Satish Sanan and Mrs. John Magnier's Bach tracked the pace then held off Jammaal to win the Royal Whip Stakes (Ire-II) on Sunday at the Curragh, giving the 4-year-old his first group stakes win. The $327,730 yearling purchase is a bay son of Caerleon -- Producer, by Nashua.
Under Michael Kinane, Bach completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:12 1/5 on yielding to soft ground at the Irish course. Jammaal finished a half-length back in second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Exaltation. Reina Blanca and Northern Rock completed the order of finish.
Bach won his first three career starts, including two stakes races, but then finished second in his final two starts as a 3-year-old, including a head-length loss to Sinndar in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes (Ire-III).
This year, Bach has performed well in minor stakes – winning the Budweiser Celebration Stakes and finishing second in two others – but failed to hit the board when facing top-class competition in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) and Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I), both won by Fantastic Light. His form began to improve with the Celebration Stakes win, which he followed with a close-up third in the 1 1/4-mile Coral Eurobet Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I), before disappointing with a seventh-place finish in the one-mile Champagne Lanson Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) earlier this month. The Royal Whip win marks his fifth career win from 13 starts, all for trainer Aidan O'Brien.
O'Brien said Bach will likely pass on Tuesday's York Juddmonte International (Eng-I).
"I suppose it's unlikely now that Bach will be going to York, but I'm not ruling him out just yet, until we see how he is in the morning," the conditioner told Sporting Life. "His joint owner, Satish Sanan, is keen on the million dollar Atto Mile (Can-I) at Woodbine next month, so we will think about the trip to Canada as well."
Orpendale, Swettenham Stud and DR. M.V. O'Brien bred Bach in Ireland.