LIBRISA BREEZE ran a personal best at Ascot on Champions Day and an inevitable rise in the handicap has led him to be rated 119, the highest ever rating for a Dean Ivory-trained horse.
Most form students and pundits thought it would be around a half a stone increase and indeed it was exactly that with an increase of 7lbs from 112 to 119. There was a certain inevitability about the rise given the placings with Tasleet, Caravaggio and Harry Angel who were second, third and fourth, rated 116, 121 and 125 respectively.
Librisa does indeed love Ascot (two big handicap wins and a second in the Royal Hunt Cup) and the soft going played to his strengths over the six furlong trip but his authoritative victory over horses all rated above him guaranteed that the son of Mount Nelson would take a hike.
Talk is now of racing abroad, so will it be Dubai, Hong Kong or Australia? No doubt there will be a lot of discussion between owner and Brighton Chairman, Tony Bloom, his team and the Master of Harper Lodge Farm but it looks on the cards that at some point, he may be travelling further than his usual 80 mile round trip to his favoured Berkshire track!
Prior to Librisa Breeze, it was Tropics, twice a narrowly beaten runner-up in the July Cup (in 2014 and 2015) who ruled the roost at Harper Lodge Farm, being rated 117 at his best. The 9yo has been a magnificent servant to the stable with eight wins and not far short of £1/2 million in prize money won.
One of the shrewdest purchases in British racing history, Tropics came agonisingly close to giving the stable its first Group One but as his star wanes, so another rises. Harper Lodge Farm has a new rising star…Librisa Breeze!