Brennan: Essential Quality ‘The Total Package’ From Day One

Niall Brennan has prepared young horses for their racing careers long enough to know a potential star when he sees one. When he broke Grade 1 Runhappy Travers winner Essential Quality at his training center in Ocala, Fla., he said he saw a bright future ahead of the sensational Tapit colt.

Trained by Eclipse Award winning conditioner Brad Cox, Godolphin’s Essential Quality added a fourth Grade 1 triumph to his stellar ledger on Saturday by winning the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers.

Essential Quality earned Champion 2-Year-Old honors last season with victories in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, both at Keeneland.

Following his lone defeat when fourth in the Kentucky Derby, Essential Quality racked up meaningful wins in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on June 5 and the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 30 at Saratoga. In doing so, he became the first horse since Arts and Letters in 1969 to take down all three races.

“We had a few Godolphin colts and he was one that you could really see the light going on,” Brennan recalled. “Especially for a Tapit colt, many of them can be unfocused. They can be a little tough, but this lad wasn’t. He was a good feeling colt but always very professional and smart.”

Brennan said that progeny of multiple champion producing sire Tapit can be tough to handle, but Essential Quality carried himself in a professional manner.

“Tapits are tough. They’re hardy,” Brennan said. “The ones that are good are very good. He was never a bad actor, and was always a smart horse. He played around like all colts do. They get turned out every day in the paddock. He always showed that he would go to the racetrack, love his job and train well. Every day he would catch your eye.”

Brennan described Essential Quality as the “total package” because he had many attributes that great horses display early on in their development.

“You know they have talent when they have a good frame of mind, demeanor and conformation. He was the total package,” Brennan said. “When he went on to Brad, he just kept going and stepping forward. He was easy to be around. He was one of those colts. You can’t ever say for sure how good a horse will be until they go out there on the track and do it, but he had done everything right.”

Brennan said Essential Quality really started flaunting his excellence early on in his 2-year-old year.

“You could tell he had that ability and had taken better shape physically and putting it all together,” Brennan said. “It was a nice progression from February to March and March to April, The good ones keep progressing and focus on their work. He did show talent and that he really loved his job.”

Brennan’s sentiments were echoed by Godolphin USA president Jimmy Bell.

“I remember the comments from him early on. Niall said, ‘You can go wherever you want to go and do whatever you want to do with him’,” Bell recalled. “He was very, very forward. All you had to do was ask him and he would deliver whatever it is you might be wanting. When he came in to Brad as a 2-year-old, in his second or third breeze he had Brad scratching his head because he was doing things a little differently than the rest of them. The talent isn’t a surprise, the surprise is how much he’s done with it in the afternoon.”

The post Brennan: Essential Quality ‘The Total Package’ From Day One appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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