placed dam Sweepstake (Acclamation) is out of a full-sister to Gr.3 winner Dust Dancer and the family also includes Gr.1 winner and sire Zoffany and Gr.2 victrix Claxon.