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Roaring Lion Racing News
Trained by John Gosden for Qatar Racing, Roaring Lion has emerged as one of the better 2-year-olds in Europe with a string of high-class performances.
The winner of his first two races, Roaring Lion stepped up strongly to beat Ballydoyle stable’s Nelson to win the one-mile Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) Sept. 30 at Newmarket, earning himself 10 points on the inaugural European Road to the Kentucky Derby.
He improved again in the Racing Post Trophy (G1), looking set to win after sprinting from last to the lead a furlong and a half from the finish, but he ran greenly in the stretch and was collared by the hardy, professional Ballydoyle representative Saxon Warrior.
The second-place finish earned him another four points to make him a clear second in the European Road table with 14 points, behind Saxon Warrior (20).
Bred in the United States by Ranjan Racing, Roaring Lion was bought by David Redvers for Qatar Racing at the Keeneland September yearling sale for $160,000 from the Taylor Made consignment.
He’s by Kitten’s Joy, an outstanding stallion whose progeny frequently stay 1 ¼ miles or further. But his progeny have overwhelmingly been turf runners, and those that haven’t were usually successful on synthetic tracks rather than on dirt.
Roaring Lion’s female pedigree also suggests turf performance. He is the first foal of Vionnet (Street Sense), whose best career performance was a third-place finish on turf in the Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1). Vionnet is a half-sister to three stakes winners, all on turf. Most of the form on his female line is over sprint distances.
Punters should be cautious about whether to back Roaring Lion for the Kentucky Derby, as his connections were talking after the Racing Post Trophy about aiming at the one-mile 2,000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket, rather than the Kentucky Derby.
However, if his connections signal otherwise, and if he starts in any of the European Road races next March and shows form on the synthetic tracks, he could be worth watching. Form on synthetic tracks is no guarantee of form on dirt, but as Animal Kingdom showed in 2011, it doesn’t preclude it either.