British Racing News

Laurens all heart again in Sun Chariot Stakes victory

Laurens beats Happily in the Sun Chariot Stakes
Image supplied by Goffs Ltd

Laurens once again demonstrated all of her finest racing attributes as she landed a fifth Group One victory with a battling performance in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

Nine fillies took part in this one mile contest, with Happily soon well into her stride and setting the pace, with Danny Tudhope content to sit behind her in second, aboard Laurens.

With about three furlongs covered, Laurens pressed on and entering the Dip, appeared to lengthen her stride, with her immediate rivals all apparently under pressure, as Tudhope sat motionless.

Laurens went into a clear advantage of a couple of lengths, but Happily began to chase her down and as the leader perhaps dossed a little in front, the gap became tantalisingly close approaching the line.

But the Karl Burke trained filly, a winner over ten-furlongs, earlier in the year, had stamina in the tank and held on comfortably, with the head winning margin, perhaps not a reflection of the manner of her victory. Altyn Orda put up another Group One placing by coming through for third place.

Burke said: afterwards “We might’ve been cursing the rain if she’d got collared in the last few strides. Danny said she was still changing her legs despite all the rain and she just dances.

“We’ve put that down to the firm ground before but Danny said she was doing exactly the same out there. Two furlongs out I thought she’d absolutely bolted up, but she needed the line in the last 100 yards.”

Laurens is in the midst of a busy spell and it may not be finished yet. Burke added: “The best decision we made was to give her a break after she’d won the Prix de Diane.

“When we were here last we wanted this rain before the 1,000 Guineas and we’ve got that scalp back from Billesdon Brook, but that was then and this is now.”

She has two possible targets at the Breeders’ Cup.

Laraaib stamina wins the Cumberland Lodge Stakes

Laraaib handled soft conditions best of all to win the Group Three Stella Artois Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot.

Just five went to post for this 1 ½ mile contest, with the three year old Communique, taking them along for much of the race.

However, with two furlongs to race, Jim Crowley took it up on the Owen Burrows trained Laraaib.

Communique would not go away and put up a spirited fight, but ultimately the year older Laraaib got on top to win by half a length, with First Eleven claiming third.

Projection takes the Bengough Stakes

Projection
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Projection ran out a narrow winner of the Group Three John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes at a soggy Ascot.

Hey Jonesey was soon into the lead, tracked by Dream Of Dreams and Projection.

It was Dream Of Dreams who went on with a furlong to race, but Projection and Kieran Shoemark had travelled well and delivered a telling run inside the final furlong, to get up by a neck.

Limato up to the Challenge once again

Limato wins the Challenge Stakes from Zonderland

Limato breezed his way to a third successive victory and followed up last season’s success in the Challenge Stakes with an impressive performance in the Group 2 contest.

Now a 12-time winner, the 2016  July Cup hero travelled powerfully through the seven-furlong contest before sweeping to the front down the hill and holding all the aces in the final furlong.

Henry Candy’s stable star is thriving after an early-season lull for his yard and the trainer wasn’t entirely ruling out a quick return to the track for next weekend’s Champion Sprint at Ascot.

Candy said: “It’s not beyond the realms of possibility, let’s put it that way.

“In the old days you would want to give them a month in between races but he’s not had a particularly hard race here and we’ll see how he is in the next couple of days.

“It’s unlikely but not impossible.”

The trainer went on to say: “There was little doubt about the result for much of the race, he loved it out there and this is his ground.

“I’ve always had so much faith in the horse, I don’t think age has caught up with him yet.

“The whole yard was under the weather earlier in the year but they are thriving now.

“He didn’t enjoy the ground at York last time but still won, and I think if the owner had have come with me to the track that day we probably would have withdrawn him, but I decided to take a chance and thankfully it paid off.

“He’s a really likeable horse.”

D’bai has been in fine form all season, but only has a Group Three success to show for his consistent efforts this term.

He stayed on resolutely to finish two and a quarter-lengths adrift of Limato, who was winning the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes for the second successive year.

D’bai’s trainer, Charlie Appleby, was adamant the William Buick-ridden four-year-old will come good again before too long.

Appleby said: “He has got a big race in him. It was another consistent run, but he is a horse that doesn’t like to see too much daylight and he’ll be better on a turning track.

“So, his next trip will be back to Dubai now and we’ll have a go at the Jebel Hatta. We’ll take it one step at a time with him and this seven furlongs is his trip, but he’s got one in him.”

Having had excuses when fourth in the Joel Stakes here a fortnight ago, Zonderland, ridden by Adam Kirby, finished a place in front of D’bai but was a length and a quarter behind Limato.

His trainer, Clive Cox, said: “It was another admirable run. He lost a shoe here last time. He is the most honest, reliable horse and finished off the race really well.

“Dropping back to seven furlongs helped him but, in this headwind, it was hard work. He really hit the line well and we are very proud of him.

“Adam [Kirby] said he ran a super race – Limato is a Group One performer and D’bai is consistent at this level as well, so it is top-level form. So, I’m very pleased with him.

“I’m not entirely sure what the plan will be. The fast ground helped today and it was great to see him perform as he did.”

 

Iridessa strikes for Joseph O’Brien in the Fillies Mile

Iridessa beats Hermosa and Pretty Pollyanna in the Fillies Mile

Aidan O’Brien has a rich recent history in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile but son Joseph stole the show this time around as Iridessa sprang a surprise in the feature contest under Wayne Lordan.

The daughter of Ruler Of The World has been beaten in lesser contests on her last two starts but the step back up to a mile brought about loads of improvement.

Always travelling strongly, she had to wait for the gap to come going unto the dip but once in the clear, she picked up strongly up the hill to post a career best effort.

Her trainer said afterwards: “Yeah she did it nicely, we always thought the world of her and she’s beginning to show it now.

“It was a messy race at the Curragh and at Leopardstown we were widest of all on the inside track so this was a huge step up.

“She was always going to get the trip well, having already won over a mile, and Wayne gave her a fantastic ride.

“It’s very windy out there and the draw enabled her to get some cover, which really helped her settle.

“I guess she is probably more of an Oaks filly than a Guineas one, given her pedigree.”

Anyone thinking that the O’Brien stranglehold on British Group One races is about to be broken must be a little crestfallen, as Joseph O’Brien, son of training legend Aidan O’Brien, recorded his first British top-level success with Iridessa in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile.

Iridessa had a length and a half to spare over the Ballydoyle yard’s Hermosa, ridden by Joseph’s sibling, Donnacha.

Aidan O’Brien said: “It’s incredible for Joseph and I’m delighted for him. Iridessa is obviously home-bred and I’m delighted for John [Magnier].

“I get great pleasure out of Joseph beating me, great pleasure. I half expect it now. We know how tough it is and how hard they work (at the yard). It’s marvellous – he could well put me into retirement before too long!”

Of runner-up Hermosa, who was one of the first off the bridle and stayed on, suggesting she would blossom over middle distances next season, O’Brien said: “She ran a lovely race and we were delighted with her. She has plenty of stamina. He sister (Hydrangea) got a mile-and-a-half and we’ll train her for the Classics, and see where we are with her. She is versatile enough ground-wise – that was good to firm today and I think she’ll handle soft ground as well. It was a very good race.

“We will see if we give her a run before the Classics – let’s try and get to March with her first! It’s a long way away.”

Michael Bell was also still dreaming of a Classic tilt with Pretty Pollyanna, who made much of the running on her first try over a mile, under Danny Tudhope, having previously finished fourth in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes here a fortnight ago.

Bell said: “I thought it was an excellent run. Danny was emphatic that she got the trip, but it was her first run over it, so it was an experience for her.

“The wind probably made it a bigger test of stamina than would be conventional, so in the circumstances it was a very good run.”

When asked about a potential return to the Rowley Mile for the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas, Bell said: “We have options, obviously, such as the Commonwealth Cup or the Guineas, and we have all winter to decide.

“My gut reaction was that it was an excellent run and that she should probably be trained for it (the Guineas) and then we can decide whether she runs in a trial or not.”

Sergei Profokiev storms to Cornwallis success

Sergei Profokiev wins the Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket

Sergei Prokofiev produced a performance full of quality get back to winning ways in the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes.

Aidan O’Brien’s son of Scat Daddy looked to have a mountain to climb as he sat at the back of the field on the stands’ rail, but once switched to the outside, he swept by his rivals to win the £60,000 five-furlong contest going away.

The winning trainer felt afterwards that the drop back to five furlongs was crucial, saying: “He’s so quick at home.

“He stepped up to 6 furlongs and lost a bit of his brilliance, it’s amazing the amount of difference just a furlong can make to a horse’s performance.”

O’Brien added: “The plan was to get him relaxed but it was a very good ride indeed.

“It’s possible he could go to the Breeders’ Cup now but he’s had a busy enough year so we might give him a break instead, I’ll see what the lads want to do.”

Well Done Fox could head to the Breeders’ Cup after a fine run in defeat behind Sergei Prokofiev in a strong renewal of the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes.

The five-furlong Group Three contest was run at a true gallop despite a strong headwind in a time of 59.46 seconds, and Well Done Fox had to do the donkey work into the stiff breeze for the last two furlongs, only to go down by a length and a quarter as the winner came from last to first on the outside.

The runner-up’s trainer, Richard Hannon, said: “He has run a super race. He’s a smashing horse and he’s very talented. The winner has won well and if we take the winner out, he’s won his race, hasn’t he? I’m very tempted to go to America with him for the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Turf Sprint). He has a lovely temperament and he has a lot of talent. The boss [King Power Racing] is quite keen to have a go at something else.

“He is a big horse and takes life very easy. We don’t have to do anything at all with him at home – he looks after himself and he’s the most straightforward horse you could wish to train. He’s a good one and he will be better next year.”

Aside for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs, the Commonwealth Cup next season at Royal Ascot has been pencilled in as the long-term plan for the son of Acclamation.

Hannon added: “You work back from that big race at Ascot next year, and we’d start off with something like the (Group 3) Pavilion Stakes (at Ascot in April), but we might head to America before that for the Breeders’ Cup.”
His jockey, Jim Crowley, added: “He has loads of boot. He will be a nice horse next year and has plenty of scope. He’s a little bull of a horse and will be a nice sprinter next season. He did everything right and the winner is a decent horse. He might end up in America.”

The Mick Channon-trained Barbill, who has had a busy campaign, was two and a quarter-lengths further back in third under John Egan, having stayed on nicely down the hill.

Egan said: “I thought it was quick ground. He ran a cracking race – he’s a proper little horse. The ground was probably a tad too quick for him.

“I was hiding from the wind as long as I could, and when I pulled out I was waiting to thrust forward, but the wind comes across at you, front to side, and when I pulled out it went ‘whoosh’ – it was like running into a brick wall.

“I thought I had a great run through and in my mind I knew we had to hit the wind, but I was hoping it wouldn’t. There is no doubt it changed the way I rode that horse.”

Egan then pointed to his head and laughed: “Some of them (other jockeys) it won’t change them, because they don’t have it upstairs, but it changed me.”

He went on: “He was just on his head a bit early and six furlongs is his optimum trip now. Once he hit the rising ground he picked up well. It shows how tough and hardy he is, having had so many races this season and still at the top of his game.

“He can apparently be a little bit difficult, so a gelding operation could see this horse turning into a really decent sprinter over the next two or three years. That’s what connections think and I tend to agree.”

Mot Juste impresses in the Oh So Sharp Stakes

Mot Juste wins the Oh So Sharp Stakes

Mot Juste took the step up to Group company in her stride as she held off Mistress Of Love and Angel’s Hideaway to provide trainer Roger Varian with back-to-back victories in the Oh So Sharp Stakes.

The US-bred daughter of Distorted Humor had to dig deep to follow up her facile Beverley success from last month but she’s clearly got the heart for a battle and her rider, William Buick, doesn’t see the step up to a mile next term being a problem.

Buick said: “I managed to get her covered up but in this wind, it’s so gusty, I’m not sure how much that helped her to be honest, but she travelled smoothly.

“I let her find her feet going into the dip and she picked up well to see her race out strongly.

“I see no reason why she won’t stay a mile, possibly further, which would make the Guineas an option.”

Angel’s Hideaway finished a fine three-quarters of a length behind the impressive Mot Juste in the Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes, which is always a good pointer to next season’s QIPCO 1,000 Guineas.

The runner-up, a daughter of Dark Angel, bounced back from her eighth of 11 in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes a fortnight ago, and is likely to come back for one of the trials next spring following her fine run in the 7 furlong Group Three contest.

Her trainer, John Gosden, said: “It was a very good run and under a (3lb) penalty. I’m very happy with that. She’s a nice filly and she will be stronger next year. She was bouncing around afterwards – she looks as if she will be fun to ride over the winter, won’t she?”

Her jockey, Robert Havlin, added: “I was a bit unlucky. I had to wait for two or three strides longer for her run. She did quite a bit to get there, but I was adamant I should get her a bit of space, as she runs better with a bit of daylight, but she quickened up well.

“She will come back for one of the trials next year. Let’s see how she does over the winter, because I think she is better over seven (furlongs) but she will be a stronger filly next year.

“The headwind didn’t help any of them, but the ground was lovely and the last time it was a bit rough on top and she didn’t like it. She loved it today.

Sunday Star, a winner over course and distance last time, was a further neck adrift in third under Gerald Mosse.

Her trainer, Ed Walker, said: “Gerald, being a little self-critical, said he just moved in front a bit too early and he looked like he was going to put the race to bed, but she just ran out of puff in the headwind.

“She is still very babyish and Gerald confirmed she is a little green. She is smart though – really smart.

“She enjoys this quick ground and handles the track. Let’s see how she does over the winter, as I think she will come back for one of the Guineas trials. She won’t run again this year, but I think she will get a mile next year.

“She is by Kodiac out of a Montjeu mare and there is plenty of stamina on the female side. Some of these Kodiacs do stay now, and they are bred to more stamina-laden mares.”

Too Darn Hot crushes Dewhurst Stakes rivals

Too Darn Hot beats Advertise in the Dewhurst Stakes
Copyright AJ Byles

Too Darn Hot made an indelible mark on the 2018 Flat Season, with a dominant display to land what looked a red hot renewal of the Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

Seven horses went to post for this seven furlong contest, with high expectations that we might see a champion crowned – and the John Gosden son of Dubawi, did not disappoint.

The Ballydoyle pair of Christmas and Anthony Van Dyck, set the early pace and the latter was still there with a quarter of a mile to race, joined to his outside by Advertise.

However, Frankie Dettori was biding his time in behind on Too Darn Hot and was pulled out to deliver his challenge inside the final two furlongs.

The race was quickly put to bed, as Too Darn Hot showed impressive acceleration to pull away from Advertise and the battling on Anthony Van Dyck.

The final furlong turned into a procession as Too Darn Hot won by 2 ¼ lengths, with Advertise getting the better of the argument for second, over Anthony van Dyck, while Sangarius showed promise back in fourth.

This was a first Dewhurst Stakes triumph both for trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori.

Undoubtedly, Too Darn Hot stated a strong case to be crowned Europe’s Champion Two Year Old, having already made a strong bid with his successes in the Solario Stakes and Champagne Stakes. Afterwards, in the winner’s enclosure, the son of Dar Re Mi, who races in the same Lloyd Webber silks, was barely blowing.

This is a family that the Lloyd Webbers have nurtured – and one that John Gosden is hugely familiar with. To this point it has been the distaff that has dominated on the race track, but the brilliance of Dar Re Mi, So Mi Dah and La Ti Dah, has often met with frustration and injuries that have ruled horses out of Clasic engagements.

John Gosden will be hoping for better fortune as he prepares Too Darn Hot for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas and the Derby next year.

So was this a champion in action?

It has been a strong year for two year old colts and Godolphin’s impressive, unbeaten Quorto, sat this one out.

Through the form of his National Stakes, he would have something to find with Too Darn Hot, who beat Anthony Van Dyck by much further in the Dewhurst.

The other juvenile to have really made a big impression was Calyx and it is lamentable that his two year old racing career was over in less than two weeks, after an exciting Newmarket debut and his brilliant win a few days later in the Coventry Stakes.

Calyx, a son of Kingman, won that Coventry Stakes despite being very inexperienced and drawn on the wrong side of the track.

He had Advertise and the Cornwallis Stakes winner Sergei Profokiev behind him at Royal Ascot and though the winning margin over the former was much less than in the Dewhurst, there were mitigating factors and he was racing over a furlong less.

John Gosden of course, would have the inside track on the relative merits of Too Darn Hot and Calyx – and it will be fascinating to see if they go head to head on the Rowley Mile next spring.

Winning trainer John Gosden said: “They went a good gallop but he was on the mettle and Frankie had to get him some cover, which he did nicely.

“He didn’t look particularly happy on the ridges and going into the dip but once he hit the rising ground he took off and we really saw what he can do.

“He’s such a brave horse, he gives one hundred per cent.

“His mother was a star and his father was a legend, so he’s bred to do this.

“He’s done remarkably well to go from a maiden to a Group 3 to a Group 2 and now to a Group 1 in just four starts, and he’s got to come back for the 2,000 Guineas now.”

The winning trainer, who said he had thought that Advertise (runner-up) would run well, was pleased to see that come to fruition as it boosted the Coventry Stakes form of Too Darn Hot’s stablemate Calyx, who hasn’t been seen since his Royal Ascot success.

The Newmarket trainer was not ruling out what would be a mouthwatering clash between his two star juveniles in the spring.

Frankie Dettori said: “It’s the first time he’s been challenged, the first three races were non-events. He’s learnt a lot. He’s an amazing horse. Now we can dream for next year, he’s done everything we’ve asked him to. He’s bred in the purple, it’s great for connections, and we’re going to have a very sleepless winter. ”

Trainer Martyn Meade and jockey Oisin Murphy were both left dreaming of a rematch with Too Darn Hot in next May’s QIPCO 2,000 Guineas following a thrilling renewal of the Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes.

Advertise went down fighting, although was eventually beaten two-and-three-quarter lengths by the Frankie Dettori-ridden winner, but the Showcasing colt answered plenty of questions for connections.

Meade said: “I was thrilled to bits with him, but I was unsure beforehand if he’d get this seven furlongs and I think, talking to Oisin afterwards, he was running on towards the end.

“He lost his action a little bit in The Dip through immaturity, I think. But then he got going and I’m absolutely thrilled to bits with him.

“The winner is an exceptional horse, a more mature horse, and we have put up a good show. Oisin gave him a fantastic ride.”

Advertise, who had won three of his four races coming into this seven-furlong contest, was having his first run since landing the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

Meade added: “There is no point in overdoing them, it obviously paid off to give him that couple of months off and I think that’s fine now – we’ll leave him ticking over and hopefully come back here for the Guineas, although I will obviously have to talk to the owners about it.

“In my view the winner is a mature horse and I think Advertise is a different type of horse to the winner.”

Murphy, who got a good tow into the race, despite an early lack of pace, said: “It was a brilliant run. I’m thrilled with him.

“In my pre-race interviews I genuinely felt I could win this race and we have just been unfortunate to be beaten by an exceptional horse.

“We didn’t go very fast and my horse relaxed great, and he certainly stayed the extra distance today. I hope he is a Guineas horse.”

The pair pulled three lengths clear of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Anthony Van Dyck and his jockey Donnacha O’Brien, said: “It was grand. The race went fine for me. He ran well. I’m not disappointed.”

An easy winner of an eight-runner Listed race at Doncaster last time on only his second start, Sangarius showed improvement on his step up in class to finish fourth.

His trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, said: “We are very pleased. He’ll only progress. This is the first proper race he has had.”

Persian King reigns on the Rowley Mile

Persian King beats Magna Grecia in the Group Three Autumn Stakes

Andre Fabre has had a relatively quiet year with his English sorties, but unleashed a really smart prospect as Persian King landed the Group Three Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes at Newmarket.

Persian King edged out Magna Grecia in a thrilling renewal of the Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes, plundering the prize for trainer André Fabre and owners Ballymore Thoroughbred Ltd.

Pierre-Charles Boudot didn’t get the smoothest of passages through the one-mile contest but his mount showed a terrific attitude to knuckle down up the hill and see off the gallant runner-up.

Anthony Stroud, representing the winning owners, said: “He’s a very good horse who has won his last three races.

“The jockey said he handled the ground really well but it turned out to be a tougher race than we thought.

“He certainly showed courage.

“He’s out of a Dylan Thomas mare so we know he’s going to stay further and I can see him going up in trip next season.

“He came here with Intello, ran in the same race as he did and I can see him following a similar path next year.”

Aidan O’Brien saddled the runner-up and the third home in the Group Three Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes, with Magna Grecia, ridden by Donnacha O’Brien, going down fighting by a neck to French raider Persian King.
Circus Maximus, with Seamie Heffernan aboard, was a further three lengths back in third, in a strong renewal of the 1m event.

O’Brien said: “We are delighted with them. Magna Grecia won nicely at Gowran thirteen days ago and we had no problem running him again.

“The other one (Circus Maximus) is still a baby. I think it was an honest race, with an even pace.

“I didn’t watch the winner through the race, but we’re delighted with the way ours ran.

“We will see how they are. They could run again, but they don’t have to. Wayne’s (Lordon’s) horse (Western Australia, unplaced) has probably done plenty and Seamus’s could run again. There are no plans, but any of those good two-year-old races would be ideal. There’s plenty of opportunities.”

Willie Mullins one-two in the Cesarewitch

Low Sun beats stablemate Uradel in the Cesarewitch

As if we needed reminding that the jumps season is upon us, Willie Mullins sent out a stern message to his training rivals, as he saddled the first two home in the Cesarewitch, with Low Sun just getting the better of Uradel.

A field of 33 horses went to post for this 2 ¼ mile contest, with Megan Nicholls sending Cliffs Of Dover straight to the front on the inside rail, while Stars Over The Sea raced very wide of his rivals and also took up a prominent position.

This two moved many lengths clear of the giant peloton and as they made their only turn, into the long straight, Cliffs Of Dover moved right across to the stands side, as Stars Over The Sea suddenly found himself to the extreme inside of the field, which had followed Nicholls across.

However, the front two were soon engulfed by the pack and with half a mile to race, Limini, another Mullins runner, looked a danger, as Low Sun emerged under Seamie Heffernan.

Alongside him, Uradel joined issue and the two horses began to pull clear with two furlongs to race.

Neither horse would give a quarter and in an exciting finish, the outcome was uncertain until late on, when Low Sun just forged on.

A delighted Willie Mullins said afterwards: “I’m delighted, it’s such an iconic race and will become even more so in the future given the way prize money is going.

“Low Sun is such a tough horse, he never gives up and he’s such a grafter, the more you ask from him the more he gives.

“I told Aidan O’Brien that I had one for Seamie [Heffernan]. I thought from the beginning he would be the perfect match for Low Sun, he’s such a grafter and he never gives up in his races, just like the horse he rode today, so they were a match made in heaven.

“They went hard, I think it probably ran more like a two and a half mile race, which would have suited Low Sun because of the way he races.

“Once he was in front up the rail I knew he would be very hard to pass.”

The victory meant Seamie Heffernan was completing a big-race double on the day, after he steered Norway to victory in the opening Zetland Stakes.

Uradel’s jockey, Billy Lee, said: “I had a lovely position the whole way. He took me into the race well and he got there going well, but I didn’t want to commit too soon.

“Saying that, when I let him down, he did pick up and you are always trying to be on one of Willie Mullins’s horses because they keep galloping to the line. My lad ran a cracker and loved the ground. It is quick enough but he handled it well.”

The Andrew Balding-trained Cleonte, who got off the mark for the season at Ascot last time, was a further length and a quarter back in third under Oisin Murphy.

Balding said: “I’m really pleased with the run. We got a little bit of traffic trouble early in the straight, but he has run his heart out and it was a good effort. That will probably be it for the year.”

Vis A Vis was attempting to record a hat-trick following wins at Sandown and Kempton, and had excuses in finishing fourth, according to trainer Neil Mulholland.

He said: “We have made it clear all week that we were waiting for a bit more juice in the ground. It didn’t help us that it didn’t arrive.

“He may have been that little bit better (had it rained), but he’s run a great race. We’re in the winner’s enclosure and it is a fantastic race to be part of.
“We could probably have done with a bit more juice. I think he might have one more season on the Flat.

“All summer has been about today – and he’s done himself proud, the yard proud and the owners proud. We’ll hope to come back next year. It would be nice.”

Euginio on top in the Darley Stakes

Hayley Turner produced Euginio perfectly to land the concluding Group 3 Darley Stakes for trainer Richard Hannon.

Turner’s patient tactics produced rich dividends as she allowed her rivals to trade punches at the head of affairs, before pouncing up the rail in the final furlong to score by a neck from Forest Ranger.

The delighted winning jockey said: “They told me to be really cool on her, she needs cover and we had to be patient, and she picked up well once I asked her.

“It’s a really nice prize to win, I’m thrilled.”
Forest Ranger has been progressive this season and landed the Earl Of Sefton Stakes over course and distance earlier in the season.

The Richard Fahey-trained four-year-old was giving his rivals upwards of 5lb in the Group 3 Darley Stakes, the finale on Dubai Future Champions Day, and went down a neck to Euginio, who produced a power-packed run up the rail.

Forest Ranger’s jockey, Tony Hamilton, felt the weight beat the gelded son of Lawman, who started slowly but stayed on nicely.

He said: “The penalty has beaten us, hasn’t it? I was planning to go forward, but the horses around me went.
“As long as they go an end-to-end gallop, you can put him wherever you want, you slot in. As long as they don’t slow up, he’s very amenable. It was a nice even gallop and there are no excuses. The penalty just beat him.”

Gabr, who made a breakthrough at Listed level last time at Goodwood, made much of the running under Jim Crowley, only to find a couple too good on this occasion.

A further three and three-quarter lengths back in third, his trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, said: “He’s consistent, isn’t he? He had every chance and he’s been given every chance by his jockey.

“We will put him away now. There are plenty of races for him next year. His best form is on ground not as quick as that, in fairness, such as the Heron Stakes at Sandown and at Goodwood last time. He could have done with a little more juice in the ground. But I’m happy enough with him.”

Secret Investor lands the Persian War

Secret Investor stayed on well to win the Grade Two Fox Family Persian War Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow.

A field of eight lined-up for this prestigious contest over just short of 2 ½ miles.

As the tapes went up it was Double Treasure who pressed on and was clear of his field at the first, but pecked on landing.

Settling down, Double Treasure led from Coolanly and Minella Warrior, who raced to the inside.

Double Treasure and Gavin Sheehan moved four lengths clear and that increased, as Coolanly fell at the fourth.

The leader was eight lengths clear, heading out on the final circuit, with Secret Investor and Minella Warrior next, followed by Equus Millar.

Racing down the back, Double Treasure’s lead was whittled down, with Secret Investor and Minella Warrior still his closest pursuers.

However, it may have been that Sheehan was giving the leader a breather, as he extended his advantage turning for home.

Five out he was clear but chased by Secret Investor, with nothing else travelling.

Racing to the last, Secret Investor began to close and he went on narrowly at the last, with the pair fighting all the way to the line.

But it was Secret Investor and Harry Cobden who had enough in reserve to hold off Double Treasure by about two lengths, with Gosheven miles back in third.

Paul Nicholls revealed afterwards that Secret Investor, who was completing a hat-trick, had undergone a wind operation – and that he may go novice chasing next.

Silver Streak continues progression in the Welsh Champion Hurdle

Silver Streak looks to still be on the upgrade, as he romped to victory in the Dunraven Group Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las.

A field of eight went to post for this race over just short of two miles.

As the race got underway, it was the outstanding top weight The New One, who set off in front of Ch’Tibello and Le Prezien, as they all cleared the first flight.

Ch’Tibello came to join The New One at the second, with Rock On Rocky moving third.

The octet moved away from the stands and down the back straight, with the ten year old The New One and Zac Baker, narrowly in front of Ch’Tibello.

Ch’Tibello edged ahead at the fourth, with the field bunched up.

Leaving the back straight, Ch’Tibello led from The New One, who was being niggled along, with Mohaayed and Silver Streak poised.

Heading to the second last, Ch’Tibello was under pressure, while The New One sadly dropped away. Ozzie The Oscar touched down in front, with Mohaayed and Silver Streak bang there.

The latter went on at the last and quickened clear in taking fashion, pulling five lengths clear, with Le Prezien staying on to inch into second place, ahead of Ozzie The Oscar.

The flashy white horse Silver Streak, a five year old, had given trainer Evan Williams victory in the Swinton Hurdle back in the spring.

Dead-heat in the St Simon Stakes

Morando and Young Rascal dead-heat in the St Simon Stakes at Newbury
Image supplied by Newbury Racecourse

A stirring finish produced a fair outcome as Morando and Young Rascal dead-heated in the Group Three St Simon Stakes at Newbury.

Ten contested this 1 ½ mile race.

Temple Church was soon to the fore and led by about a lengths from a bunched pack.

Settling down, Temple Church held a narrow lead from Young Rascal and Morando.

But as the field left the back, Isabel De Urbina was a faller, thankfully galloping away OK.

Temple Church led the remainder into the home straight with Young Rascal a big danger, while Communique raced prominently to the outside.

Heading to the two furlong pole, Young Rascal edged into the lead with Scarlet Dragon making his challenge to the outside.

But Young Rascal and Jim Crowley saw off that threat, only to be confronted by Morando through the final furlong.

Inch by inch, Morando and Rob Hornby closed on Young Rascal and the pair passed the post virtually inseparable.

There was a gap back to Scarlet Dragon in third.

Mohaather powers to Horris Hill successes

Mohaather wins the Horris Hill Stakes
Image supplied by Newbury Racecourse

Mohaather powered on after a protracted battle with Azano, to land the Group Three Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury.

Azano led for much of the contest, with Almufti and Fanaar looking threats with two furlongs to race.

But it was the patiently-ridden Mohaather and Martin Dwyer, racing down the far side, who threw down the sternest challenge and headed the long-time leader.

In the final stages, the Marcus Tregoning trained runner asserted, to beat Azano by 1 ½ lengths, with a yawning five length gap back to Almufti in third.

Magna Grecia lands the Vertem Futurity

Magna Grecia

Magna Grecia confirmed the huge promise of his run at Newmarket a fortnight earlier, as he won the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster.

Eleven colts went to post for the final Group One of the British Flat Season in 2018.

At the start of this mile event, it was Western Australia who led from stable mate Circus Maximus and Kuwait Currency.

Western Australia continued to blaze a trail and the front three moved a couple of lengths clear of the pack.

Passing the three furlong pole, Kuwait Currency dropped away and Western Australia continued to lead Circus Maximum.

Heading to the furlong pole, Circus Maximus finally caught Western Australia, but the action unfolded down the centre of the track, as Magna Grecia and Phoenix Of Spain closed and headed the front-runners. Great Scot was another to make ground out wider, but he just lacked the momentum.

In a thrilling finish, Magna Grecia and Donnacha O’Brien just got up from Phoenix Of Spain, with Western Australia keeping on to make it an Aidan O’Brien trained first and third.

Magna Grecia, a son of Invincible Spirit, was paying a compliment to his Newmarket conqueror Persian King.

He had to survive a Steward’s Enquiry after bumping with Phoenix Of Spain.

Frodon defies top weight in the Old Roan Chase

Frodon
Image supplied by The Jockey Club

Frodon overcame top weight and made his first run back from a wind operation, a winning one, in the Grade Two Monet’s Garden Old Roan Limited Handicap Chase at Aintree.

Eight went to post for this 2 ½ mile chase.

Templehills landed over the first in front and continued to set the pace from Frodon and Value At Risk, with the field closely bunched.

With five fences negotiated, Templehills held a length lead from Frodon and Value At Risk, with Voix D’Eau to the inside and then Javert and Cloudy Dream, who had made a succession of errors.

With a circuit to race, Templehills continued to lead Frodon.

As the field raced down the back, Frodon took the initiative, with Templehills still there to the inside.

Five out and Frodon again asserted, with Value At Risk poised on the outside.

Turning for home, Frodon had plenty of potnetial challengers, headed by Value At Risk, Theo and Javert, with Cloudy Dream racing wider.

But Frodon and Bryony Frost continued to race well and heading to the last, extended their advantage under top weight.

In behind, Javert and Cloudy Dream were not giving up.

But Frodon gamely found more for Frost to hold off Javert by about a length, with Cloudy Dream running on well in third.

Frodon is still only six and was continuing the fine form of Paul Nicholls.

 

Luca Cumani to retire from training

Luca Cumani trains Jordan Princess

One of Newmarket’s great trainers and a doyen of his profession, Luca Cumani, has announced he is to retire from training at the end of this season.

The 69 year-old Italian, has trained successfully for 43 years, sending out countless Group One winners and Classic heroes.

Cumani came to England in the 1970s and after a spell as Sir Henry Cecil’s pupil, set out on his own as a trainer.

Among his early big race winners was Tolomeo, second in the 2,000 Guineas but winner of the 1983 Budweiser Million at Arlington Park.

A year later, the Bedford House Stables Master, sent out Commanche Run to give Lester Piggott his 29th English Classic.

That colt proved outstanding at four, defeating Oh So Sharp in the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup and also landing the Irish Champion Stakes.

1985 was a good year for Cumani, with the smart filly Free Guest, racing in his familiar Fittocks Stud Silks, while Bairn was a top class miler, running second to Shadeed in the 2,000 Guineas and landing the St James’s Palace Stakes.

Cumani also proved a dab hand with handicappers and the mid-80s was a glorious period, with horses like Fish N’ Chips, Free Guest, Chinoiserie and Dallas all making their mark. Celestial Storm and Infamy were other top performers at this time, with the latter winning in North America.

The appointment of Ray Cochrane as stable jockey, started another golden spell. The pair teamed up to land the 1988 Derby with the Aga Khan’s Kahyasi.

At this time, Cumani was nurturing a prodigious young talent in Lanfranco Dettori, whose father Gianfranco, had ridden for the trainer.

Dettori had his first Arc ride on Legal Case for Cumani – and whilst down the field there, the colt, under Cochrane, won a pulsating four-way finish to the 1989 Champion Stakes. That year also saw Ensconse win the Irish 1,000 Guineas in the Sheikh Mohamed colours.

But Dettori was an irresistible force and won his first Group Ones aboard the Cumani pair Markofdistinction (QEII) and Shamshir (Fillies’ Mile) in September 1990.

The following year, Second Set proved a top class miler, but Barathea eclipsed his achievements, running second to the mighty Zafonic in the 1993 2,000 Guineas, before landing the Irish equivalent – and in 1994 he won the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

A decade after his first Derby, Cumani saddled High Rise to win the 1998 Epsom Classic under Olivier Peslier.

The colt would go on to travel the world under the Godolphin banner, while Cumani campaigned other globetrotters like Alkaased, who won the Japan Cup, Presvis and Purple Moon, who along with Bauer, narrowly missed out on the Melbourne Cup.

The trainer also trained Falbrav to win the Juddmonte International Stakes, QEII and Eclipse Stakes.

Postponed was perhaps the last great horse Cumani trainer – using all his skill and patience to nurture a slow-burner into a champion.

Under Cumani, the late maturing colt won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix Niel, before he was controversially removed from the yard and sent to Roger Varian.

Second Step proved another smart horse at his best, winning the Jockey Club Stakes and Grosser Preis von Berlin.

This season, down on numbers, Cumani still enjoyed success with God Given.

However, he has now called time on a glittering career, stating:

“Time waits for nobody. I have decided this is a good moment to wind down, although I see it as more of a change of direction for me. From next year I will devote all my energies to running our Fittocks Stud.”

“We will be putting Bedford House on the market at the start of next year,” said Cumani, 69. “I discussed it with Matt (his son) but he is training in Australia, which is really the land of opportunity.

“He is married to Sarah, who is Australian, and they are now expecting their first child. It makes perfect sense for him to stay there.”

Willie Mullins inducted into The Hall of Fame at Cheltenham Racecourse

Willie Mullins has been inducted to Cheltenham’s Hall Of Fame

Cheltenham Racecourse has announced that Willie Mullins, the most successful trainer of all time at the Cheltenham Festival, has been inducted into The Hall of Fame at the Home of Jump Racing.

Born on September 15, 1956 in County Carlow, Mullins started out as a successful amateur rider, being crowned champion amateur in Ireland six times and partnering three winners at The Festival between 1982 and 1996.

Mullins initially assisted his father Paddy Mullins, widely regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest trainers, responsible for superstars such as Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Unibet Champion Hurdle and 1986 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. He then became assistant to top Flat trainer Jim Bolger before taking out his own training licence in 1988.

Laurina’s success in the 2018 Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle made him the winning-most trainer ever at The Festival™ presented by Magners, providing a 61st victory, while his first came through Tourist Attraction in 1995.

Mullins said: “I’m honoured to be inducted into the Cheltenham Hall of Fame.

“Cheltenham Racecourse has been a special place for me over the years and I feel privileged to join some of Jump Racing’s most iconic and famous names in the Hall of Fame.”

His list of Cheltenham Festival winners includes some of Jump racing’s most iconic names, headed by; Florida Pearl, successful both in the 1997 Weatherbys Champion Bumper and the 1998 RSA Novices’ Chase; dual Unibet Champion Hurdle victor Hurricane Fly; 2015 and 2016 Unibet Champion Hurdlers Faugheen and Annie Power; Racing Post Arkle Chase and Ryanair Chase winner Un De Sceaux, Douvan, successful in both the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Racing Post Arkle Chase, and Vautour, victorious three times – 2014 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, 2015 JLT Novices’ Chase and 2016 Ryanair Chase.

Other stars from Mullins’ Closutton base to have graced Prestbury Park include the amazing Quevega, who created history by becoming the only horse to win the same race, the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, six times and in consecutive years.

Mullins has sent out the winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper on an extraordinary nine occasions, starting with Wither Or Which (who he also rode) in 1996 and he became the first person to train the 1-2-3 in the Unibet Champion Hurdle when Faugheen beat Arctic Fire and Hurricane Fly in 2015.

He has been the leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival five times (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and holds the joint-record for most winners trained at one Cheltenham Festival with eight successes in 2015.

Responsible for more than 3,000 winners overall, Mullins has taken Ireland’s champion Jump trainer accolade 12 times.

Willie Mullins – his record 61 successes at the Cheltenham Festival

1995 Tourist Attraction – Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
1996 Wither Or Which – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
1997 Florida Pearl – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
1998 Florida Pearl – RSA Novices’ Chase
1998 Alexander Banquet – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
2000 Joe Cullen – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
2002 Scolardy – JCB Triumph Hurdle
2004 Rule Supreme – RSA Novices’ Chase
2005 Missed That – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
2007 Ebaziyan – Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
2008 Fiveforthree – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
2008 Cousin Vinny – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
2009 Quevega – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
2009 Mikael D’Haguenet – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
2009 Cooldine – RSA Novices’ Chase
2010 Quevega OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
2010 Thousand Stars – Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
2011 Hurricane Fly – Unibet Champion Hurdle
2011 Quevega – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
2011 Final Approach – Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
2011 Sir Des Champs – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys H’cap H
2012 Quevega – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
2012 Champagne Fever – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
2012 Sir Des Champs – JLT Novices’ Chase
2013 Champagne Fever – Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
2013 Hurricane Fly – Unibet Champion Hurdle
2013 Quevega – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
2013 Back In Focus – National Hunt Chase
2013 Briar Hill – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
2014 Vautour – Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
2014 Quevega – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
2014 Faugheen – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
2014 Don Poli – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys H’cap H
2015 Douvan – Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
2015 Un De Sceaux – Racing Post Arkle Chase
2015 Faugheen – Unibet Champion Hurdle
2015 Glens Melody – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
2015 Don Poli – RSA Novices’ Chase
2015 Vautour – JLT Novices’ Chase
2015 Wicklow Brave – Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
2015 Killultagh Vic – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys H’cap H
2016 Douvan – Racing Post Arkle Chase
2016 Annie Power – Unibet Champion Hurdle
2016 Vroum Vroum Mag – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
2016 Yorkhill – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
2016 Black Hercules – JLT Novices’ Chase
2016 Vautour – Ryanair Chase
2016 Limini – Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
2017 Yorkhill – JLT Novices’ Chase
2017 Un De Sceaux – Ryanair Chase
2017 Nichols Canyon – Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle
2017 Let’s Dance – Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
2017 Arctic Fire – Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
2017 Penhill – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
2018 Footpad – Racing Post Arkle
2018 Benie Des Dieux – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
2018 Rathvinden – National Hunt Chase
2018 Bleu Berry – Coral Cup
2018 Relegate – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
2018 Penhill – Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle
2018 Laurina – Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Sea of Class likely to race in 2019

Sea Of Class going to post ahead of her fine run in the Arc

William Haggas suggested that his outstanding filly Sea Of Class, is likely to race next year, after her agonising defeat in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

From a wide draw and needing to pass the entire field in the straight, Sea Of Class failed by a short neck to beat dual Arc heroine Enable.

Haggas confirmed that the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks winner, a daughter of Sea The Stars, will not race again this year, but is likely to stay in training as a four-year-old.

“I think she’s OK, she got back at lunchtime, I’ve been at the sales all day and I’ll see her later on,” Haggas said.

“She won’t run again this season, she’s given her all and had a lot of hard racing – she’s done plenty.

“I think if we were going to retire her we may have looked at another run, but we’re not going to. I think the plan is to keep her in training, so I think we’ll call it a day.

“She’s come a long way in a short space of time, she didn’t win her Listed race until May and she nearly won an Arc in October. She’s a pretty special filly.

“Hopefully she can go one better next year.”

Meanwhile, jockey James Doyle, described his feelings after coming up just short in the Arc.

Speaking to At The Races, he said:

“It was absolute agony. I was heartbroken, more so for everyone that has been connected with her – her owners and William and Maureen (Haggas).

“I know we bang on about how much it is a team effort, but it truly is and this filly has come a long way in a short space of time.

“She is a completely reformed character to the one we first dealt with back in the spring. From my point of view, everyone wants to win the Arc and when you get that close it was a real sickener, but she was beaten by an absolute superstar.

“Enable ran a hell of a race. To do that on her second start of the season and her first run back on turf since the Arc last year was an amazing performance. Full credit to them.”

Doyle explained the reasons behind the hold-up tactics he employed after consulting the best jockeys in the business.

“I guess it’s easy for the untrained eye to watch a race and say ‘he’s come too late’, but anyone who had seen Sea Of Class run previously knew what was going to happen,” he said.

“All the top-class jockeys I spoke to, from Maureen talking to her father Lester (Piggott), to myself talking to Kieren Fallon, they all said you can’t change a horse’s running style just because you are running in a different race with a tricky draw and the rest of it.

“We stuck to our game plan. There are many factors you would like to change, but you can’t.”

He went on: “The draw was no help to us, the size of the field was no help to us, and the amount of horses running in the race that had no chance we couldn’t change.

“I didn’t have to put on the brakes. There was just one slight moment when I had to angle out a tiny bit and the horse on my inside just shifted and it pushed me a slightly bit left.

“It was just the ground I had to give away. That was the concerning thing and I was concerned right the way through.

“There was no one more frustrated than myself at being beaten. It’s the richest race in Europe and it’s a sickener, but you can’t change it.”

Harry Angel retired to Dalham Hall Stud

Harry Angel with a smiling Adam Kirby

Harry Angel, the record-breaking World Champion sprinter at three and the best by Dark Angel, will become the highest-rated sprinter to retire to stud in Britain for more than 30 years when he stands at Dalham Hall Stud in 2019. His fellow Godolphin colour-bearer, Jungle Cat – the record-breaking sprinter who has won two Group Ones in 2018 – will retire to Kildangan Stud for the new breeding season. Fees will be set for the pair shortly.

In a dazzling season at three, Harry Angel won the July Cup and then the Haydock Sprint Cup by the widest margin in recent history. He had announced his sprinting prowess earlier in the year, with a four-and-a-half length triumph in the Sandy Lane Stakes in a new track record, and almost a second faster than any running of the Haydock Sprint Cup. He ended the year rated 132 by Timeform – level with Muhaarar and the best by any sprinter to retire to stud in Britain since 1985. He was assessed as the World Champion sprinter on the World Thoroughbred Rankings, two points or more above Battaash, Chautauqua, Lady Aurelia, Redzel and Caravaggio.

At two, Harry Angel had broken his maiden second-time-out in the Mill Reef Stakes, earning a rating fully 9lbs superior to his sire Dark Angel’s win in the race. Trained throughout his career by Clive Cox, he returned this year at four in the Duke Of York Stakes, again retaining his outstanding Timeform mark of 132 when accounting for Brando by two lengths, conceding 5lb.

Harry Angel is the best by leading speed sire Dark Angel out of a daughter of fellow July Cup winner Cadeaux Genereux and owns an outcross pedigree with just one line of Danzig in the fifth generation. He’s the best horse on his page, superior to all the stallions on his chart.

Jungle Cat joins him on the Darley roster in 2019. He’s the fastest by Iffraaj and a winner at the highest level against world class sprinting opponents in both Dubai and Australia. Having broken his maiden at Goodwood at two, Jungle Cat was in the frame in all four of the big six-furlong races for two-year-olds at Britain’s summer racing festivals: third in the Coventry at Royal Ascot, second in the July Stakes beating future Champions Belardo and Muhaarar, third again in the Richmond, then second in the Gimcrack, going down by just a nose to subsequent Champion sprinter Muhaarar.

Always a high-class performer, as a four-year-old Jungle Cat also finished second to fellow Kildangan stallion Profitable in the Palace House Stakes, beaten half-a-length.

Jungle Cat again carried all before him during this year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival. Opening his 2018 campaign with an impressive victory in the seven-furlong Al Fahidi Fort, he then broke the Meydan track record when landing the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint, beating local hero, the 129-rated Ertijaal.

On Dubai World Cup night, Jungle Cat kicked off a Godolphin Group One four-timer, coming with a perfectly timed move close home to take the six-furlong Al Quoz Sprint.

Jungle Cat headed to Australia this autumn extending his unbeaten record for 2018 with another thrilling Group One victory, getting up fast and late to beat the local speed horses in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield. It is testament to his toughness and ability that he earned his highest rating – Timeform 123 – in this his 31st start.
Charlie Appleby stated ‘He’s a model of consistency at the top level and a straightforward horse to train, good minded and very sound. The Darley Classic over six furlongs at Flemington on Saturday, 10th November will be his final start’.

By leading sire Iffraaj – whose first stallion son sired Almanzor in his debut crop – Jungle Cat’s first three dams all performed at Stakes level. He’s bred on a similar cross to Iffraaj’s leading daughter Rizeena, and he is free of both Danzig and Sadler’s Wells blood.

Sam Bullard, Director of Stallions said of the two new recruits, ‘Jungle Cat is every inch his father’s son. Like him, he was tremendously fast, and with Group One form from five to seven furlongs. To be a nose behind Muhaarar at two and yet be at his very best in his 31st start as a six-year-old just goes to show what an utterly admirable racehorse he was. Meanwhile, watching Harry Angel in full flight was quite a sight, and, even in this golden age of sprinters, we’ve seen very few horses with his outright speed and class. He’ll be a very easy stallion for breeders to use, thanks to his outcross pedigree. It’s an enormous honour for the Darley team to be entrusted with managing their stallion careers and we are delighted to continue our policy of offering a limited number of breeding rights in two outstanding prospects’.

Roaring Lion to retire to Tweenhills this year

Roaring Lion wins the Coral Eclipse Stakes from Saxon Warrior
Image by www.racehorsephotos.co.uk

Multiple Group 1 winner Roaring Lion will be retired to stand at Tweenhills, home of Qatar Racing stallions, at the end of his three-year-old campaign.

Winner of the Coral-Eclipse, Juddmonte International Stakes and QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, Roaring Lion will join fellow Group 1 winner Lightning Spear as new additions to an impressive roster of Qatar Racing stallions for the 2019 breeding season.

Looking back on his success, Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani, Chairman of Qatar Racing, said: “Roaring Lion has been the horse of a lifetime for us; he has exceeded our expectations whilst cementing his status as the best three-year-old colt in Europe after winning four Group 1s this season. My brothers and I are incredibly passionate about horse racing and to have a horse like him has been a truly magnificent experience.

“His victories at Sandown and York were incredible and then to follow it up in Ireland was an amazing feeling. We always knew how good he could be, we just hoped he would prove it. He did that at York and has been incredible ever since.”

A decision to whether the son of Kitten’s Joy heads to the Breeders’ Cup will be made in the coming days.

“Roaring Lion has run his final race in Britain, but the Breeders’ Cup has always been an option and we are definitely not ruling it out just yet.”

Masterfully trained by John Gosden, Roaring Lion will leave Clarehaven Stables at the end of this season for his new residence in Gloucestershire. His trainer commented on the news of his retirement; “Roaring Lion is a gorgeous horse to look at.  He is really a bit of a pin up boy! He stands over a lot of ground, has a great head and outlook, great neck and shoulder, and wonderful depth.

“He has all the attributes of a top-class middle-distance horse but with this tremendous turn of foot. It is his acceleration that impresses me so much. His ability to switch off and then go.  The Leopardstown win off a low pace showed everyone how he can do that so well.

“It is very important in a stallion that they can take their racing. We started in February, have been hard at it since then, and he is still showing all the right signs and credentials.  He is just a really lovely horse to be around and a thoroughly great character.”

Purchased for $160,000 at the Keeneland sales by Qatar Racing’s bloodstock and racing manager David Redvers, Roaring Lion will be one of many star names on offer at their Tweenhills base with the exciting Australian stallion Zoustar and fan-favourite Lightning Spear joining Charm Spirit, Hot Streak and Havana Gold.

“We’ve loved Roaring Lion since we first set eyes on him back in September 2016,” said Redvers. “I’m a big fan of his sire Kitten’s Joy and Roaring Lion was easily the best looking and best moving colt we’d seen by him. We couldn’t believe we got him for the price we did as he just looked like exactly the type of horse we set our sights on. To see how it has all panned out has been an amazing journey.

“He should prove a very exciting prospect at stud. We can’t wait to get him settled in at Tweenhills and begin the process of finding him suitable pairings.”

The rise of Qatar Racing’s retained jockey Oisin Murphy through the weighing room ranks has coincided with Roaring Lion’s sensational year; the Irishman gave a glowing tribute to the horse whom helped him land his first British Group 1:

“Roaring Lion has been a wonderful horse to be involved with and I feel incredibly honoured to have ridden him on some of the biggest stages this year. He gave me an amazing day at Sandown when winning my first British Group 1 and we’ve had some extraordinary days since.  I’d like to say a huge thank you to Sheikh Fahad for letting me ride him. He’s an incredible horse who I will remember for the rest of my life.”

BHA Jump Pattern Committee announces changes for 2018/19 mares’ season

The British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) Jump Pattern Committee has today announced a number of changes to British Jump Pattern and Listed races for the 2018/19 season.

The majority of the changes relate to the ongoing project to develop the mares’ Black Type programme, which aims to encourage a greater number of quality mares to be put into training and for them to be campaigned more ambitiously and for longer over jumps.

Two new contests have been added to the programme to take place over the second half of the season, at Doncaster and Exeter, with an upgrade to an existing contest at Cheltenham in April. Changes have also made to two existing mares’ contests at Newbury and Leicester.  In addition, changes have been made to the conditions of Wincanton’s Elite Hurdle, which will be run as a weight-for-age race from 2018.

In a related move, the three longstanding EBF/TBA Mares’ Series’ Finals have reverted to requiring horses to run in a qualifier in order to be eligible to run in the relevant series’ final.

Details of the new or upgraded contests for fillies and mares are as follows:

Racecourse and date
Race
Distance
Age
Doncaster, 25 January 2019
The Doncaster Racecourse Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle Race (Listed)
2m ½f
4yo
Exeter, 10 February 2019
The Exeter Racecourse Mares’ Steeple Chase (Listed)
3m
5yo+
Cheltenham, 18 April 2019
The Arkells Brewery Fillies’ Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race (Grade 3)
2m ½f
4yo

Ruth Quinn, Director of International Racing and Racing Development at the BHA, said:

“The upgrades and changes announced today for the 2018/19 season show ongoing progress in the work to develop the population of jumping mares. This remains a long-term BHA project, with the aim being to deliver graduated growth in the programme in order to provide sufficient incentive to enact behavioural change in breeders, buyers and owners, such that more mares are given the chance to develop to the best of their ability on the racecourse, before then perhaps becoming broodmares.

“The objective will not be delivered overnight and tangible success may not become apparent for several years, but there continue to be positive signs in terms of the overall quality of the mares in training, and around activity at the sales and the prices that mares are now fetching.”

Trainer Dan Skelton said:

“The juvenile fillies handicap hurdle at Cheltenham which we won with Stylish Dancer earlier in the year has the potential to become a really competitive contest.

“Giving the race Black Type status is definitely a step in the right direction and it gives the best horses in their age group a chance to compete for it, which is exactly as it should be.”

Roderick Duncan, Clerk of the Course at Doncaster Racecourse said:

“We are very happy to have worked with BHA to introduce this race and further support the Jump programme for Fillies and Mares and more generally at Doncaster.”

Acknowledging that the annual population of juvenile fillies in training in recent years would not have been sufficient to sustain its own Black Type programme, the Jump Pattern Committee has taken the longer-term view that, without these new opportunities, there is not the incentive for connections to attempt to source young, high-quality fillies in sufficient numbers.

It is therefore hoped that these new races will complement the existing Listed Juvenile Fillies’ race at Aintree in December and act as a catalyst for growth of the horse population in this area.  If at the end of three years the initiative is not showing any sign of delivering a positive impact, the Committee may revisit the Black Type status of these races.

Details of changes being made to existing contests are as follows:

Racecourse and date
Race
Distance
Age
Change
Wincanton, 10 November 2018
The Unibet Elite Hurdle Race (Grade 2)
2m ½f
4yo+
Changed from a limited handicap to weight-for-age conditions race
Newbury, 19 December 2018
The TBA Mares’ Steeple Chase (Listed)
2m 7½f
4yo+
No longer restricted to novices
Leicester, 10 January 2019
The Charnwood Forest Mares’ Steeple Chase (Listed)
2m
5yo+
Distance changed from 2m 6½f to 2m and moved two weeks earlier
Huntingdon, 25 January 2019
The Lady Protectress Mare’s Steeple Chase (Listed)
2m 4f
5yo+
Moved from late February to late January
Sandown, 9 March 2019
The EBF/TBA Mares’ National Hunt Flat Race Series Final (Listed)
2m
4-6yo
Mares which have been placed in the first six in a Qualifier will be eligible to enter the Final
Newbury, 23 March 2019
The EBF/TBA Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Race Series Final (Grade 2)
2m 4½f
4yo+
Mares which have been placed in the first six in a Qualifier will be eligible to enter the Final
Cheltenham, 18 April 2019
The EBF/TBA Mares’ Novices’ Steeple Chase Series Final (Listed)
2m 5f
5yo+
Mares which have been placed in the first eight in a Qualifier will be eligible to enter the Final

Irish Racing News

Yulong Gold Fairy bags the Concorde Stakes

Yulong Gold Fairy 
Photo: Patrick McCann 06.08.2017

Dermot Weld’s excellent record in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes, was further embellished, as Yulong Gold Fairy landed him an eighth victory, since the race was moved to Tipperary in the 1990s.

Nine went to post and it looked a wide-open contest, as the field stretched across the course in the home straight.

But Yulong Gold Fairy and Shane Foley finished best to edge out the Jim Bolger-trained pair Smash Williams and Flight Risk.

Weld said, “This is the fifth time I’ve won this race in the last nine years. She loves that ground and is a very consistent filly.

“She won a big two year old race last year and won the Listed Corrib Stakes at Galway and has been multiple Group placed and she is exceptionally brave.

“That’ll be it for her for the year and I’ll speak with her owner and hopefully she’ll stay in training next year.

“I was very pleased with Imaging and match-fitness told on heavy ground. Declan said on the very testing ground he tired a furlong and a half down. He’ll go for the Knockaire Stakes at Leopardstown in two weeks time. I’m very pleased with him and he’ll be back to be a very decent horse.”

Bedrock lands Tipperary Grade Three for Scotland

Bedrock, trained in Scotland by Iain Jardine, was a Tipperary winner, when landing the Horse & Jockey Hotel Hurdle.

The dual-purpose gelding, was recording his seventh victory under both codes in this Grade 3 event.
Rachael Blackmore’s mount quickened up well early in the straight and went clear before a slight mistake at the final flight.

It made little difference however as he ran out a convincing winner, beating Plinth by four and a half lengths, with Wicklow Brave another three quarters of a length back in third.

Le Richebourg making his mark over fences

Le Richebourg made it two wins from two over fences with victory in the Grade Three Like A Butterfly Novice Chase at Tipperary.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained gelding jumped with good measure and whilst Robin Des Foret briefly looked a danger at the penultimate fence, Le Richebourg and Barry Geraghty ultimately had plenty in hand.

The race was sealed when Robin Des Foret made a small error at the final fence, with Le Richebourg capitalising to win by seven lengths.

The Last Marju made a lot of the running but could find no extra from two out to finish a further four lengths adrift in third.

Spiders Web gets up late on to snatch the Munster National

Spiders Web was a last gasp winner of a thrilling JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National at Limerick.

There was a sprint to the first fence, where Black Scorpion and Kilcarry Bridge led from Full Cry.

Heading away from the stands, Kilcarry Bridge led over the third from Black Scorpion and Full Cry, with Kylecrue and Rogue Angel next.

At the back of the field, Blast Of Koeman was a faller.

Heading down the straight, Kilcarry Bridge and Black Scorpion continued to set the pace, but Full Cry then went on as they jumped the fence in front of the stands, with Kylecrue also joining issue.

Kylecrue pressed on down the back, but Black Scorpion then hit the front from Full Cry.

As the field took the final open ditch, Black Scorpion led but it was a wide-open race still, with Full Cry, Kylecrue and Rogue Angel within striking distance.

Turning for home, Black Scorpion led, with Na Trachtalai Abu, Rogue Angel and Full Cry all challenging.

On the outside, it was Na Trachtalai Abu who swept through and jumped the last in front, where Its All Guesswork took a crashing fall in third.

Na Trachtalai Abu pulled clear on the flat and looked destined to win, but Luke Dempsey began to galvanise Spiders Web, who had been patiently ridden to that point.

The Thomas Mullins trained seven year old, in the JP McManus silks, got going on the run-in to pass Na Trachtalai Abu late on, with Black Scorpion third and then came Alpha Des Obeaux.

Cadmium takes Punchestown honours

Cadmium gained revenge over old rival Ornua, as he landed the Grade 3 Buck House Novice Chase at Punchestown.

Ornua, as he had done at Roscommon recently, set out to make all the running, with Ruby Walsh settling just behind the leaders on the Willie Mullins trained Cadmium.

Walsh became more animated with two to jump, but his mount responded and he edged into the lead approaching the final fence.

A safe jump saw Cadmium home and on the flat he pressed on to score by five lengths from Ornua, with Cubomania back in third.

“There is a fair chance that I’m blowing harder than the horse!” said Walsh.

“He did it well. It was hard to see how he would reverse the form with Ornua but I suppose a more galloping track, the two furlongs extra and the 3lb swung it in our favour today.

“That’s twice he’s won here. He’s a novice for another six weeks so you’d imagine he’ll come back here in a month’s time for the Craddockstown all being well.”

On his comeback, Walsh added: “I feel like coughing up half a lung at this minute in time but other than that we’re all right.”

Sub Lieutenant in command in Punchestown feature

The classy Sub Lieutenant was back to his best as he dominated in the Grade 3 Irish Daily Star Chase at Punchestown.

The nine-year-old was soon in front and began to turn the screw with three fences to jump, being ridden hard by Rachael Blackmore.

Having cleared the last, Sub Lieutenant powered home to beat top weight Outlander by a convincing nine lengths, with Sandymount Duke well held in third.

Winning trainer Henry De Bromhead, commented: “I’m delighted. He jumped brilliant and it was a super ride from Rachael.

“He saw it out really well. I’d say we’ll aim for the north now.

“I’m delighted to see him coming back to himself again.

“He loves that ground, touch wood, and he seems good. He has form on softer, and he handles most types, but probably doesn’t want it bottomless to be at his best.”

Hit The Bid back to winning ways in the Mercury Stakes

Hit The Bid travelled best and got first run in the straight, to land the Group Three Al Basti World Mercury Stakes at Dundalk.

A field of nine went to post for this five furlong contest on the all-weather.

There was a level break but Life Of Riley soon went on from Fantasy and Hit The Bid.

Turning into the home straight, Life Of Riley still led from Fantasy, with Hit The Bid travelling well, while Encore D’Or challenged to the inside.

Hit The Bid went on with 1 ½ furlongs to race and was not for catching, responding well to Chris Hayes, as Lost Treasure and Encore D’Or challenged.

At the line, Hit The Bid was still about ¾ of a length clear, with Encore D’Or just shading Lost Treasure for second.

Guaranteed impresses at Leopardstown

Guaranteed confirmed himself a promising colt for Jim Bolger, as he landed the Group Three Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown.

Sovereign took the field along from Guaranteed

Into the home straight, the race developed into a three-horse race, with Guaranteed challenging and Masaff closing to the outside.

Sovereign dug deep, but between horses, Guaranteed and Kevin Manning had a bit more in hand and went on by a length.

Late on, Masaff closed, by Guranteed, a son of Teofilo, kept on to win cosily, with Sovereign third and a wide gap back to the rest.

Gordon Elliott harbours Champion Hurdle dream with Samcro

Samcro beats Black Op in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Image supplied by HRI: Copyright Grossick Racing Photography

Gordon Elliott has admitted that he would love to aim Champion Novice Samcro at the Champion Hurdle this season.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned six-year-old had a brilliant novice hurdling campaign last season, winning his first four starts, culminating in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

He took on experienced horses in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle, but ended his season with a fall, leaving connections unsure whether to remain over the smaller obstacles or embark on a career over fences this autumn.

“It’s still up in the air at the moment, to be honest,” Elliott told his Betfair blog. “He’s in good form and cantering away. He won’t be doing a fast bit of work maybe for another month. Obviously at some stage I’ll have to sit down and talk to Michael and Eddie (O’Leary, owners) and we’ll make a decision.

“It’s a pity we didn’t stand up in Punchestown as if he’d gone and won that I’d say we’d definitely be going the Champion Hurdle route.”

Asked what his preference would be, the trainer added: “I’d love to win a Champion Hurdle, but I only train the horse, I don’t own him. I’ll have to talk to the lads and see what they want to do.

“The way he jumps a hurdle you’d say chasing is going to be his game down the road, but it’s not easy coming across a Champion Hurdle horse. I’d love to win a Champion Hurdle, that’s all I can say.”

Douvan reported lame

Douvan
Image supplied by Tattersalls Ireland

Trainer Willie Mullins has announced that Douvan is on the easy list having been found lame recently.

Mullins reported that the eight year old has yet to be scanned, but it is likely he has suffered a small ligament tear or stress fracture.

Mullins said: “Douvan was lame the other morning when we pulled him out and I just sent him up to his usual vet. He informed me this morning that he is actually lame on his good leg.

“He had problems before on his near fore but he says he is actually sore on his other leg this time. He is going to x-ray and scan him today.

“There is nothing obvious that he can see on it. It might be a tiny ligament tear or small stress fracture but he can’t feel it with his hands so he will go through the usual tests.

“Obviously when any good horses goes lame, it is a concern but we will know in a day or two when all the tests are done. Hopefully it is only something that will keep him out for a few days.

“It is a pity as Rich [Ricci] was over last week and he was delighted by how he looked and the plan was to extend him out in trip this season. Hopefully it [the injury] is nothing too serious and he will be fine.”

The trainer also reported that his Stayers’ Hurdle winner Penhill, is unlikely to be seen before Christmas.
Mullins was upbeat about his exciting chaser Footpad, winner of all five races over fences, including the Arkle Trophy.

The horse could step up in trip for the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, on Boxing Day.

Mullins stated: “Footpad can do anything from two miles to three. I am thinking that we will start him off over two miles and then let him out to two and a half and it is a possibility that we will stretch him out to three miles at Christmas for the King George.”

International Racing News

Restless Rider wins Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland’s opening day Fall Meeting

Three Chimneys Farm and Fern Circle Stables’ Restless Rider took over from pacesetting Meadow Dance at the top of the stretch and drew clear to post a 2½-length victory over Reflect to win the 67th running of the $400,000 Grade One Darley Alcibiades for 2-year-old fillies before a Fall Meet opening-day crowd of 15,334.

In the race prior to the Darley Alcibiades, Robert Baron’s Promises Fulfilled held off late charges from Whitmore and Limousine Liberal to win the 166th running of the $245,000 Grade Two Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix for sprinters by a head over 2017 race winner Whitmore.

Both winners earned fees-paid berths to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs, from November 2nd and 3rd.

Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Restless Rider covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:44.23. The victory earned Restless Rider a spot in the $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The victory was the fourth in the race for McPeek. His other winners were She’s A Devil Due (2000), Take Charge Lady (2001) and Dream Empress (2008). It was the first win in the race for Hernandez.

Meadow Dance emerged with the lead going into the first turn and quickly opened a daylight advantage over Lady T N T with Restless Rider riding the rail in third through fractions of :22.86 and :46.52.

Going into the far turn, Restless Rider moved to second and swung to the outside of Meadow Dance, assuming command at the head of the lane. Reflect rallied from mid-pack into second but was no threat to winner.

A Keeneland sales graduate, Restless Rider has won three of four starts for earnings of $401,360, including Friday’s check of $240,000. She won the Debutante at Churchill Downs by 11¼ lengths and in her previous start was second in the Spinaway at Saratoga.

Restless Rider is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Distorted Humor out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Silky Serenade.

Promises Fulfilled Wins Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix

Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Luis Saez, Promises Fulfilled covered 6 furlongs on the main track in 1:09.05 to win the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix and earn a berth in the $2 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Promises Fulfilled took the lead out of the gate but was joined quickly by Heartwood as the duo raced through fractions of :22.50 and :45.09.

Entering the stretch, Heartwood retreated and Whitmore took up the chase on the outside and Limousine Liberal tried to come through on the inside. Neither older runner ever got past Promises Fulfilled, who gave Romans and Saez their initial victories in the race.

A Keeneland sales graduate, Promises Fulfilled is a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Shackleford out of the Marquetry mare Marquee Delivery.

Winx does it again – by the skin of her teeth

Winx duly landed the |Grade One Tab Turnbull Stakes at Flemington Park, to make it 28 wins in a row and her 21st top; level victory. But boy did she leave it late!

Trap For Fools broke best to lead Jon Snow in the early stages, with Divine For Unicorns splitting the pair after a couple of furlongs, while Winx sat towards the rear.

Trap For Fools continued to set the tempo from Divine For Unicorns, with the field strung out, with four furlongs to race.

The field began to bunch as Trap For Fools turned for home in front of Divine For Unicorns, while Winx was in behind runners.

With a furlong to run, Trap For Fools was still there, with Kings Will Dream to the inside, sneaking through and Winx, with daylight, not instantly picking up.

However, inside the final furlong, Winx powered down the outside and she roared into the lead, chased through by Youngstar in a dramatic victory.

Brundtland gets Godolphin off to a flyer on Arc Weekend

Brundtland passes Lillian Russell in the Prix Chaudenay

The unbeaten Brundtland showed guts and class to fight back and land the Group Two Qatar Prix Chaudenay at ParisLongchamp.

The Charlie Appleby colt set the pace for much of the race, tracked by Mystic Sunshine and Ziyad, but was under pressure entering the home straight.

Godolpohin’s other runner Lillian Russell went on and perhaps went a length up. However, William Buick kept his cool and had more underneath him, as Brundtland, the recent Prix Niel winner, fought back to win a shade cosily.

Lillian Russell made it a Godolphin one-two, with My Swashbuckler staying on for third.

Alignement comes late to win the Prix Dollar

Alignement beats Loxley and Fabricate in the Qatar Prix Dollar

Alignement was given a patient ride and delivered with perfect timing by Maxime Guyon, to land the Group Two Qatar Prix Dollar at ParisLongchamp.

Nine went to post for this 9 ½ furlong contest and it was soon Knight To Behold who took them along at a good clip.

However, he was soon engulfed in the home straight as Loxley and Fabricate made their bids for glory.

But from further back, Guyon had all moves covered and when he asked Alignement for effort, the response was there.

The Carlos Laffon-Parias trained charge showed good acceleration down the outside to collar Loxley, with Fabricate third.

Ostilio impresses in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein

Ostilio beats Oh This Is Us in the Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein

Ostilio led home a British clean sweep in the Group Two Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein at ParisLongchamp.

The imposing Hey Gaman was up with the early pace but soon joined and passed by Ostilio and Andrea Atzeni.

Turning for home, the order remained unchanged, with Oh This Is Us coming wide but beginning a challenge, along with Plumatic.

However, Ostilio found plenty for pressure and asserted in the latter stages to beat Oh This Is Us by 1 ¾ lengths, with Hey Gaman taking third place.

The Simon Crisford trained Ostilio, had been successful at Royal Ascot earlier in the year.

Call The Wind blows away Prix du Cadran rivals

Call The Wind (white) beats Holdthasigreen in the Qatar Prix du Cadran

Call The Wind was produced late and had plenty of reserves to see off Holdthasigreen in the Group One Qatar Prix du Cadran.

Eight lined up for this 2 ½ mile contest.

Old favourite Mille Et Mille, made a spirited bid to make all, but was usurped by Holdthasigreen at around halfway.

The German runner still led turning for home, with Morgan Le Faye challenging and Call The Wind and Aurelien Lemaitre starting to close.

Call The Wind hit the front with a furlong to run, with Holdthasigreen keeping on at the one pace and Morgan Le Faye unable to find any more.

At the line, Call The Wind was still 1 ¼ lengths up on Holdthasigreen.

Princess Yaiza wins a thriller for the Prix de Royallieu

Princess Yaiza repels Palombe and Shahnaza in the Prix de Royallieu
Copyright Jimmy Clark

Gavin Cromwell enjoyed a huge day on the flat as his filly Princess Yaiza got the best of a thrilling argument to the concluding Group Two Qatar Prix de Royallieu at Paris Longchamp.

Six fillies went to post for this 1 ½ mile and half a furlong contest, with Maroubra taking the field along at a pedestrian pace.

She was still to the fore approaching the final furlong, where the dash was on in earnest.

Princess Yaiza and Andrea Atzeni hit the front and were immediately pressed by Palombe and the fast finishing Shahnaza.

But the Cromwell filly prevailed by a short neck from Palombe.

Next Shares lands an upset in the Shadwell Turf Mile

Michael and Jules Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan, Christopher Dunn, William Marasa, Ritchie Robershaw and Mark Taylor’s Next Shares rode a rail-skimming trip to a 3¼-length victory over Great Wide Open (IRE) to win the 33rd running of the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile before a sun-baked Saturday afternoon crowd of 24,142.

The day featured five graded stakes worth $2.35 million, including four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races in which winners earned automatic berths in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Richard Baltas and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Next Shares covered the mile on a turf course labeled good in 1:36.97 to earn a berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile. He gave Gaffalione his first Keeneland stakes victory.

Other “Win and You’re In” victors were KRA Stud Farm’s Knicks Go in the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity for 2-year-olds; Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables’ A Raving Beauty (GER) in the $400,000 First Lady for fillies and mares; and Juddmonte Farms’ Golden Mischief in the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America for fillies and mares.

Also securing a graded stakes victory Saturday afternoon was Ironhorse Racing Stable’s Bucchero, who successfully defended his title in the $200,000 Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select.

In the Shadwell Turf Mile, Heart to Heart and Voodoo Song raced through fractions of :23.37 and :47.14 as Gaffalione bided his time in midpack. On the far turn, Heart to Heart disposed of Voodoo Song and opened a daylight margin turning for home where he drifted slightly to the outside.
Gaffalione took advantage and shot Next Shares through the opening, quickly established command and never was threatened in the run to the wire.

A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Archarcharch out of the Evansville Slew mare Two Dot Slew, Next Shares improved his record to 20-5-4-2. Saturday’s $600,000 check hiked his earnings to $1,067,697.

Knicks Go Slam Dunks Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Field

Knicks Go, sent off as the longest shot on the board at 70-1 in the field of 13, grabbed the lead out of the gate and never was threatened in romping by 5½ lengths over Signalman to win the 105rd running of the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity for 2-year-olds.

The first Grade 1 winner for trainer Ben Colebrook and jockey Albin Jimenez, Knicks Go covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:44.23 to earn a berth in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Knicks Go’s $142 win mutuel eclipsed the previous mark of $74.60 that Dawn of War paid in winning the race in 2005.

While Knicks Go shot to the front out of the gate, favored Dream Maker was bumped and clipped heels at the break to be last the first time under the wire.

Knicks Go opened a daylight margin going into the first turn and clicked off fractions of :23.67, :47.59 and 1:12.68 while under no pressure at any stage of the race.

A Raving Beauty Controls the Pace to Win First Lady

A Raving Beauty grabbed the lead at the break, inched clear at the head of the stretch and then had enough left to hold off Dona Bruja (ARG) by a neck to win the 21st running of the $400,000 First Lady for fillies and mares Saturday and earn a berth into the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by John Velazquez, A Raving Beauty covered the mile on a turf course labeled good in 1:37.78. It marked the second victory in the First Lady for Brown and Velazquez, who teamed to win the 2014 running with Dayatthespa.

A Raving Beauty led the field of nine through fractions of :24.40, :49.11 and 1:13.76 with Valadorna, stablemate Quidura (GB) and Crown Walk (GB) in closest pursuit. At the head of the lane, A Raving Beauty slipped away from her rivals and then held on for her second Grade 1 victory of 2018. Previously, she won the Just a Game at Belmont Park.

The victory was worth $240,000 and vaulted A Raving Beauty into millionaire status with a bankroll of $1,018,555 and a record of 22-6-3-3. She is a 5-year-old German-bred daughter of Mastercraftsman (IRE) out of the High Chaparral (IRE) mare Anabasis.

Golden Mischief Posts Narrow TCA Victory

In the Thoroughbred Club of America, Golden Mischief earned a berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint to be run at 7 furlongs on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs by holding off Chalon by a neck.

Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Golden Mischief covered the 6 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:09.39. It was the first victory in the race for Cox and Geroux.

Vertical Oak led the field through fractions of :22.74 and :45.68 with Happy Like a Fool applying token pressure while Chalon raced three wide and Miss Sunset rode the rail in fourth.

Approaching the stretch, Golden Mischief was fifth. In the lane, Geroux took Golden Mischief to the inside and split Vertical Oak and Miss Sunset to forge to the lead and have enough left to hold Chalon, who finished second in the race for the second consecutive year.

An objection lodged against Golden Mischief by Vertical Oak’s jockey for interference in deep stretch was disallowed by the stewards.

The victory was worth $150,000 and increased Golden Mischief’s earnings to $668,150 with a record of 21-10-3-0. Golden Mischief is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Into Mischief out of the Carson City mare Lanai City.

Bucchero Holds Off Will Call to Repeat in Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select

In the Woodford, Bucchero got a ground-saving trip early as Rocket Heat sped through uncontested fractions of  :21.80 and :44.77. Entering the stretch, Bucchero zoomed past on the outside, turned back a bid from Extravagant Kid and then held off a fast-closing Will Call by a half-length.

Trained by Tim Glyshaw and ridden by Fernando De La Cruz, Bucchero covered the 5½ furlongs on good turf in 1:04.04.

Bucchero became the fourth horse to win the Woodford in consecutive years. The others were Morluc (2000-2001), Sgt. Bert (2005-2006) and Silver Timber (2009-2010).

The victory was worth $120,000 and increased Bucchero’s earnings to $937,936 with a record of 30-11-6-3. Bucchero is a 6-year-old Indiana-bred son of Kantharos out of the General Meeting mare Meetmeontime.

Enable makes it back to back victories in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Enable wins her second Arc
Copyright AJ Byles

Enable added her name to an illustrious role of honour, of horses to win two Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes.

The John Gosden trained filly emulated Treve, by kicking for home early in the straight and just holding on from the late finishing Sea Of Class.

A field of 19 went to post and as the gates opened, it was clear that the Aidan O’Brien horses were out to fully test the mettle of the reigning champion, who had raced just once since her famous Chantilly win, a year earlier.

Nelson was bustled up into the lead, followed through by Capri, with Enable sat just in behind these, while Andrea Atzeni, plotted a wide course, clear of the rest of the field, on Defoe.

Defoe moved across to join the leaders at the Petit Bois, with Nelson still ahead of Capri and Hunting Horn not far off the pace. Meanwhile, James Doyle sat stone last aboard Sea Of Class.

Heading down the false straight, Nelson still held the call from Capri, with Defoe third and then the Japanese runner Clincher, followed by Enable.

Into the home straight, Nelson was still in front, with Capri perfectly poised, if good enough.

At the two furlong pole, Nelson finally gave way, but Capri was under pressure as he hit the front and alongside him, Frankie Dettori sat patiently on Enable.

Further back, Cloth Of Stars was making progress, but Sea Of Class was still behind horses as she closed.

With 1 ½ furlongs to race, Dettori asked Enable for her effort and she quickly took two lengths out of the field.

Capri had no more to offer and Cloth Of Stars was one-paced, as Sea Of Class finally found room and closed.

Late on, Sea Of Class’s momentum took her closer as Enable began to bottom out, but as they flashed past the post, the latter still had the lead and James Doyle’s effort came agonisingly close. Cloth Of Stars and Waldgeist finished to some effect in an Andre Fabre three-four.

Enable is now the eighth horse to have won the Arc twice. Lanfranco Dettori takes home his sixth Arc win, an unbeaten record, whereas owner Prince Khaleed Abdullah joins Marcel Boussac with his sixth success.

John Gosden, successful with Golden Horn in 2015, has now won three of the last four Arcs.

He said: “It’s been a nightmare year, it’s not easy when they go lame and they go off a long time as she was, but the vets did a brilliant job. She has a fantastic mind, she’s a real competitor. It’s like being a football manager with someone who goes out there and gives you 100 percent and you can build a team around them, she’s one of those. She came back at Lingfield and you bounce off the surface there, it’s not exactly a normal preparation for the Arc. You’re not meant to come into the Arc off one run on the all weather.

“I had a little hiccup with her temperature between Kempton and here, but she’s come here today and Frankie said she wasn’t at her best but did all the work. He rode her well.

“Aidan was right about the pace, he made it a test of stamina and the way it was run tested her fitness to the umpteenth degree, and the last hundred meters were an eternity for myself, the jockey and the filly.

“However, for the final analysis, it’s down to the filly and her owner and breeder, Prince Khalid Abdullah, who has bred such a filly and he’s here today to see his filly win yet another Arc.”

William Haggas (trainer of Sea of Class, 2nd)

“I think many people will look back on it and say that the draw did not help us. I don’t want to be ungrateful or unsporting. John’s filly is a marvellous filly, and she has won the Arc, not us. Not many win two Arcs. Let’s hope we can put it right next year and that John retires Enable! I haven’t discussed bringing back Sea of Class for the Arc next year with her owner but I hope so and expect so.”

Christopher Tsui (owner of Sea of Class, 2nd)

“She was fabulous. In the home straight, we didn’t think we stood a chance. The way she finished, it was simply incredible! James rode her superbly. He lost a lot of weight to ride her today. We are very happy with the result. It’s too early to discuss her future but we will be thinking of it this evening, over a glass of champagne.”

Lily’s Candle burns brightest in the Prix Marcel Boussac

Lily’s Candle wins the Prix Marcel Boussac
Image supplied by Arqana

Bought Saturday evening during the Arqana Arc sale for 490.000 €, Lily’s Candle (Style Vendôme) was quick to reward her new owner, Martin Schwartz by winning the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac – Critérium for fillies.

The filly, her trainer Fabrice Vermeulen’s first Group One, travelled in the rear end of the pack and squeezed through on the inside of the home straight. She battled for the win and hit the post a shade cosily of Matematica (Rock of Gibraltar), who was on her second time out. Star Terms (Sea The Stars) came a close third.

Lily’s Candle had just finished fourth at the Prix La Rochette against the colts, after having won the Prix des Jouvenceaux et Jouvencelles.

Fabrice Vermeulen, the winning trainer, commented: “I was calm throughout the race. We rode her for a place. We wanted to be placed in a Group One … but she surprised us. She had a good run and finished with style. A great race for our first Group One win. It makes up for the hard work of the team.”

Carlos Laffon-Parias (trainer of Matematica, 2nd), said: “I think highly of this filly so I didn’t hesitate to run her in this Group One. Her owners have always agreed on this decision and I am lucky to be working with them. Today, I thought the job was done but it all fell apart. Experience is important at this level and Matematica isn’t at the same levels as the other runners. She paid for this at the end.”

Richard Hannon (trainer of Star Terms, 3rd), added: “We are delighted. She didn’t have the best trip but held on till the post. We will see about our next steps but it is likely that she’ll take a break before the Guineas. We are a bit frustrated but happy.”

Royal Marine outguns his rivals in the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere

Royal Marine wins at ParisLongchamp
Copyright A.J. Byles

Royal Marine proved inexperience was no barrier as he impressively won the Group One Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere at ParisLongchamp.

Broome took the field of six along for much of the race, but was no match for Royal marine in the home straight.

The representative of Godolphin won the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère and proved to be courageous. Broome maintained the second place in front of the French contender Anodor (Anodin), who couldn’t show his turn of foot on this occasion.

Royal Marine had won well at Doncaster on his only previous start and winning trainer Saeed bin Suroor, said afterwards:

“He is a big horse with plenty of action. He travelled well today. I asked the jockey to go in front, even though the field was very small. On the last two furlongs I was sure he is going to win. The soft ground helped him. The options in the future remain open, we will discuss with the owner. He could go towards the Guineas next year.”

Aidan O’Brien (trainer of Broome, 2nd) said: “He ran very well even though he is immature. He is a horse for next year. We could direct him towards the classic path. No Breeder’s Cup for him, he will have a break now. We are very happy with the start of the progeny of Australia and looking forward to see what the years to come will bring. Broome has a superb action and had plenty of gas to finish his race.”

Freddy Head (trainer of Anodor, 3rd) remains confident that his charge has more to come: “When the others accelerated he had hard time following them. But he stayed on and finished well. I was happy with the end of the race and he finished with plenty of resources. He is still an unexposed horse, he needs to mature and he hasn’t finish his growth quite yet. He hasn’t had to fight like this before, and he will surely progress with time. We will see him next year, certainly over mile to start with, but there are no reasons why he couldn’t stay longer after.”

Richard Hannon (trainer of Boitron, 4th), also retains faith in his charge: “Boitron raced very well. He behaved well and today was a bit of a cherry on the cake in the end of the season. We think highly of this colt with regards of next year.”

Wild Illusion lands the Qatar Prix de l’Opera

Wild Illusion wins the Qatar Prix de l’Opera
Image: www.darleyeurope.com

Wild Illusion returned to action on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and made it back to back wins on Europe’s biggest race day, as she landed the Group One Qatar Prix de l’Opera, at ParisLongchamp.

The daughter of Dubawi had given plenty of problems at the stalls, before consenting to loading.

Rhododendron took the field along, but weakened out of contention.

Her stablemate Magic Wand appeared the likely winner, but in the final, furlong and a half, William Buick began his challenge on Wild Illusion, who overpowered her rival close home, with Homerique coming home third.

Wild Illusion found her preferred distance over ten furlongs and could now head towards Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares Turf.

Winning trainer, Charlie Appleby, bringing up a Godolphin double on the card, said afterwards:

“That was a brilliant race. She is a very tough filly. We tried 2400m in the Oaks, but she was disappointing and her preferred distance is definitely 2000m. I thought she looked magnificent in the parade ring. William rode her with plenty of confidence. She never gives up. This has always been her objective since the Nassau Stakes. She should run the Breeder’s Cup Fillies and Mares.”

Aidan O’Brien (trainer of Magic Wand, 2nd), commented:

“She ran really well like in most of her outings this year. I am not sure she will run again this year. The options are open, but we will have to see how she comes out from this race.”

Francis-Henri Graffard (trainer of Homérique, 3rd ), said:

“We wanted the jockey to ride her “off”. When the winner accelerated, our filly lost her rhythm and the jockey respected her. She ran well and finished with good action. She will finish her season with this race. My Sister Nat surprised her jockey Mickael Barzalona in the start and she had hard time following the rhythm of the race. She confirms her quality after all.”

Mabs Cross leaves it late to win the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye

Mab’s Cross wins the Prix de l’Abbaye
Image supplied by Goffs Ltd

Mabs Cross weaved a way through and was delivered late by Gerald Mosse, to land the Group One Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp.

Defending champion Battaash was soon blazing a trail, with the two year old Soldier’s Call for company.

Inside the final furlong, the pair were still battling it out towards the stands side, but the significant action was unfolding in the centre of the course, where Mabs Cross and Gold Vibe both finished fast.

Mabs Cross, second in the Nunthorpe Stakes, got the better of the finish to deny Gold Vibe close to the line, with Soldier’s Call just denying Battaash for third.

Michael Dods, trainer of Mabs Cross, had also trained that flying filly Mecca’s Angel. He commented: “We were very disappointed to have got beaten at York {Nunthorpe Stakes} but she turned in another good performance. Our first two choice
riders have been sidelined through injury and Gérald Mosse took over in the saddle. He went about his task with a lot of confidence!”

Pascal Bary was very happy with the run of runner-up Gold Vibe: “He’s a very good sprinter and was unlucky last time out. Today, he ran a blinder. He finished second yet again – and that’s the eighth time that he has been runner-up. He’s a real 1,000m horse and loves ParisLongchamp. The race panned out well for him. Sometimes he is well within himself, and other occasions this isn’t the case, although he was on a going day today. He may race abroad at the end of the year.”

Archie Watson was extremely proud of the performance of Soldier’s Call: “One can only be proud of the colt. He’s only a two-year-old and only got beaten in the final strides, having raced upsides a champion sprinter that is Battaash. I may give the impression of being disappointed as we were beaten by small margins – but it’s a great performance. I hope that it is the sign of things to come.

“He’s a well-made colt with a lot of pace – and is one who will be campaigned over 1,000m next year. It’s not impossible that he will contest the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint which could be his last race of the season. We will see how he recovers.”

Charlie Hills was left scratching his head somewhat, after the run of Battaash: “He finished close up {in fourth) but I don’t know why he didn’t get home. We will take him home and check him out with a view to roughing him off for the rest of the season. He didn’t give the impression of being able to dominate.”

One Master brings solace for Haggas

One Master (right) beats Inns Of Court and Dutch Connection in the Prix de la Foret

One Master gave a frustrating Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe afternoon a nice after taste for William Haggas, as she overhauled Inns Of Court and Dutch Connection late on, to land the Group One Qatar Prix de la Foret.

James Garfield took the fifteen horses along and was still in front with two furlongs to race.

Polydream had bad luck in running and it was Dutch Connection who came through with Inns Of Court, in what looked likely to deliver a Godolphin treble on the card.

However, Pierre-Charles Boudot produced One Master down the outside, a la Sea Of Class – only this time, the run was timed to perfection, as the filly mowed down Inns Of Court late on.

William Haggas, winning trainer said: “She is a very smart, and very attractive filly who has won over 1,200m in the past. She had a strong win in Ireland. Today was a bit harder, but
her jockey rode her well. We kept her in training with the idea of her winning a good race and she has run well in a Group One. Now we need to think about her next steps. This win is special to me because I trained both her mother and grandmother.”

Lisa-Jane Graffard (manager of the Godolphin stable in France, 2nd with Inns of Court), said: “We can’t be disappointed because he ran so well. He backs up his last good performance, coming third, in the Qatar Prix du Pin, there isn’t much left to say. He is a good ground horse who doesn’t like extreme conditions, so he was happy today.”

Charles Hills (trainer of Dutch Connection, 3rd), said: “I couldn’t be happier with the performance of the horse. The jockey was unlucky not to find an opening. He finished very well. This is surely the best performance in his career.”

Aidan O’Brien (trainer of Gustav Klimt, 4th), was equally pleased: “We are very happy with his performance. He was beaten by three good horses. For his next outing we might consider Breeders’ Cup Mile. We will think about it.”

Blue Prize lands the Juddmonte Spinster

Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize (ARG) overcame an adventurous run in the stretch to turn back Champagne Problems by three-quarters of a length to win the 63rd running of the Grade One $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster for fillies and mares before a Sunday afternoon crowd of 14,223.

Trained by Ignacio Correas IV and ridden by Joe Bravo, Blue Prize won her second Breeders’ Cup Challenge race that provides the winner a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Previously she won the Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs.

Also earning Breeders’ Cup berths Sunday were Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta’s Current, winner of the $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon and John Oxley’s Strike Silver, winner of the inaugural $200,000 Indian Summer, both races for 2-year-olds.

In the Juddmonte Spinster, longshot Southernperfection led the field of 11 through fractions of :23.79, :47.62 and 1:12.27. On the far turn, Bravo moved to the far outside, circling the leaders and striking the front turning for home.

Blue Prize quickly opened a daylight advantage, but twice before the eighth pole ducked out sharply beyond the middle of the track, allowing Champagne Problems, who was skimming the rail, to reach near even terms. Bravo got Blue Prize straightened out inside the sixteenth pole and drew clear for the victory in 1:50.02.

A 5-year-old Argentine-bred daughter of Pure Prize out of the Not For Sale mare Blues for Sale (ARG), Blue Prize won her fourth graded stakes in North America and first Grade 1. A Group 1 winner in Argentina, Blue Prize elevated her career earnings to $964,753 with Sunday’s $300,000 check.

Blue Prize finished 1½ lengths in front of Pacific Wind, it was another 3¼ lengths back to Fuhriously Kissed who was followed in by Chocolate Martini.

Current prevails in three-horse photo to win the Dixiana Bourbon

Current closed fastest of all to edge Henley’s Joy by a nose with Salvator Mundi another nose back in third. With the Dixiana Bourbon win, Current secured a berth in the starting gate for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Current covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:45.10. It was the fourth victory in the race for Pletcher, who had won previously with Interactif (2009), Bittel Road (2008) and Twilight Meteor (2006).

It was the third win on the program for the Pletcher-Ortiz combo.

Favored War of Will took the lead out of the gate and led the field of 13 through fractions of :23.59, :48.82 and 1:14.30. Under Drayden Van Dyke, War of Will maintained a daylight advantage until mid-stretch where Henley’s Joy loomed up on the rail with Salvador Mundi to his outside. The threesome raced as a team to the final 50 yards when War of Will backed out.

Current, sixth at the eighth pole, closed widest of all to nail the dueling leaders at the wire by a nose.
A Keeneland sales graduate, Current is a Kentucky-bred son of Curlin out of the Storm Cat mare Crosswinds. Now a winner of two of three starts, all on the grass, Current added $150,000 to his bankroll to boost his total earnings to $201,450.

Strike Silver rallies from far back to win the Indian Summer

In taking the inaugural running of the Indian Summer, Strike Silver came from next to last at the eighth pole in the 12-horse field to nail Chelsea Cloisters in the shadow of the wire by a neck. The victory clinched a spot for Strike Silver in the inaugural $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Strike Silver covered the 5½ furlongs on a firm turf course in 1:05.00.

Mister Banjoman rocketed out of the gate and opened a clear lead while cutting out fractions of :21.68 and :45.25 while Strike Silver raced at the tail of the field.

Mister Banjoman maintained his advantage to mid-stretch where Chelsea Cloisters emerged from the pack to open a clear advantage. At this juncture, Leparoux had angled Strike Silver into the clear and in a full drive, passed the majority of the field and caught Chelsea Cloisters a few yards before the finish line.

Strike Silver is a Kentucky-bred son of Violence out of the Pulpit mare Frank’s Hope. The Indian Summer represented the first grass start for Strike Silver, who earned $120,000 for the victory to boost his earnings to $180,600 with a record of 3-2-1-0.

Redzel makes all to double up in The Everest

Redzel and Kerrin McAvoy made it back to back wins in the first two renewals of The Everest at Randwick.

U S Navy Flag and Ryan Moore got a tardy start, but Redzel, on the inside rail, was soon to the fore from Le Romain.

Into the home straight, nothing could ever really get a blow in and Redzel comfortably held of his rivals.

Late on, Trapeze Artist made his effort, but the Peter and Paul Snowden trained six year old, was always holding him and went on to win by about a length, with Godolphin’s Osborne Bulls, racing wide to the stands side, taking third.

U S Navy Flag was never a factor on the rain-softened ground and finished down the field.

Rushing Fall too good in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

Rushing Fall wins the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup
Source: Keeneland Photo

Rushing Fall dictated and had plenty in hand as she won the Grade One Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup over nine furlongs at Keeneland.

A field of eight three year old fillies lined-up for this contest, including European interest in the shape of Nyaleti, Mission Impassable and the former Marco Botti filly Capla Temptress.

From the gates it was Nyaleti, against the inside, who broke best, but Rushing Fall soon went on from Fatale Bere, who had played up in the gates beforehand.

Heading down the back, Rushing Fall led by two lengths from Fatale Bere and Nyaleti, with Mission Impassable next.

Rushing Fall took the far turn in front but with the field closing.

Into the home stretch, Mission Impassable came to challenge Rushing Fall, with Nyaleti a little short of room. But the leader found more to move away again, with the two drawing well clear of their rivals.

Rushing Fall and Javier Castellano won by about 1 ½ lengths from Mission Impassable, with a yawning gap back to Nyaleti in third.

Desert Encounter leads home a British one-two in the Canadian International

Desert Encounter
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Desert Encounter finished with a flourish to head the gallant grey Thundering Blue, as British horses dominated the Grade One Pattison Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine.

Eleven contested this 1 ½ mile race on firm ground.

Funtastic and Tiz A Slam broke well, with the pair taking the field along.

But Bandua went on as the field approached the back straight, with Funtastic and Tiz A Slam next and then Johnny Bear and Markitoff.

Heading to the top bend, Bandua still led Tiz A Slam and Johnny Bear, while Thundering Blue was behind a wall of horses on the inside.

Turning for home, Bandua still had the lead from Tiz A Dream, with Spring Quality and Johnny Bear.

But Thundering Blue got the split when he needed it to hit the front. However, Andrea Atzeni and Desert Counter came bursting out of the pack and stormed past Thundering Blue in the final furlong, to win by about a length, with a wide gap back to Focus Group and Tiz A Slam.

The David Simcock trained six year-old, Desert Encounter, landed a Listed race at Windsor in August, before finishing ½ a length third to Young Rascal at Newbury.

Hembree snatches victory in the Nearctic Stakes

Earlier on the card, Hembree left it late but was a narrow winner of the Grade Two Nearctic Stakes.

A field of eleven lined-up for this six-furlong dash.

At the break it was Yorkton who went on, with Bushrod and Hemp Hemp Hurray also prominent.

Yorkton was 1 ½ lengths clear at the top bend with Lady Alexandra giving chase.

Lady Alexandra came to challenge in the home stretch, but Yorkton found more for Jessie Campbell.

However, in the dying strides, Hemp Hemp Hurray came to challenge to the inside, with Hembree and Irad Ortiz Jr. coming late on the outside.

In a desperate three-way finish, Hembree got up to agonisingly foil Yorkton’s brave bid, he could only finish third.

Atzeni on the crest of a wave as Sheikha Reika lands the E.P. Taylor Stakes

Sheika Reika

Andrea Atzeni annexed both Grade One races as Woodbine, as Sheika Reika lead a European one-two in the E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine.

Nine fillies and mares went to post for this nine-furlong race on firm ground.

At the start it was Starship Jubilee who went on but was passed to the inside by Santa Monica.

Settling down, Starship Jubilee moved back to the front by two lengths, taking the field down the back from Santa Monica and Proctor’s Ledge, with Sheikha Reika in fourth.

Starship Jubilee continued to take them along from Proctor’s Ledge and Santa Monica.

At the top of the bend, Starship Jubilee continued to travel well from the front, with Proctor’s Ledge and Santa Moniuca, while Sheikha Reika was under a ride.

Into the home stretch, Starship Jubilee continued to hold off her rivals, but under a strong drive from Andrea Atzeni, Sheikha Reika began to thunder home on the outside.

Sheikha Reika’s momentum saw her career into the lead and she ran out a ready winner by about a length from Golden Legend, with Santa Monica coming back at them on the inside, to snatch third place.

Roger Varian’s three year old filly had won Yarmouth’s Listed John Musker Stakes on her prior run.

Tzigane Du Berlais lands a fifth Velka Pardubicka for Faltejsek

Tzigane Du Berlais got the better of an exciting finish to land the 128tgh renewal of the Velka Pardubicka in the Czech Republic.

Twenty went to post for this great race, over 4 miles 2 ½ furlongs.

The field streamed over the first two fences OK and it was Hegnus and Ter Mill who led as they reached The Taxis, where the latter was one of four horses who fell. Over the Irish Bank, Vajgaros unseated Leighton Aspell.

Without reaching the quarter point, seven were already out of the contest.

Meanwhile, Bridgeur led the remaining runners, with Ange Guardian and Hegnus also up with the pace.

The 13 still standing, were all jumping well, as they passed the stands and headed back into the country.

Bridgeur continued to lead from Hegnus and Stretton and Nikas.

Having jumped the brick wall, the field began to bunch behind Bridgeur, but the long-time leader continued to tow the field along as they crossed the plough.

With less than a mile to race, Bridgeur was pressed by Nikas and Stretton, with Hegnus and Ange Guardian next, while Zarif was much closer and then came Tzigane Du Berlais.

Bridgeur continued to lead Stretton and Zarif, as the field headed out on the last circuit.

Turning for home, Bridgeur led Stretton and Zarif, with Ange Guardian travelling well.

The leader finally folded and Stretton went on from Ange Guardian, and at the last, Tom Garner appeared to have a great chance of victory aboard Stretton.

But on the outside, Tzigane Du Berlais, racing on the stands side, began to get up on the flat and went clear on the run-in to give Jan Falteksek a fifth victory in the race.

Second home came the gallant Hegnus, with Stretton taking third, ahead of Zarif and last year’s winner No Time To Lose.

Best Solution wins the Caulfield Cup

Pat Cosgrave celebrates on Best Solution
Image supplied by Racing Victoria; copyright Racing Photos

Best Solution gave Godolphin another top level success with a narrow victory in the Group One Stella Artois Caulfield Cup at Caulfield.

A field of 18 went to post for this 1 ½ mile handicap.

Much of the pace was set by Aces High and Sole Impact, with Best Solution sat just in behind these.

Approaching the end of the straight, The Taj Mahal made a daring move from the back of the field and was sent to the front, with Best Solution and Pat Cosgrave also going through.

Best Solution turned into the home straight in front from The Taj Mahal and Homesman, who had to come wide.

Homesman inched closer with every stride, but at the line, Best Solution still had his nostrils in front for a tight success, with The Cliffs Of Moher and Duretto staying on for third and fourth.

Best Solution has proved a real globetrotter for Saeed bin Suroor during 2018.

Listen In lands Chantilly Group Two

Listen In

Listen In was back to her best to land the Group Two Prix du Conseil de Paris at Chantilly.

Five horses went to post for this 1 ½ mile contest.

Master’s Spirit set off in front, but the early pace was a crawl, with Listen In settled in second.

The gallop continued to be a pedestrian one as the field headed down the back, in this race, moved from ParisLongchamp.

Into the home straight, Listen In went on as the field sprinted.

To the inside, Time Shanakill threw down a challenge, but Aurelien Lemaitre and Listen In saw off the threat, with master’s Spirit coming home third.

Goffs Spring Graduate Jury Duty wins the American Grand National Hurdle

Jury Duty
Image supplied by Goffs Ltd

Doncaster Horses-in-Training graduates claimed their second Grand National in 2018 with the Gordon Elliott trained JURY DUTY winning the Grade 1 Grand National Hurdle at Far Hills in America.

The 7YO is Goffs UK and Gordon Elliott’s second Grand National winner this year with the August Sale graduate TIGER ROLL taking the Grand National at Aintree earlier this year. Jury Duty is also Goffs UK’s second American Grade 1 winner this year with another Gordon Elliott trained horse, ZANJABEEL, victorious in the Grade 1 Iroquois Stakes and Grade 1 Lonesome Glory Handicap Hurdle.

Jury Duty was offered at the 2018 Spring HIT Sale by Lake Tour Stables. The Goffs UK Autumn Sale at Doncaster will be held this week on 24th – 25th October with 159 yearlings to be offered on Wednesday from 12 noon and over 240 Horses-in-Training and Pointers on Thursday from 10am.

Magnificent Winx lands an historic fourth Cox Plate

Winx stamped her place in racing history with an authoritative and unprecedented fourth success in the Group One Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

Winx was bidding to win 29 straight races and become the first horse to win the race on four occasions.

Seven horses faced the wonder mare, in this 1 ¼ mile contest.

At the break, it was the grey D’Argento who went into the lead, with Benbatl for company as they headed into the first bend.

D’Argento held a narrow lead going into the back, with Rostropovich and Benbatl close up, while Kings Will Dream was sadly pulled up.

Rostropovich came to join D’Argento with half a mile to race and Ryan Moore, racing wide, went on, with Benbatl stalking these all the time.

Approaching the home turn, Winx moved up on the outside.

Into the straight, Winx led, with Benbatl challenging to the inside.

As they straightened up, it looked for a split second as though there might be a battle.

But Winx was irresistible and moved on to win by a couple of lengths, to tumultuous acclaim from the stands.

Benbatl was in the perfect position, but was no match for the mare, while Humidor stayed on for third, clear of Avilius.

Auenperle scores in the Prix Perth

Auenperle ran out a surprise winner of the Group Three Prix Perth at Saint-Cloud.

Seven went to post for this one mile contest.

Wootton went on from Graphite through the early stages, with Auenperle to the inside in third.

In the home straight, the race turned into a sprint and it was Auenperle and Ioritz Mendizabal who showed the best turn of foot to draw clear.

Late on, the Godolphin pair of Graphite and Wootton began to close him down, but they were too late, with the latter just claiming second.

Wonderment on top in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud

The filly Wonderment stayed on best of all to land the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

El Ingrato took the field along for much of the contest from Norway.

As the field turned for home, Norway’s white face pressed on, but he was tackled by Fox Tal and Sydney Opera House with a firlong to race.

Fox Tal momentarily led, but Sydney Opera House hit the front, before Wonderment and Stephane Pasquier passed the pair late on to get up and win.

Wonderment, a daughter of Camelot, had run third to Line Of Duty, in a Group Three, on her previous start.

Bartaba stamina to the fore at Saint-Cloud

Bartaba showed plenty of fortitude to win the Group Three Prix Belle de Nuit at Saint-Cloud.

Eleven fillies and mares took part in this 1 ¾ mile contest.

Klassique led and took the field into the home straight, where she was challenged by Bartaba.

In a real slog, the two three year-olds pulled clear and whilst Klassique fought back, Bartaba had her measure at the line, with a gap back to Against Rules in third.

The Andre Fabre trained Bartaba, is a daughter of Japanese superstar Deep Impact.

Ligne D’Or wins a race of close margins

Ligne D’Or ran out the winner of a blanket finish to the Group Three Prix de Flore at Saint-Cloud.

Seven fillies lined-up over 1 mile, 2 ½ furlongs.

Andre Fabre, already successful earlier on the card with Bartaba, saw his Ligne D’Or get up by ¾ of a length from Shahnaza, with the British pair Queen Of Time and Dynamic coming home third and fourth.

Holdthasigreen all heart in Prix Royal-Oak victory

The ultra-consistent Holdthasigreen earned a first Group One victory with a hard-fought success in the Prix Royal-Oak at Chantilly.

Eight went to post for this 15 furlong race, with Flag Of Honour going into the early lead from Brundtland and the grey Palombe.

That was the order with a circuit to race, with the Aidan O’Brien colt Flag Of Honour, still in front.

Over the crossing, Flag Of Honour and Brundtland both lost significant ground and Holdthasigreen went on from the recovering Brundtland and Palombe.

The race developed into a sprint in the home straight, with Holdthasigreen clinging on gamely as Brundtland and Called To The Bar challenged.

Brundtland, racing between horses, was the first to crack, but Holdthasigreen and Tony Piccone kept up the gallop to see off Called To The Bar and the late finishing Morgan Le Faye.

The six year old Holdthasigreen, has been a modicum of consistency, winning the Group Two Prix Kergorlay earlier in the year and running second in the recent Group One Prix du Cadran.

Devant scores in the Prix Miesque

Devant came out on top in a muddling renewal of the Group Three Prix Miesque, at Maisons-Laffitte.

A field of ten juvenile fillies went to post for this seven furlong contest.

The grey Primela was the early leader with Epistrophy, but the early pace was not strong.

Primela and Epistrophy continued to set the tempo, with Happy Odyssey in behind and then Amber Spark.

Epistrophy pressed on with two furlongs to race, but had not shaken off her rivals.

The final furlong saw the complexion of the race completely change.

The leaders were quickly passed and So Unique hit the front, but was soon passed by Devant and Pierre-Charles Boudot, with So Unique also finishing with a rattle, to the stands side.

But Devant, a daughter of Showcasing, kept up the gallop to hold on by about half a length from Stay Classy, with So Unique a close third.

Royal Meeting sweeps to Group One glory

Royal Meeting

Royal Meeting too the big step up in class in his big stride, as he ran out a ready winner of the Group One Criterium International at Chantilly.

Six went to post for this seven furlong contest and it was Kessar who set a good pace through the early stages, from the filly Hermosa.

Kessar continued in front of Hermosa and Royal Meeting, as the field turned for home.

With two furlongs to run, Hermosa came to join Kessar but the pair were under hard drives, while Royal Meeting stayed on to the outside.

Late on Royal Meeting swept past, down the centre of the track, beating Hermosa by about a length, with Graignes third.

The Saeed Bin Suroor trained Royal Meeting, a son of Invincible Spirit, had impressed on debit at Yarmouth last month.

 

French success for Clive Cox’s Snazzy Jazzy

Snazzy Jazzy wins at the Curragh
Image supplied by Tattersalls Ireland

Clive Cox made a successful French raid in the rain, as Snazzy Jazzy won the Group Three Prix de Seine-et-Oise at Maisons-Laffitte.

Eleven lined-up for this six furlong race.

At the break it was Baby Jane and Geniale who led, with Son Cesio showing good early speed also.

Settling down, Son Cesio took them along with Baby Jane and Snazzy Jazzy, who pressed on with two furlongs to race, but was challenged immediately by The Right Man.

The pair fought a protracted tussle and it was the Clive Cox runner Snazzy Jazzy, under Gerald Mosse, who edged to victory from Forza Capitano.