The Prix Texanita (Gr.3), over 1,200m at Chantilly, was won in superb fashion by Wooded, in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing. This 3-year-old colt, who is trained by Francis Graffard, was having his first start of 2020, having placed twice at Group level as a 2-year-old, when third in the Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon last October on very soft ground, and nosed off for second in the Group 3 Prix La Rochette in September.
On his home racecourse of Chantilly, Wooded fulfilled all the promise he had shown at 2 with a dominant display of speed in a strong renewal of this race. Starting favorite under jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot, he was sharply away. Two of the pack broke away to run down the far side, whilst Wooded went forward to sit up near the pace on the stands side alongside Alocasia (Kingman). Once three furlongs had run by Wooded began to pull clear, with Alocasia giving chase. He showed an excellent turn of foot off a very fast pace, and victory never looked in doubt. He finished 3 1/2 lengths in front of Alocasia, who was herself a Listed winner and Group placed at 2, with another 2 lengths to the third-placed, My Love’s Passion (Elvstroem), also Group placed at a 2, who came up the far side of the track.
Racing Manager for Al Shaqab Racing, Rupert Pritchard-Gordon, said: “He showed that he’s got a lot of speed. Wooded had a good winter, he is much stronger. His jockey gave him a very good ride: the colt set a good pace, but in his rythym,. It’s a great start and it’s good to see him win by such a large distance. Alocasia, the second, also drew clear from the rest of the field. We can dream of running him in the Commonwealth Cup, if the owner and the trainer want to go and if that is possible. In France, he would have to face older horses. He has the right to try his luck in a Gr1.”
Wooded is by Wootton Bassett, sire of Champion Almanzor, and was bought by Al Shaqab Racing at the Arqana October Yearling Sale in 2018. He is a full brother to the useful Beat Le Bon.