The Foxes (3c Churchill – Tanaghum, by Darshaan) confirmed himself a leading contender for the Epsom Derby when recording his second Group 2 success in the Dante Stakes at York.
The Barronstown-bred colt won the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes last season made a promising seasonal return when finishing second in the Group 3 Craven Stakes last month. Stepping up to ten furlongs for the first time on Thursday, he was ridden patiently by Oisin Murphy and made headway behind the leaders from two furlongs out. Leading a furlong later, he was ridden on the run-in to win by a neck, with another length and a quarter back to the third.
Andrew Balding was full of praise for the winner, saying, “He was the best horse in the race. We’re thrilled, it’s just what we wanted to see, to win the race and hopefully go on to better things.”
Balding believes The Foxes is a perfect candidate for Epsom/ “This horse has got a very good brain on him,” the trainer said. “To give yourself a chance of staying you’ve got to settle and he does that well. He’s got a touch of class, which you need, and he’s a very well-balanced horse.”
The Foxes is a half-brother to Bangkok, who won two Group races and four Stakes in total for Andrew Balding and King Power Racing. The Foxes is also a full-brother to Listed winner Perotan and was sold by Barronstown Stud to Sackville Donald as a yearling for 440,000gns.