Franklin D won the Betfred Mile
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse
Franklin D and Ryan Moore had to bide their time in a pocket, but when the opportunity arose they were good enough to go on and win the Betfred Mile at Goodwood this afternoon.
Nineteen horse went to post for one of the most competitive handicaps of the season.
As the race got underway last year’s winner Belgian Bill broke fastest but it was Franklin D who went on with Carry On Derryck on the outside.
Settling down, Third Time Lucky and Carry On Derryck had the call from Franklin D and Belgian Bill, with Azraff on the rails and Jailawi prominent.
Racing past the two furlong pole, Third Time Lucky still led from the under pressure Carry On Derryck, while Donncha began to make sooth progress down the outside.
However, on the inside Franklin D got the split he needed and burst into the lead, with Master The World coming out of the pack to throw down a most determined challenge, as Donncha’s run flattened out.
Gradually Master The World wore down the leader, but the line came in time for Ryan More and Franklin D, with Donncha once again running an honourable placed effort, ahead of Belgian Bill in fourth.
It has been a terrific week for the combination of owner Bill Gredley and trainer Michael Bell, who struck with Big Orange in yesterday’s Goodwood Cup.
Whilst that horse was always in command, Franklin D was short of room with a quarter mile to run here, but when Third Time Lucky tired, the gap arrived, although he appeared to run slightly across the second Master The World.
Bell said: “A lot of people backed him so there was pressure on that front but I always believed in the horse and arguably we had the world’s best jockey so we ticked all the boxes. The man who did the draw at Weatherby’s very kindly gave us stall 1 so everything slotted into place.
“Ryan said he had to use quite a bit of early gas to hold his position early on and that was why he had slightly less energy at the end as he used up a little bit more in the first furlong and that counted in the last furlong and nearly cost him.
“Ryan has ridden him beautifully and produced him beautifully so it couldn’t have gone any better. This is a very hard track to ride and they went very fast.
“Franklin D looked as though he was going to win easily but in the last 100 yards he was just coming to the end of his tether but he lasted to the winning line.
“Franklin D has a few issues with a little spine problem and hind joint problem but we have got the medication really on top of that now. The head lad at home is bang on it and everyone has played a big part.
“This is horse very well bred – his dam is a half-sister to a Grade One winner. He is a beautiful horse and is at long last fulfilling his potential.
“The Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury could be an option, although this horse could be an international traveller because he loves fast ground and has won on a turning track.
“He is a stakes horse in the making after this but how far up the ladder we can get we will have to see. He is improving and when they start improving there is quite a way they can go. It is one step at a time with him so I don’t know where he will go.
“Ryan said he has the speed for seven. I didn’t put him in the Hungerford but he will probably start in Listed company and then move up to Group races. We don’t need to be too brave too soon.”
Bill Gredley, the winning owner was delighted to follow up Big Orange’s success with victory with Franklin D. He said: “We have won two good races. Most people would just like to win one race like this so it is amazing to win these two races.
“Horse racing is horse racing. You have good and bad days and you enjoy the good ones as they compensate the bad. I’ve got 25 horses at the moment.”
With regards to Big Orange, Gredley said: “We would like to have a crack at one of the mile and a half races somewhere. I want to give him a good rest, find a nice mile and a half race and have a go at that. He ‘s in the Irish Leger but he has plenty of possible races to run in.”
This victory took Moore to the head of the Racing UK Top Jockey table for the Qatar Goodwood Festival on five winners and put him in pole position for the rest of the week.
“You had to wait for it to happen,” said Moore.
“We were in front but then got tested early on. We were five or six deep and I had to take a sit. When the gap came I thought he was going to win very well but he just got tired, probably because we did a bit of damage early on.
“I was very comfortable in the first furlong but all the horses drawn wide were trying to get a position and we went a bit too hard up that hill. He settled nicely in behind and I always felt we would get the gaps.”
Jockey Pat Dobbs was left wondering what might have been after a slow start all but ruined the chances of the unlucky Master The World, who finished with a wet sail at the closing stages of the Betfred Mile.
The pair couldn’t quite reel in Franklin D though, who got first run on the five-year-old under jockey Ryan Moore, and Dobbs had to make do with second best, eventually being beaten a head at the winning line.
Dobbs explained after the race that a slow start had put him and chance Master The World on the back foot and that it was an uphill struggle after that.
“He jumped slow and then didn’t travel for the first two furlongs,” said Dobbs.
“I got a dream run through eventually but I had to wait for Ryan to go first. He’s got first run on me and that’s cost me.
“If he’d have got through at the same time, he’d have won. But he didn’t.”