22 May 2024

No rush to map out Lead Artist target

22 May 2024

Connections of Lead Artist are keen to let the dust settle on the exciting colt’s dominant display at York last week before considering the next plan of attack.

Beaten a nose by Charlie Appleby’s First Conquest on his debut in the Wood Ditton at Newmarket’s Craven meeting, the son of Dubawi reversed that form in some style in novice company on the Knavesmire, pulling almost five lengths clear of his rivals, with First Conquest 11 lengths back in fourth.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained winner holds an entry in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he appears far from certain to take such a leap in class so early in his career.

Barry Mahon, racing manager for owner-breeders Juddmonte, said: “Lead Artist was very impressive, he’s a beautiful colt and has always been a beautiful colt.

“John and Thady have taken their time with him and we were disappointed to get beat the first day, even though it was the smallest of margins. In another few yards we would probably have got up, but it was probably no harm that he got to have another go at his maiden and we were delighted with him at York.

“I don’t really have a plan for him at this point in time. I think we’ll give him a week or 10 days, see how he comes out of it and then start thinking about where we’re going to go.”

On an appearance at Royal Ascot in the St James’s Palace, Mahon added: “It would be a massive step and it would be a conversation to be had, but I think in an ideal world you’d like to be going for an intermediary (race) before going for a race of that calibre. I’m sure John and Thady will come up with something next week.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox