What do Inglis Drever, No Refuge and Chivalry have in common? They were all bought out of the yard of Sir Mark Prescott before going on to have successful careers as jumpers and it is from the same stable that the Coral Champions Club have sourced new recruit Status Quo.
Status Quo, a three-year-old gelding by Thewayyouare, sire of UAE Derby winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic second Toast Of New York, becomes the fourth and final member of the Coral Champions Club stable for the year after joining Innocent Girl at Harry Fry’s. Churchtown Champ with Dan Skelton and an unraced three-year-old bumper prospect by Fracas trained by Colin Tizzard are the other horses to carry the Club’s colours this season.
Selected by Fry and top agent Anthony Bromley, the man who found Kauto Star, Master Minded and Big Buck’s among others, Status Quo was purchased for 30,000gns (£31,500) from the Tattersalls Horses In Training sale in Newmarket earlier this week.
Fry says: “He’s a lovely stamp of a horse. He’s 16.3 hands and very well made and he looks the part. I said when we bought him that if looks mean anything then the Coral Champions Club will be leading in a good winner come the spring! Hopefully he’ll be able to perform well over the next few months.”
Securing Status Quo was an achievement in itself with record trade at the sales due to the weakness of the pound. Average prices increased by 35 per cent compared to last year while 90 per cent of the horses offered found new homes. Very few fell through the cracks.
“It was hard to find horses,” Fry admits. “We were underbidder on one and another we watched through without ever managing to get a bid on! We were thrilled to get him.”
Status Quo has a strong profile to make an impact over jumps. He raced three times as a two-year-old winning a 7f maiden at Wolverhampton. He returned in the spring with two runs over 1m and 1m2f before he was given time to grow and mature over the summer as he filled his imposing frame and mentally became more professional.
He returned with two solid runs over 1m4f and 2m proving that staying will be his game, while two of his siblings were tried over hurdles showing that jumping is in his blood.
Having arrived at Fry’s stable in Seaborough, Dorset from Prescott’s Newmarket stable, the first thing Status Quo will be doing is learning to embrace his jumping genes.
Fry says: “The first thing we’ll need to do is teach him to jump. He has the size and scope to do it and I look forward to running him. He’s run twice in October so he’s race fit, it’s just a case of getting him jumping and used to his new job.”
With race fitness on his side, it will be a case of how quickly Status Quo takes to jumping that will determine when he runs. However, there is already plenty of anticipation around what he could do.
Fry says: “He had a couple of runs in the spring and had some time off in the summer before coming back for a couple of runs recently so we can get going with him straight away. It’s not like he’s coming off a hard campaign on the Flat in the summer so we can push on and see how quickly he takes to jumping. He has the size and scope to do it and I look forward to running him.”