After three emphatic wins in Ireland, Johnny Murtagh believes that Ottoman Emperor deserves to mix it with quality 3yos in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes on Thursday at Glorious Goodwood. Already a winner at 2000m, the colt by Excelebration, will step up to 2400m for the first time.
Purchased by OTI following an impressive jump out at Dundalk last September, the colt transferred to Johnny Murtagh’s stable at the Curragh. Following a solid first up effort in March, Ottoman Emperor then strung 3 wins together, the last being a 2 length win over a quality field at Navan on July 10. With a rating now at 104, connections felt it was time to test him at group level. A win would also be a further cap in Murtagh’s fledgling training career.
Wednesday’s field is strong and includes Wordsworth. He followed up his second in the G2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot with 3rd in the G1 Irish Derby and a 2rd in the G1 Prix Paris 2 weeks ago. Proven at the distance, he is one of many, including Ottoman Emperor, who would not surprise in winning the race.
A forward showing in this race will lay the foundation for Ottoman Emperor to go onto the English St Leger, one of the UK’s classics. While he could be nominated for the Melbourne Cup, all parties believe he is too young to be subject to the rigorous vet requirements to come for the race.
OTI’s Hermione FitzGerald will be at her favourite racecourse to hopefully welcome back Ottoman Emperor to the winner’s circle. Should that happen, she’ll have plenty of owners back in Australia to join her in the celebrations.