Penitent set G1 task
Eclipse possible for O'Meara charge
Last Updated: 02/05/12 9:40am
Penitent is likely to have his sights raised to Group One level for his next outing after making the perfect start to his career with David O'Meara.
Bought for 40,000 guineas out of William Haggas' yard, the former Lincoln winner has taken his form to a new level for the Nawton handler.
He made his debut for the stable in a Doncaster Listed race when he held off John Gosden's Questioning and the same two horses fought out the finish to the Sandown Mile on Friday, with Penitent confirming his superiority.
The six-year-old suffered some issues when with Haggas, which meant he was restricted to racing on soft ground but since the switch, he has been 100% sound.
He was bought by Middleham Park Racing and one of their racing managers, Nick Bradley, has been scouring the Pattern Book for options.
"We put him in the Eclipse on Tuesday morning. We'd not considered it until 11.55am but I made a quick call to David and he said 'why not?'," said Bradley.
"He might not get 10 furlongs - if anything he's likely to go back down in trip - but we'll see.
"He's in the Lockinge but I'd say at this stage it's more likely that he'll go to France for the Prix d'Ispahan. The winner of that gets an invite to the Arlington Million so that would be nice.
"Whenever we buy a horse we have a plan and we thought we'd be looking at Listed races or Group Threes at best, but we're within our rights to be looking at Group Ones now.
"It just shows how good a trainer David is.
"I went up there on Monday morning to check on the horse and the combined total of all his 70-odd horses is about £500,000, so we're delighted that we've backed him with a really good horse."