Raasel’s ascent up the sprinting ladder may have surprised some ahead of his outing in the Coral Charge at Sandown on Saturday – but not his shrewd owners who snapped him up for a meagre 10,000 guineas.
Having won on his debut for Marcus Tregoning in October 2019, he was beaten next time out and not seen again for 448 days, during which time he was sold by Shadwell and bought by The Horse Watchers.
While there was no immediate return on their investment in three runs on the all-weather early in 2021, switched back to turf in September last year, he won at Goodwood from a mark of 73 and it has been a success story ever since.
He will line up at Sandown on Saturday rated 108 having won another six races for Mick Appleby and Group One targets are now on the horizon.
“Funnily enough, when we bought him, we thought he’d be a lot more expensive than he was as we always felt he had loads of potential but he was bought with a little bit of a problem,” said Chris Dixon, one of The Horse Watchers.
“Thankfully that problem hasn’t ever been an issue and while we didn’t expect to be where we are, he’s always looked nice – the surprise to us was that he didn’t kick on straight away but he just needed time probably.
“He’s never been on proper fast ground and you don’t want to run something that has had problems on rattling fast, but actually I don’t think he’d be bothered by quick ground as he’s a very fast horse.
“He doesn’t want really soft ground. He was quite laboured at Nottingham last season for the last of his wins and you could have said it was the end of a busy spell, but also he doesn’t want that ground. He’s just a quick horse so he wants it good or faster.
“His big plan has always been the race at Goodwood, the King George that Battaash used to win. It’s a Group Two and worth a lot of money and that is the race everything revolves around.
“Either side of that, he’ll run in this and then either the Flying Five at the Curragh or the Nunthorpe with Goodwood in between, so his next three runs are well mapped out.”