Dubbed “la star Americaine” by French racing network Equidia going into Sunday’s Prix Morny (G1), the Wesley Ward-trained Campanelle lived up to that label at Deauville. The Stonestreet Stables runner readily extended her record to a perfect 3-for-3, while distinguishing herself as a different type from Ward’s past two Morny winners, No Nay Never (2013) and Lady Aurelia (2016).
“We’re very lucky to have a filly like her with that long stride,” Ward told Racing Post, “and she’s a lot bigger horse than No Nay Never or Lady Aurelia, who were real sprinting types.”
Winning rider Frankie Dettori likewise contrasted Campanelle with Lady Aurelia in his postrace comments to Sky Sports Racing. Both fillies had starred in the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot prior to the Morny, but Campanelle already has more scope:
“I was very impressed with her in the Queen Mary. She’s not like Lady Aurelia – she was small and very fast.
“She’s much taller. She’s grown since Ascot. She’s got an amazing, long stride and while she coped with the ground, she’s much better on good ground.”
Campanelle’s performances in both races reinforce the contrast. Unlike Lady Aurelia, who ran away with the 5-furlong Queen Mary but was less dominant in the 6-furlong Morny, Campanelle was even more authoritative over the extra panel. Nor was the soft going any concern for the Irish-bred daughter of Kodiac and Janina, by Namid.
Favored over colts including fellow Royal Ascot heroes Tactical and Nando Parrado, Campanelle took off the blinkers that she’d worn in her first two starts, but still broke alertly and strode to the lead. Nando Parrado, the shock winner of the Coventry (G2), flashed speed on the stands’ side, while Acapulco Gold attended Campanelle on the opposite flank. Approaching the final furlong, they could not keep up with the filly.
Campanelle surged clear to put the race away, crossing the wire with two lengths to spare in 1:11.80.
“I had no plan,” Dettori said. “She jumped so I was in front, and she’s quite sensible and able to listen to my commands. When I asked her to slow down she did, and when I asked her to quicken, she quickened. She’s a very smart 2-year-old.”
Nando Parrado validated his Coventry upset by staying on for second, a neck up on Haydock debut winner Rhythm Master. Acapulco Gold held fourth from The Queen’s Tactical, who didn’t travel as comfortably as in his victories in the Windsor Castle and July S. (G2). Next came Livachope, Winvalchope, Cairn Gorm, and Farfar.
The Morny serves as a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), but Ward indicated that a step up in trip at Keeneland is likelier.
“We had Hootenanny finish second in this race (in 2014), and he went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf,” Ward said. “That would probably be more on the agenda, especially as the Breeders’ Cup is on her home track at Keeneland. I think a two-turn mile will suit.”
Aside from Campanelle’s own profile, Ward has another leading player for the Juvenile Turf Sprint in Golden Pal, the Norfolk (G2) near-misser who came back with a smashing display in Friday’s Skidmore at Saratoga. The trainer specifically mentioned his desire to keep them apart.
Bred by Tally-Ho Stud in Ireland and purchased for 190,000 guineas as a Tattersalls October yearling, Campanelle was a sharp winner in her Gulfstream Park unveiling May 31. That’s later than Ward’s usual Royal Ascot hopefuls, but the bay coped well with the turnaround, and transatlantic trek, to prevail in the Queen Mary on June 20.
The Sept. 26 Cheveley Park (G1), back versus fillies at Newmarket, could be next on the way to Breeders’ Cup.