TROPICS created a little piece of history last night when breaking the £1/2 million prize money barrier after winning at Chelmsford under Robert Winston.
The 10-year-old was winning his 10th race showing that the veteran sprinter still clearly enjoys the game and has what it takes to win. He made all and despite edging left inside the final furlong, ran on well to win by a neck from Upavon.
This was the second victory of the winter for Tropics who may not be the force of old but solid in the market at 7/2, he still has what it takes to compete at a decent level. Yesterday, he was winning in a 0-95 handicap off a mark of 92, some 24lbs lower than his highest mark four years ago when he reached 116.
The story of Tropics is truly remarkable. He went through the sales ring as a foal for $280,000 and was resold as a yearling for $700,000 to Sheikh Mohammed. The well bred son of Speightstown never raced, was knocked down for just £2,500 guineas at Newmarket’s prestigious Horses In Training Sale in 2011 and came to Harper Lodge Farm.
Tropics was given plenty of time to mature and made his debut at Kempton as a 4yo, finishing second. He broke his duck at the third time of asking and the following year, won four times, including the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot.
Arguably, his best efforts were not wins but two runners-up spots in Europe’s richest sprint, the Darley July Cup in 2014 and 2015. On the second occasion, Tropics was collared by the joint favourite, Muhaarar and beaten a nose!
Yesterday’s win was the fourth for the yard this month, following the two victories of Lucymai and the success of Dor’s Law. Sixty-three per cent of all runs have been in the first four.