Telescope is a vintage racehorse - his muscularity, length, and elegance are reminiscent of pivotal sires such as St Simon. The dark colt is a regal, long-bodied figure capable of great inspiration and prowess.
A son of the brilliant stallion, Galileo, Telescope never raced as a juvenile. However, he showed promise the following year. As a consequence of injury, Telescope wasn’t able to achieve his connections’ hopes at three, but raced five times, never finished worse than second, and built a solid résumé that includes Group wins.
Favored by the betting public in the 2014 Hardwicke Stakes (Gr-II), the four-year-old had been training well and appeared in good form. Described as a “free sweater” before his races, he began perspiring in the paddock due to his nerves and the oppressive heat, and was thoroughly sponged down.
The spectators anticipated this colt would enjoy the good-to-firm ground at Ascot. Telescope had only two starts this season, finishing second to Frankel’s full-brother and eventual 2014 Tattersalls Gold Cup (Gr-I) winner, Noble Mission, by nine lengths and 2 ¼ lengths respectively on soft turf. Notably, Telescope’s first-ever start was a narrow runner-up performance last September on Ascot’s good-to-firm ground.
Saturday’s Royal Ascot crowds focused on Telescope as he went to the post for the Hardwicke with Ryan Moore aboard. The leading jockey of the meet looked to secure his top standing with his ride on Telescope, who he had ridden in all but two of his starts. Breaking from the eighth stall, the imposing colt settled just off the leaders in fourth through the early stages of the 1 ½ mile event.
Just inside the three furlong marker, Moore pressured his charge for his best effort. Telescope responded instantly with an impressive surge, throttling the vanguard and driving clear into the final furlong to win by a dominating seven length score. The potent colt won the ten horse race with a striking final time of 2:27.45, provided trainer Sir Michael Stoute with his eighth win in the King Edward VII, and completed a jockey/trainer double for closing Saturday.
After the victory, Ryan Moore remarked, “He's got a real good attitude in his races now. It probably wasn't the strongest Hardwicke, but I was delighted with the he did everything during the race and he stayed on very well. He sees that trip out very well; 10 [furlongs] has just been a bit short for him the last twice.”
Harry Herbert, managing director for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, commented, “He travelled very well at Chester, but when I let him down he struggled on that ground. This was obviously a career best and hopefully he can push on from here.” He added, “He had his ground today and over the right trip it was a hell of a performance. Sir Michael will make the decisions but you'd be pretty bonkers to say the King George [VII and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr-I)] is not the obvious race having performed like that.”