Condon hatches Champion plan

Success Days could be aimed at British Champions Day

Ken Condon is considering the Champion Stakes at Ascot as a potential long-term target for Success Days following his narrow defeat at the Curragh on Sunday.

The admirable grey made much of the running in the Group Three International Stakes before he was outmuscled late on by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Johannes Vermeer.

Success Days is likely to be kept on the go for the remainder of the summer, but Condon already has one eye on a tilt at Group One glory at Ascot in October.

He said: "He ran a great race the other day on ground quicker than ideal. We were very pleased with him.

"He was conceding 3lb to Johannes Vermeer and has run his usual consistent race.

"The Royal Whip (August 20, Curragh) might be next if the ground is suitable, although we'll also keep an eye on the Meld Stakes in Leopardstown (July 20) before then.

"If the ground came up soft, the Group One we'd be looking at is the Champion Stakes in Ascot (October 21).

"He runs to a mark of around 114 consistently, which wouldn't be good enough to win most Group Ones, but when the ground goes very soft it can change the context of the race.

"We'll see how things pan out between now and then."

The Rathbride-based trainer was similarly pleased with the performance of Mamba Noire in the Grangecon Stud Stakes on Sunday.

The daughter of Wootton Bassett finished a clear third behind O'Brien's pair of Clemmie and Butterscotch and could head to England for her next appearance.

"I think the two Ballydoyle fillies that finished ahead of her are both probably Group One fillies," said Condon.

"There was no hiding place. A few of the jockeys that rode in it said it rode like a good race and that's the way it looked.

"Our filly came home well in the last 75 yards, which is always good to see and got the six furlongs well.

"She might get seven furlongs later in the year, but we might stick to six for now and she'll have an entry in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes in Newmarket on Friday week.

"We'll see how she is in the next week or so, but she seems to have come out of the race on Sunday well."

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