The second coming it was not but Without Parole did enough in the Listed Heron Stakes to secure his place in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, with trainer John Gosden adamant the best is yet to come from the son of Frankel.
Odds on after shattering the clock at Yarmouth on his previous start, Without Parole missed a possible 2,000 Guineas bid after suffering a bruised foot and overnight left Gosden with further cause for concern.
But with Ascot in mind, he felt obliged to run and John and Tanya Gunther’s three-year-old did the rest, sticking on bravely to win under hands and heels in the closing stages from Frankie Dettori.
“We were a little bit behind coming into this,” said Gosden, more agitated than usual after big-race success. “But if we were going to Ascot we had to run him. He missed a lot of work as a result of his foot and we were coming here off only two pieces of work.”
With that in mind and considering the ground did not play to his strengths, the 5-1 Paddy Power offer for the St James’s Palace may not be far off with no Saxon Warrior to contend with at Ascot.
Gosden added: “It’s not the sort of ground they’re going to go whizzing off on – it was a test. Summer ground at Ascot will be his game and he will come on a bundle.”
Like Gosden, owner-breeder Gunther breathed a big sigh of relief having jetted in from the US to watch the race. He will be back for Royal Ascot but not before heading home to watch Justify, who he also bred, bid for Triple Crown immortality in the Belmont Stakes.
“I was more nervous about this guy than I have been about any horse for a long time,” said Gunther.
“It’s exciting for me but he’s better suited to fast turf and the ground was against him. I flew over just for the race and will be flying back to New York soon for the big guy – but I’ll definitely be back next month for Royal Ascot.”