Positive - 2019
We were treated to a thrilling renewal of the Solario Stakes 12 months ago when Positive and Kameko locked horns inside the final furlong. The Clive Cox-trained colt went into the race as a strong favourite having finished second to two-year-old phenomenon Pinatubo in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
He was delivered with his challenge inside the final two furlongs but was met with opposition on both sides with Godolphin’s Al Suhail coming widest of all and Kameko rallying back up the inside. It went to the judge who was only to separate Positive and Kameko by a nose, in favour of the former.
The ends of their two-year-old campaigns were more contrasting. Positive ran behind Pintatubo again in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes while Andrew Balding’s charge went to the rescheduled Vertem Futurity Stakes at Newcastle and delivered his first Group 1 success.
Kameko was to follow in Masar’s footsteps in becoming a Classic winner when the 2000 Guineas was run behind closed doors in June. Under champion jockey Oisin Murphy, the son of Kitten’s Joy produced a fabulous display in what was a fine moment for huge supporters of the sport Qatar Racing.
He then went on to run in the Investec Derby, and was arguably unlucky in a great edition of the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood a few weeks ago.
This just goes to show how well last year’s Solario Stakes has worked out for the main protagonists. The expensively bought Al Suhail who finished third also went to the 2000 Guineas where he didn’t fire but since he’s produced an impressive display on the July Course.
Too Darn Hot - 2018
He was simply ‘too darn good’ and exploded on to the juvenile scene in the Solario Stakes 12 months ago. He debuted at Sandown Park over the slightly further trip of one mile, about a month earlier and created a most favourable impression under Frankie Dettori.
Masar - 2017
As it was to turn out, the Solario Stakes was featured on Masar’s path to Investec Derby glory the following year.
South Seas - 2016
South Seas made it a perfect three from three when running away with the 2016 renewal of the Solario for Qatar Racing.
Then in the care of Andrew Balding, the son of French 2000 Guineas and Derby winner, Lope De Vega, made light work of his debut maiden and his subsequent Novice race and took the step up to Group company in his stride.
Under Oisin Murphy, he made eye-catching headway into the final two furlongs of the race and was very decisive at the line.
Following him home in second was the Sylvester Kirk-trained Salouen, who already had plenty of races under his belt. He himself has gone on since to race at the highest level, finishing placed in a couple of Group 1s including a short-head second to Cracksman in the 2019 Investec Coronation Cup. Others in behind that day included The Queen’s Seniority, who won a valuable handicap at Glorious Goodwood last summer.
South Seas himself has endured a mixed bag of fortunes since the Solario success. On his next start he couldn’t get on terms with the main protagonists in the Dewhurst behind Churchill but turned in a much better effort when finishing second to Thunder Snow in the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.
He only raced twice as a three-year-old which included finishing well down the field in the French 2000 Guineas won by Brametot and resumed his four-year-old career in handicap company.
It’s unlikely we’ll see him return to anything like his success in the Solario Stakes and it is hoped that Phil Kirby, his new trainer, can get him, now at the age of five, back in form and back on the winning trail.