The Wow Signal
edged past U.S.-based Hootenanny
nearing the finish of the Aug. 24 Darley Prix Morny (Fr-I) for 2-year-olds at Deauville and won by a half-length to kept his perfect record intact.
Trainer John Quinn enjoyed his first group I win with Al Shaqab Racing's son of freshman sire Starspangledbanner
, who also gained his first winner at the top level. The Wow Signal finished 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) in 1:11.93 on very soft turf for his third victory from as many career starts.
Hootenanny and Ride Like the Wind set a torrid pace while The Wow Signal raced in midfield before jockey Frankie Dettori pushed him to advance halfway through. Leandro Goncalves urged Hootenanny to a narrow lead a quarter mile out. As Ride Like the Wind faded out of contention, The Wow Signal ranged up on the outside to engage the leader through the final furlong.
The pair raced stride-for-stride before Dettori called on the The Wow Signal for more and the colt delivered the winning surge.
Hootenanny, trained in the U.S. by Wesley Ward, held for second, with the Aga Khan's previously undefeated filly Ervedya
finishing third, another length back in the nine-horse field.
Ward told England's Press Association
that Hootenanny, a son of Quality Road
campaigned by Coolmore and partners, lost nothing in defeat, and he most likely will prepare the colt for the Breeders' Cup this fall at Santa Anita Park
"After the race you can look at it 100 different ways and try and work how you might have won, but the end result is still the same," said Ward, who captured last year's Prix Morny with No Nay Never
. "The jockey said he was changing his lead and changing his lead as he couldn't get a hold of the ground. It's pretty deep.
"He was also on the pace the whole way and the other horse that was with us ended up getting beat 20 lengths. He went six furlongs on pretty soft ground and hung on tough, so he should get even further on a faster track.
"We'll take him home now and look at something like the Breeders' Cup. We'll try and find a pre-race for him somewhere before that to give him practice of going around two turns."
Al Shaqab's racing manager Harry Herbert was pleased by The Wow Signal's effort.
"I thought it was a really superb performance over a trip that is probably getting too short for him, especially with the American speed horse in the race," he told the Press Association. "It became a real slog, but he's such a tough horse he battled it out, and it's a terrific training performance by John Quinn.
"We'll look to move him up to seven furlongs now. We'll look at the Dewhurst (Eng-I), but I think it is probably more likely we'll aim at the big 2-year-old race at Longchamp on Arc day, the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-I)."
Both The Wow Signal and Hootenanny entered off victories at Royal Ascot June 17. Hootenanny captured the Windsor Castle Stakes, and The Wow Signal took the Coventry Stakes (gr. II) after winning his debut by nine lengths in May at Ayr.
The Wow Signal was bred in Ireland by Mrs. Tommy Stack. He is out of the unraced High Chaparral mare Muravka and from the family of French classic-winning filly Ta Rib.