QEII mission for Penitent
Middleham ace set tough task
Last Updated: October 12, 2012 11:37am
Penitent: Handed Ascot date
Recent Longchamp runner-up Penitent will be supplemented for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday week.
Middleham Park Racing stumped up 40,000 guineas to buy the six-year-old from Cheveley Park a year ago and it has proved money well spent.
Since joining David O'Meara at the start of the campaign, Penitent has delivered three victories, including two at Group Two level, as well as running numerous good races in defeat.
He was supplemented for the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp last weekend and rewarded the faith of his connections as he claimed a superb second behind Gordon Lord Byron.
Middleham Park's Nick Bradley has confirmed he will now be added to the field for the major mile prize on Champions Day at a cost of £70,000.
Bradley said: "There aren't that many options left for him and the owners have a few quid in the bank, so we thought it was worth a go.
"Obviously there will be or two in there to fear, but overall I don't think there will be a lot of strength in depth in the race.
"Frankel scared a few off in this division initially before he stepped up in trip.
"Now there's horses like Excelebration, Elusive Kate and Cityscape and we're looking forward to the race.
"It's £70,000 to supplement, which is a lot of money, but I think the horse deserves a crack at it.
"He's come out of the Longchamp race brilliantly, there have been no issues."
Bradley admits he could never have dreamt what an excellent buy Penitent would turn out to be this year.
"The owners had a great day in France last weekend and we can now look forward to having a runner on Champions Day," he said.
"He's been a fantastic horse for us. I was looking the other day and one or two of the bigger owners don't have a horse as good as him.
"We're very lucky to have him."
Paddy Power have introduced Penitent into their QEII market as a 12-1 chance.