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.