2022 Breeders' Cup International Scouting Report: Silver Knott
Here is a sample from Kellie Reilly's in-depth International Scouting Report analyzing all the foreign shippers for the 2022 Breeders' Cup at Keeneland.
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Silver Knott is a much more exciting European classic prospect than his Godolphin stablemate Mysterious Night. From that perspective, it’s fascinating trainer Charlie Appleby sends Silver Knott to the Breeders’ Cup, not Mysterious Night, who earned a free pass to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) in his Summer (G1) romp. The simplest conclusion is that Silver Knott is a formidable operator in this spot.
On the other hand, Silver Knott is a much more stoutly bred colt than Mysterious Night, and the question is whether a two-turn mile is on the sharp side for him. Sire Lope de Vega helps, but his dam is the thoroughgoing stayer God Given, winner of the 2018 Park Hill (G2) at Doncaster and the Premio Lydia Tesio (G1) in a fairytale finale for the retiring Luca Cumani. By Nathaniel (sire of Enable), God Given is a half to multiple Group 1 star Postponed.
Silver Knott, who won the Fasig-Tipton Night Of The Stars Solario Stakes, is a son of Lope de Vega bred by St Albans Bloodstock out of Group 1 Premio Lydia Tesio winner God Given.— Racing Post Bloodstock (@rpbloodstock) August 20, 2022
Here he is as a yearling when sold to Godolphin for 725,000gns at Tattersalls Book 1 pic.twitter.com/CcMpYNV5vt
No wonder that Silver Knott, who sold for approximately $1 million as a Tattersalls October yearling, started out over seven furlongs. The 11-10 favorite in a Newbury novice, he made a brief move before finishing a one-paced fourth to future star Chaldean.
Silver Knott won next time over the same trip on Kempton’s Polytrack, looking sharper if still green at odds of 1-2. With the tactical foot to go forward, he kicked away from his only pace attendant, and despite lurching briefly and drifting in the stretch, drew off as much the best. The second and third both came back to win on the all-weather. Interestingly, jockey William Buick later said that it wasn’t the right idea to set the pace.
MUCCIOLO: Breeders' Cup: Two-year-old trends
Silver Knott put it all together with a powerful performance in his stakes bow in the Solario (G3). Easing back to last, to avoid getting stacked out wide early on the Sandown turn, he looked like the winner a long way out. Silver Knott simply cruised up on the bridle and demolished them once set down in earnest.
Odds-on for the Champagne (G2), Silver Knott couldn’t gain traction on the soft going at Doncaster. He wound up a tame third (in a three-runner race) behind Chaldean, the next-out Dewhurst (G1) winner.
The Autumn (G3) at Newmarket was the right spot to get Silver Knott back on track, offering a step up in trip on the good Rowley Mile. That race has also showcased several past Godolphin stars, including the Appleby-trained Ghaiyyath and Coroebus, and Silver Knott rates as a worthy successor. Carrying three pounds extra for his Solario win, he beat well-fancied Epictetus and a solid yardstick in Holloway Boy. Silver Knott had to angle out into the clear while Epictetus got first run on him. On the rising ground, Silver Knott collared Epictetus in a strong time of 1:36.
A thrilling renewal of the @emirates Autumn Stakes goes the way of Silver Knott, with the Lope De Vega colt staying on best of all to hand a quickfire Group 3 double to the William Buick, Charlie Appleby and @godolphin team 🥇 pic.twitter.com/0kvYa8Tm1v— Newmarket Racecourse (@NewmarketRace) October 8, 2022
The form is rock-solid. Epictetus, Holloway Boy, and Autumn fourth Dancing Magic all came back to finish in the same places in the Vertem Futurity Trophy (G1), behind Ballydoyle’s highly-regarded Auguste Rodin.
Considering how well Silver Knott travels through his races, he could be just as effective around Keeneland’s configuration. After all, Appleby is factoring in aptitudes as he decides which of his deep two-year-old squad fits the conditions, and his three Juvenile Turf winners vouch for his judgment. Yet Silver Knott’s riders, Buick and Pat Dobbs, have mentioned that he’s still very much in the developmental phase. He might just be too good regardless.