THE WOW SIGNAL was hailed by Norton handler John Quinn as “the best I have trained” after he streaked to victory in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The two-year-old was priced up as short as 16-1 for next year’s 2,000 Guineas as, on only his second racecourse appearance, he beat Cappella Sanservero by one-and-three quarter lengths.
Quinn’s stable star, bought by the trainer’s son Sean for £50,000 at an Ascot breeze-up sale in April, had won his previous start at Ayr and, with Frankie Dettori on board, was always up with the pace before breaking clear with more than two furlongs left to travel.
Bought by Al Shaqab Racing in the run up to the contest, and with Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani watching on, Highfield-based Quinn believes he could turn up at Newmarket next year with good chances of landing him his first Classic.
He said: “He worked on Saturday morning and I nearly crashed my four by four trying to keep up with him. We thought he was very good, but you need a top-class colt to win a Coventry. I’d have been disappointed if he wasn’t in the mix, but this is the Olympics so I’m over the moon.
“Six furlongs here is fine, but this fellow is crying out for seven furlongs and a mile. He will turn up in the Guineas next year with a good chance. He had to run and win, but he’s very good and I’ll campaign him this season accordingly. I’ll talk to Harry Herbert (Al Shaqab’s racing advisor).
“I expected him to win at Ayr, but a horse he was working with at home was beaten at Hamilton and that just made us think. Then he won at Ayr and the form was franked and franked - you can’t fake that. I’m so, so pleased to have him and so pleased Harry Herbert bought him.
“Plenty of other people wanted to buy him to take him out of the yard, and I said to the owners, ‘God, if this one goes I might never get another as good’, but Harry matched the price and was the first to say he would leave him with me. I’m very grateful for that.
“He’s come and beaten the best colts available comprehensively and wasn’t held up but was right on the speed. I think he deserves a lot of credit, because horses came from out of the pack and couldn’t get to him.
“You don’t tell Frankie Dettori how to ride Ascot, but the one thing I said was he has huge cruising speed.”
Dettori, now two short of 50 Royal Ascot winners, added: “John was ultra-confident. The only question mark was that he wanted soft ground. Everything went to plan.”