Fanciful Angel was purchased for 135,000 Guineas in July 2016 at the Tattersalls July Sale in Newmarket as a 4yo. He was a very exciting recruit to the Touch Gold Racing team, the highest rated horse we have had thus far at 107. We chose to keep him in training with Marco Botti and after two creditable efforts in the UK that summer he was given a break before resuming training in preparation for the Dubai Carnival.
He ran on December 22nd at Chelmsford where he was a creditable 4th, finishing well off a slow pace. He shipped to Meydan at the turn of the year and put up a thrilling performance to comfortably win a Carnival handicap off 103. Unfortunately things did not go his way after that, and he was unable to progress on that in his subsequent 2 starts, an illustration of how difficult it can be to keep a shipper in top condition during the Carnival, with a very different training schedule to what he is used to in Newmarket.
His UK summer campaign began well, with a creditable staying on effort in the Newbury Spring Cup, faring much the best of those drawn high. He behaved so beautifully in the prelims that day, and this was the clear indication we needed that he was finally ready to try 10f, so after a short break he was pitched in at Chelmsford as top weight in a class 2 handicap.
After missing the break, he sat last under a cool ride from now regular partner Danny Muscutt and charged from last to first in the home straight to win going away. That was his best performance to date and opened doors to new races for him over the longer trip. After Chelmsford we made the plan that he would ship to Chicago for the Arlington Million, a race we had had in a mind for him for a while due to the similarity of the track to Meydan, and his ability to handle shipping. Although it was a huge step up in class, we believed that the ability was definitely there to run well, should everything fall into place.
Fanciful did not disappoint. He was a picture of calm in the prelims and looked superb. He stood out against a Group 1 field. The draw was kind to us and we were able to plot a great route for him, which Danny executed to perfection. His customary late surge saw him snatch 2nd close home and pick up a cheque for $190,000. It was an absolutely thrilling experience and the culmination of a year of detailed teamwork. It could not have gone any better.
Naturally off the back of such a big performance we received multiple offers for Fanciful and decided to accept one from some top US based owners, believing that we would struggle to further improve him in the UK, but give them a chance to in the US under conditions that clearly suited him well.
He went on on to finish second in another Grade 1 and was last seen running in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar.
Sadly Fanciful was involved in a freak stalls accident and had to be put down in December. The big grey will be sorely missed by everyone.