Norfolk Stakes winner Sioux Nation returned to winning ways at Naas on Sunday and is now set to head to the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next month.
The Scat Daddy three-year-old could follow in the footsteps of Aidan O’Brien’s 2017 sprint star Caravaggio by winning at Naas and the Commonwealth Cup.
O’Brien was keen to see which race at Royal Ascot would best suit the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes winner and it looks to be the Commonwealth Cup rather than King’s Stand Stakes.
“We came here to find out if it was five or six furlongs at Ascot,” O’Brien told AtTheRaces.
“Seamus (Heffernan on Fleet Review) let his lad roll along to make it a good, strong six because we always felt he had a lot of speed and wanted to know whether we would go for the King’s Stand or the Commonwealth Cup.
“Ryan said he has all the speed in the world and he would have no problem going back to five, but maybe let him take on the three-year-olds this year (Commonwealth Cup). He also said he would be looking forward to the Nunthorpe.
‘He’s a great traveller and he quickens. It couldn’t be fast enough for him. Fast ground and fast horse – that is usually the way.”
Another impressive winner at Naas on Sunday for O’Brien was two-year-old Sergei Prokofiev, again partnered by Ryan Moore, who enhanced his glowing reputution ahead of a big summer.
O’Brien again points towards Royal Ascot with the sprint star who looks set to step up to Group company.
“He’s very natural and gets there very easy – Ryan is very happy with him,” O’Brien told AtTheRaces.
“It will be either the Coventry or the Norfolk (at the Royal meeting) and will depend on what we do with some of the other two-year-olds.
“He won’t mind going five or six (furlongs).”