Valiant second for Proxy in G3 Lecomte Stakes
Proxy produced a performance full of promise on his G3 debut with a rallying second in the Lecomte Stakes over an extended mile on dirt at Fair Grounds, USA, on Saturday, 16 January.
The Tapit colt, victorious over the same course and distance for trainer Michael Stidham on his two previous starts, was prominent throughout and soon raced in second as Midnight Bourbon established a two-length advantage over the field.
Proxy briefly pressed for the lead approaching the two-furlong marker before staying on gamely in the straight under Mitchell Murrill. The Godolphin homebred battled strongly to see off the challenge of Mandaloun in the closing stages and finish a length behind all-the-way winner Midnight Bourbon.
Michael Stidham said: “We were delighted with Proxy. He had to take a step up from his allowance race win, while he was coming up against some horses who had already competed at Graded level, so he ran extremely well. He was full of himself all the way to the wire and galloped out big, holding off Mandaloun for second in the stretch.
“As long as he is doing well, the G2 Risen Star Stakes back here (Saturday, 13 February) will be next for him and hopefully the G2 Louisiana Derby after that. We like the idea that the Risen Star is a mile and an eighth now, while the Louisiana Derby is a mile and three-sixteenths, which I think is going to help Proxy.”