The Kennet Valley syndicate are ‘very excited’ as star sprinter Magical Memory targets a first Group One victory for the team in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.
On a sodden day at York, he looked as good as ever to finish second in the Duke Of York and launch himself into the Diamond Jubilee picture, where he finished fourth last season.
The fast ground specialist is set to get ideal conditions at the Royal meeting, but faces tougher competition in the form of Limato and The Tin Man.
“He ran a great race in the Diamond Jubilee last year when he was fourth, and he broke a bit slowly and the ground being a bit soft,” said Hoskins, manager of the Kennet Valley syndicate.
“He made a lot of ground up so quickly which was so impressive, and we’re hoping he could run really well this time around.
“Last year he went to Ascot after two runs, this year he’s had a prep run where he ran a great race on ground that was a bit too soft really.
“If he built on that hopefully he can give Tasleet a run for his money, so hopefully he can be very competitive.”
Trained by Charlie Hills, the five-year-old progressed from a star handicapper into a top-level sprinter, picking up the Steward’s Cup and Abernant Stakes at Newbury.
He powered home to win the Duke Of York stakes at the Dante festival, to earn favouritism for the Diamond Jubilee last season.
He finished third at Royal Ascot before two below-par efforts in the July Cup and at Haydock’s Sprint Cup.
On his seasonal bow, he defied long odds, an absence, and unfavourable soft ground to finish second when bidding to retain the Group Two prize at Yorkshire.
“I thought he wouldn’t handle the ground at York, but he showed he can handle a bit of soft,” Hoskins said.
“I think good and good to firm would be ideal, that would go against some rivals too. I think genuinely good ground would be perfect for us.”
Kennet Valley are one of the countries leading syndicates, veteran Tulius has been their greatest servant picking up seven pattern races for the team.
Meanwhile Gateman won multiple races for the team, but Magical Memory could provide them with a first Group One victory.
“It’s amazing really, he cost €35,000 as a yearling which is very cheap considering how good he is now,” he added.
“He’s won the Stewards Cup, Abernant Stakes and Duke Of York so he’s an amazing horse to be associated with.
“There are 16 shares, to have so many people own a horse and be involved is great too.
“He’s a gelding too, so a bit like our old boy Tullius he can carry on going for a few more years. It’s very exciting.”