Bermuda will be represented by a flying filly at British horse racing’s summer showpiece next week.
Queen Of Bermuda, a two-year-old owned by Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing, is heading to Royal Ascot on a high after winning her past two starts impressively.
Bought at the Craven Breeze Up Sale in April for 230,000 guineas (about $293,382), she has delighted Simon Scupham, the BTR chairman, and is likely to contest the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes over five furlongs next Wednesday.
“Everything is going to plan so far,” Scupham said.
“We bought her in the hope that she would be good enough to contest races at the highest level and Royal Ascot has been the plan since we bought her.”
Jake Warren, who manages the bloodstock arm of BTR, recommended Queen Of Bermuda, who was unnamed at the time of her purchase, to Scupham after watching her gallop.
“She first caught my eye as she had such a proficient action,” Warren said. “Subsequently, during the stable inspections, she ticked the boxes physically, being a very athletic and correct individual with a super attitude.”
Queen Of Bermuda has been sent off favourite on all three of her starts and, although beaten on her debut at Ascot, she has continued to thrive under the stewardship of trainer William Haggas, most notably when carrying a weight penalty and handing out a beating to colts at Windsor two weeks ago.
“William is a great trainer,” Scupham said. “He is level-headed, great at keeping us informed, embraces new technology and seems optimistic that Queen Of Bermuda will run well at Ascot.
“He’s said ever since we sent her to him that he likes his two-year-olds to have three runs before they go to Royal Ascot as it makes them more professional and ready to handle the big occasion, and the plan has worked to perfection so far.”
Finishing in the first three at Royal Ascot will earn enhance Queen Of Bermuda’s value to Scupham’s burgeoning bloodstock operation.
“Black type [finishing in the first three in group or listed races] is absolutely vital as breeding from fillies with ability is unquestionably advantageous as the stats show that performance mares significantly increase your chance of producing stock with ability,” Warren explained.
“What is also extremely relevant in this case is Queen Of Bermuda’s incredible speed and precocity as those two attributes combined with black type are the magic ingredients for producing fast stock with commercial appeal in the market.”
Scupham is no stranger to success at the highest level, having been involved in a number of big-race winners, including 2008 Derby winner Motivator, in his nearly 20 years as an owner, but he admits to being a worried spectator.
“I will be travelling over the week before Royal Ascot and I still get nervous when I watch one of my horses race,” Scupham said. “One day you can be ecstatic and the next you can be sad.”
BTR’s other horse in training, Great Sound, will be back on the racecourse in the next few weeks. w
“He’s had a few issues and needed an operation on his palate, but he has joined a fantastic trainer in Richard Hughes, who is a great horseman.” Scupham said “He is giving Great Sound the attention he needs and hopefully we will see a better effort from him next time.”