Champions Series dark horses: Titus
24 Feb 2017
Dermot Weld has bright prospect on his hands in the shape of Leopardstown maiden winner.
Titus wins under Pat Smullen last October. Picture:Racingfotos.com
Trainer: Dermot Weld
He may have one, too, in Titus, who made a most pleasing debut when winning a 7f maiden at Leopardstown in late October.
Backend maidens are notoriously tricky to assess but Aidan O’Brien pitched five into the race – including the runner-up Venice Beach – and the Jim Bolger-trained third, Clongowes, had shown ability in two previous races.
Also, there was strong market support for the fourth, World Rax War, saddled by Jessica Harrington.
If the 15 runners in that race were to meet again, you would be pretty confident Titus would again come out on top.
Sent off at 8-1, he travelled strongly and looked like winning with authority when leading a furlong out but, once in front, he ran a little green and ultimately had to be kept up to his work to prevail by half a length.
Weld described him as a “big baby” afterwards and the experience will not be lost on him this year.
Which Champions Series races might he shine in? Well, in the first instance, you would imagine the Dansili colt, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, will be campaigned over a mile but he is also bred to stay middle distances.
Look out for him a Classic trial in Ireland this spring and, should he venture over to British shores, do not underestimate him. Stan James are the only firm quoting him for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6, making him 33-1.