Godolphin’s Bold Act took the inside path at Chelmsford to deny Brave Emperor in Saturday’s Cardinal Conditions race, the finale on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby. But Brave Emperor’s addition of 12 points brings his total up to 32, enough to top the European leaderboard and earn an invitation to the Kentucky Derby (G1).
While Bold Act’s victory would be worth 30 points, the Charlie Appleby trainee is not nominated to the Triple Crown. His future likely lies on turf, since sire New Approach and paternal grandsire Galileo both captured the Derby (G1) at Epsom.
Brave Emperor earned the lion’s share of his points by winning the March 15 Road to the Kentucky Derby Conditions
race at Kempton. His ownership group, Middleham Park Racing, made him a late nominee to the Triple Crown by this past Monday’s deadline. Now they will have to decide whether to advance to Churchill Downs with the battle-hardened son of Sioux Nation, who is himself by Scat Daddy – sire of Triple Crown champion Justify.
Bold Act, the 3-1 second choice, was patiently handled at the back of the field by jockey Harry Davies. Up front, Think Climate was prompted by a keen Physique, and stalking on the outside was Killybegs Warrior. The race was wide open entering the stretch, as the pacesetters weakened and contenders fanned out across the track.
Brave Emperor muscled his way out into the clear by pushing Killybegs Warrior wider. Alzahir pounced when a path opened on the inside, and Iconic Moment, the hitherto unbeaten favorite, also probed for a seam in his wake.
Bold Act would outfinish them all. Advancing on the rail turning for home, he had room to dart through and join the fray. Brave Emperor, in typically resolute fashion, stayed on, as did Killybegs Warrior to keep it close. But Bold Act proved just a bit too strong, crossing the wire a half-length up in 1:37.23 for the mile on Polytrack.
Brave Emperor held the same margin over Killybegs Warrior, who earned nine points for a total of 13. Iconic Moment checked in another 1 1/4 lengths adrift in fourth (six points), perhaps not staying the trip. Alzahir tired to fifth, good for three more points to finish the series with 11. Killybegs Warrior, Iconic Moment, and Alzahir were not Triple Crown nominated. Rounding out the order of finish were Coco Jack, Triple Crown nominee Stormy Entry, Physique, Think Climate, and New Definition. Tenjin was scratched.
Bold Act has now won four straight since his runner-up effort on debut last July at Newmarket. The Irish homebred dominated a novice over the same course and seven-furlong trip, scored on Kempton’s Polytrack, and returned to Newmarket to land a nursery (handicap race for two-year-olds). The Cardinal marked his sophomore debut, so he figures to move forward.
Bold Act’s dam, the Dubawi mare Dancing Sands, was a listed stakes winner in Germany and multiple Group-placed on the Continent.