Woodbine Mile international scouting report: Lord Glitters
You don’t have to look far to find parallels between Lord Glitters and 2015 Woodbine Mile (G1) winner Mondialiste: both French recruits for owners Geoff and Sandra Turnbull and trainer David O’Meara, both runner-up in the Lincoln to start the season, both coming off a signature victory in York’s Strensall S. (G3) en route to Canada.
Lord Glitters actually brings a stronger resume, having placed in three significant mile contests that Mondialiste did not even attempt in 2015. On the other hand, the lackluster state of the older mile division in Europe puts those results in context, and Lord Glitters is arguably tackling a deeper group of North Americans than Mondialiste faced at Woodbine.
The French-bred Lord Glitters is by Whipper, also the sire of current multiple French Group 1 hero Recoletos. If Whipper’s name isn’t familiar, he’s in turn by Miesque’s Son, the full brother to Kingmambo responsible for 2006 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) champion Miesque’s Approval.
Lord Glitters first sold as an Arqana October yearling for €25,000 and began his career for trainer Christophe Lotoux. Unraced at two, the gray won twice in the provinces at three and turned in a trio of runner-up efforts including in the Grand Prix du Lion d’Angers. He proved worthy of a promotion to marquee venues at four, going two-for-two in conditions races at Chantilly and Saint Cloud – success coinciding with his shortening up to mile.
Offered at Arqana’s 2017 Summer Sale, Lord Glitters commanded €270,000 from his current connections, more than they paid for Mondialiste (€190,000) at the same venue in 2014. Although a gelding, without the stud value of blueblood Mondialiste, he provided immediate validation for the purchase.
In his debut for O’Meara in last October’s Challenge Cup, a seven-furlong heritage handicap at Ascot, Lord Glitters rallied for second, just a half-length shy of Accidental Agent. Spot the gray at the rear who threads his way through the field:
ACCIDENTAL AGENT stays on strongly to win The Totescoop6 Challenge Cup pic.twitter.com/WKtj345IOH— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) October 7, 2017
Up to a mile at the same course in the Balmoral H. on Champions Day, Lord Glitters turned the tables on Accidental Agent while beating a salty group of handicappers. He was favorably treated at the weights, getting five pounds from his old foe, but his furious finish was full of merit. Watch how much work he still has to do behind the whole field before he finally switches to the outside:
The valuable Balmoral Handicap goes to Lord Glitters who flies home in the nick of time pic.twitter.com/kJH7Zp7EBp— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) October 21, 2017
Lord Glitters concluded the season in listed stakes company, missing by a neck as the 4-5 favorite in the Ben Marshall at Newmarket. Godolphin’s Bravo Zolo appeared to stay up the rising ground a tad better than Lord Glitters.
Next seen in the March 24 Lincoln heritage handicap, the traditional kickoff to the British Flat season, Lord Glitters shouldered the top weight of 136 pounds. Trying to give eight pounds to up-and-coming Addeybb was too much, but he stuck on for a commendable second at Doncaster. Addeybb went on to dominate the Sandown Mile (G2) over Stormy Antarctic (whose scouting report is here) and next-out Royal Ascot winner Aljazzi.
Plans called for Lord Glitters to have another race before his Royal Ascot engagement, but he missed his prep after coming down with a stuffy nose and dirty scope. Interestingly, O’Meara still swung for the fences in the Queen Anne (G1) rather than the Royal Hunt Cup as he did with Mondialiste in 2015, and Lord Glitters nearly pulled it off. A checkered passage cost him, and he couldn’t catch the 33-1 upsetter Accidental Agent. In a curious race that left more questions than answers, at least Lord Glitters edged a solid yardstick in Lightning Spear.
One of the hard-luck stories in the Queen Anne, Beat the Bank, came back to gain compensation in the Summer Mile (G2) on Ascot’s round course. Lord Glitters again closed strongly from well back and had to settle for second, but his form intersects with two North American Grade 1s. He nipped stablemate Suedois, last year’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) hero, and as in the Queen Anne, the fourth-placer was Century Dream, subsequently third (demoted to fourth) in the Arlington Million (G1).
Our feature race yesterday, the Group 2 Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes saw a fantastic victory for Beat The Bank... pic.twitter.com/OS02fe0t9p— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) July 15, 2018
Lord Glitters was himself under consideration for Arlington, but instead stayed across the pond. An unsatisfactory pace scenario and lack of room complicated his task in the Sussex (G1) at Glorious Goodwood, where he switched out belatedly for third to Lightning Spear. That’s the only time in his life that Lord Glitters has been out of the exacta at a mile, and he probably would have been no worse than second with clear sailing.
Last time out at York, the Strensall did not set up ideally either. Lord Glitters had to make a longer move than ideal, on a step up in trip to about nine furlongs, yet he found enough to dethrone defending champion Mustashry. In the circumstances, his effort is better than the visual impression.
Lord Glitters could get a form boost earlier on Saturday. Mushtashry runs in the Park (G2) at Doncaster (where he’s the early favorite) and Addeybb tries the Irish Champion (G1) (on ground that could be a bit quick for him at Leopardstown).
If the older mile division in Europe isn’t a vintage one, Lord Glitters still brings a potent turn of foot, along with the profile of a horse who’s just one good trip way from a big one. He’ll finally get a proper pace to set up his late kick here. Note that he can get on edge in the paddock, but that hasn’t been a hindrance to his performance on the track.
A bigger question is how he’ll handle flying in later than planned. Thanks to flight woes that kept him and Stormy Antarctic stuck in Amsterdam limbo for a few days, they only arrived in Toronto Thursday night, putting them on a tighter schedule than their respective trainers wanted.
O’Meara has future targets in mind, especially the Queen Elizabeth II (G1) on Champions Day at Ascot, then potentially the Breeders’ Cup Mile. So we’ll be hearing more from Lord Glitters.
Photo courtesy of Woodbine via Twitter