November 30, 2023

Juliet Capulet plays leading role in Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Rockfel

Juliet Capulet underscored the Breeders' Cup credentials of Capla Temptress (Photo courtesy of Racing UK via Twitter)

Cheveley Park Stud’s Juliet Capulet just lasted by a desperate head from favored Nyaleti, springing a 9-1 upset in Friday’s Rockfel (G2) at Newmarket. Although it’s questionable at the moment whether the John Gosden pupil would take up the “Win & You’re In” offer for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), the result does have a bearing upon Del Mar.

Juliet Capulet was underscoring the form of recent Natalma (G1) winner Capla Temptress, already confirmed for the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Each had placed in the Sweet Solera (G3) in their prior starts, with Juliet Capulet finishing second, a length up on Capla Temptress.

Moreover, Rockfel near-misser Nyaleti is entertaining a Del Mar trip herself. The Mark Johnston trainee lost no luster in defeat, having all of the momentum as the pair flashed past the wire.

But Juliet Capulet had gotten first run and made the most of it. Thanks to jockey Frankie Dettori’s uncanny judgment of pace, he made an early move aboard the Dark Angel filly, who dug deep to respond to the fast-closing Nyaleti.

“The petrol ran out in the last 50 yards and I was eager for the line to come,” Dettori said, adding that the good-to-soft going was “a key factor” and that this seven-furlong trip is “just about right.”

“That’s the extent of her trip and I don’t think she’s a miler,” said Gosden, who removed Juliet Capulet’s cheekpieces for the Rockfel.

“John has brought her along gradually, but the headgear was just to educate her,” noted Chris Richardson, Cheveley Park Stud’s managing director.

“She’s got a fast pedigree and she may be sharp over both six and seven furlongs next year.”

While the winning connections’ comments don’t exactly shout Breeders’ Cup ambitions, Nyaleti’s team is more positive about the idea.

“The owners (3 Batterhams and A Reay) are keen on a tilt at America,” her trainer’s son-cum-assistant Charlie Johnston said.

Nyaleti has the option of the October 13 Fillies’ Mile (G1) back at Newmarket, however, and that would mark the eighth start of a busy season for the daughter of Arch.

Finishing a belated third in the Rockfel was Juddmonte homebred Gavota. Aidan O’Brien’s Butterscotch was only fifth, but resuming from a nearly three-month holiday, and eligible to move forward substantially in her follow-up.

Bred in Ireland by Yeomanstown Stud, the home of sire Dark Angel, Juliet Capulet was purchased for €235,000 as a Goffs Orby yearling. She is a full sister to stakes-placed Juliette Fair. Their dam, the Camacho mare Capulet Monteque, hails from the immediate family of multiple Group 1-winning highweight sprinter Lethal Force (also by Dark Angel), fellow sprint highweight G Force, and 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine Flotilla, who went on to garner the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) (G1) at three.