Set Piece (GB)
b/br g Dansili – Portodora (Kingmambo)
Originally trained by Hugo Palmer, Set Piece was a debut winner at Kempton in mid-December of his two-year-old year. He won again on the all weather in January of the following year, this time at Newcastle. Hugo Palmer commented: “He announced himself quite early on in the string as a horse of potential. I’m not ruling out the Craven.”
He went into the Gr.3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket at odds of 14-1. Despite making a less than ideal start, he travelled supremely well through the race but was edged into third place behind winner Skardu and runner-up Momkin.
His performance earned him a shot at the 2000 Guineas at the same course two weeks later, carrying his trainer’s hopes that he could run a big race. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able mount a challenge to the leaders. Palmer reported that Set Piece couldn’t get any cover in the race and did not like the ground which had become a bit loose since his run in the Craven Stakes.
He made little impression in his next run at Deauville and he was subsequently given a break from racing and gelded.
Set Piece made a stakes-winning return to racing in November 2019 where he ran on well to head the long-time race leader Khuzaam in the Listed Hyde Stakes at Kempton. He became his dam Portodora’s second stakes winner in 2019 – the other being half-sister Alocasia. He transferred to US trainer Brad Cox for his four-year-old season, making a winning US debut in an Allowance at Churchill Downs in June 2020 and finishing the year with a victory in the Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway.
2021 saw Set Piece earn his first Graded win in the Gr.2 Wise Dan Stakes at Churchill Downs when he beat triple Graded winner Somelikeithotbrown by half a length. His next run in the Gr.1 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga saw him miss the break but he rallied from last to second by the line.
Set Piece's first outing of 2022 was an unplaced effort in the Gr.1 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland in April. He bounced back to form towards the end of May to score his second Graded victory with a win in the Gr.2 Dinner Party Stakes at Pimlico. Racing sixth of seven until the far turn he came five wide into the home stretch and rallied to take down the rest of the field.