By Jon Lees
Norway: Scandinavia’s top racehorse Square De Luynes will have his next start on the international stage after reaffirming his local dominance with a second win in the Stockholm Cup on Sunday.
The horse dubbed the ‘Frankel of the Fjords’ raced to his sixth victory from ten starts at Sweden’s Bro Park, making all the running to land Scandinavia’s most prestigious race by 3½ lengths under Pat Cosgrave.
According to his trainer Niels Petersen, the five-year-old was only 90 per cent fit for the G3 event, which was his second start of the year. He is now considering his next move with the gelding, with a trip to North America among the possible options.
“We will see how he comes out of the race but going into it he still wasn’t 100 per cent because he had infection in the middle of the season and was out for a long time,” said Petersen, who trains in Ovrevoll, Norway.
“Pat said he wasn’t as sharp as he is when he is 100 per cent but this race will bring him forward,” the trainer went on.
“We have been talking forward and back about what to do. I rather fancy taking him to somewhere like Canada more than Germany, where there’s no money, or France, where it’s extremely competitive.
“We need to find somewhere that suits him and with Covid-19 all that is a little bit more difficult this year, but I haven’t ruled out him running again. There is nothing in Scandinavia for him now. If he runs again it will be abroad.”
Petersen added: “Pat is on to me big time about North America. He says with his way and style of racing he would benefit from going to the US or somewhere like Woodbine, rather than France or England. He’s been around so he knows a lot.
“But I don’t know when any of the races are or the logistics of getting there, so there is a lot to be discussed.”
Petersen, champion trainer of Norway for the last nine years and Scandinavian champion in five of the last seven, was winning his seventh Stockholm Cup in ten years.
Last year he received overtures from Hong Kong and the Breeders’ Cup. Instead he took Square De Luynes to Dubai but the horse never made his international debut.
Because of the disruption caused by the pandemic, Woodbine’s Canadian International was cancelled this year but the G1 Northern Dancer Turf, over the same course and distance on October 18, could be an alternative option for Square De Luynes.
“Thundering Blue won the Stockholm Cup two years ago and went to Canada [second in the Canadian International] afterwards so the timing is all right,” said Peterson.
Immediately after the race, Cosgrave said: “He needs to try abroad now because he is wasted here. He has such a big following, I don’t ever see him getting beat when he is on his A-game – it can only be my fault really.
“He won okay but I can see him getting better again. Those American turf races would suit him.”
Square De Luynes may not be the only one on his travels with Petersen, 48, admitting he may consider trying his hand in another part of the world.
“Somewhere deep down in my soul I wouldn’t mind coming out of Scandinavia to train,” he said. “I have been champion here for so many years and sometimes you need new goals and new ambitions. I am not even 50 so it may be fun to try outside some time.”
Jim Boyle records biggest training success with Hateya
There was British success on the Stockholm Cup card when Hateya, trained in Epsom by Jim Boyle, captured the Listed Lanwades Stud Stakes, completing a double for Cosgrave.
The 94-rated Hateya won going away to claim the £32,000 first prize and deliver Boyle’s biggest training success.