Big Evs set for Group 1 King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot

Big Evs set for Group 1 King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot

Purchased at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner BIG EVS is set to line up in the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot.

A top-class juvenile performer with all four of his victories coming at Stakes level, the Mick Appleby-trained colt returns to the royal meeting where connections enjoyed success in the Windsor Castle Stakes last season before tasting Group level success domestically and capping off his stellar season with a memorable victory at the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

The three-year-old son of Blue Point made a winning seasonal reappearance last month at York in the Listed Westow Stakes in preparation for his royal engagement. 

Mick Appleby told Tattersalls: “He came back with a good run back at York, winning quite well, and now all roads lead to Ascot in the King Charles. It looks a very hot race, but hopefully we’ll be going there with a very live chance. 

“He came out of the York race really well; I don’t think he had a very hard race there. He fluffed the start, which is very unlike him, but Tom looked very cool on him and gave him a good ride, so he didn’t really have a hard race. 

“He went to York probably 95% [fit], he wasn’t fully tuned up for that, we were using it as a prep run for Ascot.” 

Big Evs was a 50,000 guineas purchase from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale by Michael Cleere from Houghton Bloodstock. 

He was subsequently bought privately by Bloodstock agent Conor Quirke for owner Paul Teesdale. 

Appleby said: “Big Evs went through [Tattersalls] Book 2 Yearling Sale and I know he’s got a half-brother by Earthlight going through the Tattersalls sales this year so no doubt we will have our eye on that. 

“Mickey [Michael] Cleere bought him at the Tattersalls Yearling Sales, he went over to Ireland and then Conor Quirke found him at Mickey Cleere’s.

“Conor had been to see him and offered him up to Paul Teesdale, he sent me a video of him working, and I just said to Paul ‘Yeah. I think you’d want to be buying him, he looks a nice sort’. Once we got him here and started working him, we thought then he was something special.” 

Big Evs overcame a bad draw at Redcar on debut to finish a close second before stepping up in class at Royal Ascot. Despite his 20/1 starting price, he was an eye-catching winner by over three lengths. He was ultra progressive as he stepped up in class, and further successes came in the group company at Goodwood and Doncaster.

Reflecting on his juvenile campaign, Appleby said: “Going to Ascot for his second run was a big ask, but I think he had been showing us all the signs at home that he was quite capable of going there and running well, so it was good to see him win there, and I think he did it quite convincingly in the end. 

“I think his best performance was probably at Goodwood [Group 3 Molecomb Stakes] on heavy ground, he absolutely hated that ground, but he was tough as anything and showed his good attitude to tough it out and go and win there.”

The highest profile performance from last season was undoubtedly Big Evs’ Grade 1 success on the world stage in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. 

Thinking back to that win at Santa Anita Appleby said: “It was just amazing – hard to believe that we actually went there and did it. There are not many English trainers that have gone over there and conquered so it was a great feeling, probably one of my best days racing.”

From his best day racing to the question of whether Big Evs may be the best horse Mick Appleby has trained, Appleby told Tattersalls: “He is up there with all the best, definitely. Obviously, he is the best two-year-old we’ve ever had, so we’ll see what happens this year as to whether he’s the best we’ve ever had.”

Big Evs’ stablemate Annaf has been another top-level performer and huge earner for his owners Fosnic Racing. 

Annaf was another Tattersalls purchase having been picked up by his trainer for just 16,000 guineas at the 2021 Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale from Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. 

Having ended his domestic season with a Group victory in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot, he looked more impressive than ever when returning this year taking the $2million Group 2 Saudi National Bank 1351 Turf Sprint pot at the Saudi Cup meeting in February. 

Appleby told Tattersalls: “Winning in Saudi was absolutely amazing; the prize money was astronomical. He’s just kept surprising us and kept improving.”

Annaf subsequently travelled to Dubai in a bid to collect another attractive international prize pot on Dubai World Cup night. Unfortunately, he picked up an illness during travel, which ruled him out of the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March. 

Updating Tattersalls on his recovery, Appleby said: “He got sick going to Dubai, so he was ill for quite a time, but it’s good to have him home now and he’s made a full recovery, so he’ll be coming back into training probably in another fortnight and then we’ll see where we’re going to go with him. 

“We’ll possibly go to Deauville with him, there’s a Group 1 race at the beginning of August [Prix Maurice de Gheest], so that could be a possible plan. We’re definitely not going to be going to Ascot or Goodwood with him. 

“Rossa [Ryan] gave him a great ride in Saudi, going the brave man’s route, we could possibly look at going back there with him.”

The next sale to take place at Tattersalls will be the Tattersalls July Sale from 9th – 11th July. Over 900 lots are catalogued for Europe’s premier midsummer sale including horses/fillies in training and broodmares, with consignments from Godolphin, Juddmonte Farms & Shadwell Estates. The catalogue is online now at Tattersalls and will be available at Tattersalls and from Tattersalls representatives.

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