By Jon Lees
GB: Ed Vaughan begins his quest to finish his training career with a G1 win to his name in Germany on Saturday with Dame Malliot, aboard whom Hollie Doyle will have her first-ever ride at the top level.
Never having tasted G1 success, Vaughan has unfinished business before he exits the ranks of Newmarket trainers at the end of the season as he sends the classy four-year-old filly to Cologne racecourse for the 58th Preis von Europa.
Rivals include Godolphin’s Barney Roy, who won a G1 event in Munich last month.
Dame Malliot gave Vaughan and Doyle the biggest win of their respective careers in the G2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting.
Now Vaughan is hoping to strike at the highest level. “You couldn’t ask for a more fitting way to finish my last year than with a Group 1 win,” said Vaughan.
“On her run the last day she was very impressive,” he went on. “She is in very good form obviously. We took a view we would give this a crack. She is good on the ratings and everything; she should be bang there.”
Although Vaughan has enjoyed 16 years of consistent success, he has competed at G1 level only occasionally with the likes of Dance And Dance, an unlucky sixth in the 2011 Woodbine Mile, and Mehronissa, fourth in the 2016 Haydock Sprint Cup.
“Small boats need to stay close to the shoreline – my dad used to use that expression,” he said. “When you don’t have that many, it’s hard to find those good ones.”
Dame Malliot has proved she is a ‘good one’, but even her victory at Newmarket last month could not stop Vaughan announcing days later that keeping the business going in the present economic climate was no longer sustainable, particularly after a pandemic.
“The operating costs here in the UK are very high,” he said. “We are not racing for much money and I think things are going to get very tough. The only way we can do it is to top up with prize-money and that has got worse.”
Dame Malliot earned £32,000 for her G2 victory in a race that was worth £57,000 to the winner in 2019. Saturday’s race offers £70,000 to the winner, down from £90,000 last year.
Vaughan also trains for Phoenix Thoroughbreds, who announced this week they were withdrawing from the UK. Winning sprinter Magic J, who originally cost his owners $950,000, will run one of his final races in Britain at York next week.
Vaughan does not know what the future holds but will train up to November when some of his string will be disbanded at the Horses-In-Training Sale.
“Dame Malliot will have some G1 entries in the fillies’ races down the line, including the Prix Vermeille and the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares at Ascot,” he said. “Being a filly now it’s important we try and win a Group 1 with her.”