Spain: Mexico City, who survived a horsebox fire that killed seven of its ten occupants has won his first race to earn a crack at the Spanish 2,000 Guineas (Gran Premio Cimera).
The ex-Aidan O’Brien-trained colt was among a group of Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale recruits en route to Madrid when their transporter suffered a blowout and burst into flames last October.
Mexico City, who had been purchased for 60,000gns by bloodstock agent Edgar Byrne, was pulled clear unharmed and completed the journey to join up with Spain’s champion trainer Guillermo Arizkorreta.
But Wise Counsel, a five-year-old sprinter who raced for Clive Cox and had also been bought for the same Yeguada Rocio ownership, perished. Daayeb, a three-year-old, and two juveniles Hawaamesh and Just Awesome were other victims.
Mexico City, a three-year-old son of No Nay Never who was third in a G3 on the last of four starts for O’Brien, made his debut in early April and opened his account in a conditions race on Sunday at La Zarzuela, winning by more than three lengths under Vaclav Janacek.
Byrne said: “The owner took the loss of Wise Counsel very badly. He would have got great joy out of seeing Mexico City win on Sunday.
“Someone tweeted me to say the other horses were running to the line with him. That’s a nice way of putting it. There were seven horses lost and he carried their memory with him.”
• Visit the Guillermo Arizkoretta stable website