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    Despite Kathmandu's tight Classic eclipse, Sangster is optimistic
Despite Kathmandu's tight Classic eclipse, Sangster is optimistic
Kathmandu. Source: theirishfield.ie

Despite Kathmandu's tight Classic eclipse, Sangster is optimistic

After Kathmandu's heartbreaking near-miss in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Sam Sangster was filled with joy and was confident his star filly would continue to shine this season in the family's renowned emerald green and blue silks.

The daughter of Showcasing, who was being trained by Brian Meehan at the ancient Manton Estate of the Sangster family, was participating in the Paris-Longchamp Classic for the first time.

Encouraged by a strong third-place finish in the Nell Gwyn at Newmarket and a favourable draw, connections were optimistic when they travelled to the French capital, where Kathmandu exceeded market expectations and was only defeated by a head.

“From where I was standing, I thought she was going to get it and she put in such a valiant effort,” said Sangster, who owns Kathmandu alongside Ed Babington. “For a filly making just her fourth start and her first in a Group One, she just seems to be on an upwards curve. It was a genius ride from Sean Levey and Brian Meehan and his team are so good at travelling horses all around the world, so we had every confidence going into the race she was going to be up for it. When the draw came out we felt more confident and the way she was leading into the race, we were just gaining more and more confidence and definitely didn’t have her down at 66-1.”

The three-year-old filly Kathmandu's performance in Paris seems to have won her the opportunity to continue representing the family at the top level over the upcoming months. Sangster's late father Robert enjoyed unbelievable success as an owner.

She has entered the Commonwealth Cup back down at six furlongs at Royal Ascot. She may potentially go back to France for the seven-furlong Prix Jean Prat, as well as the Jersey Stakes, the summer showcase race at the Berkshire circuit.

“We can look forward to a fun season and we might have to box a little clever as there isn’t a huge amount of options in the fillies-only division,” continued Sangster.

“I think at some point we’re going to have to take on the colts and whether that is at Royal Ascot in Jersey or the Commonwealth, or we could head back to France for the Prix Jean Prat. She holds an entry in the Commonwealth Cup and a stiff six (furlongs) could be an option. We will see how things pan out, we’ll enter her for the Jean Prat next week and then have a good look at all her options. Brian is a man who likes to have many options at his fingertips and we’ll bear the entry fees now as she deserves the money being spent on her.”

Sangster saw Isaac Shelby win the Greenham last year before Kathmandu before going down in a similar fate in the French 2000 Guineas after being acquired by the up-and-coming Wathnan Racing.

Now, expectations are high. Not only may Kathmandu become a standard-bearer for her trainer Meehan, but she can also represent the Sangster family colours, which were previously frequently seen on a racecourse, as they start to acquire prominence once more.

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