British Racing News


Take Cover to the fore again at Beverley

Take Cover

Take Cover continued to defy Father Time with a blistering all the way win in the Listed Beverley Bullet.

The David Griffiths trained eleven year old, was completing back to back victories.

He was soon into the lead and dictated throughout, as his rivals got boxed in.

Late on, Elnadim Star looked a threat, but Take Cover answered David Allan’s call to hold on and win consecutive renewals.

At the line, Take Cover was 1 ¼ lengths clear of Mythmaker, with Elnadim Star third.


Veracious delivers in the Atalanta Stakes


Veracious was a smooth winner of the Group Three 188Bet Casino Atalanta Stakes at Sandown Park.

Six fillies and mares took part in this one mile race.

At the start it was Veracious who led with Awesometank.

Settling down, Awesometank, next to the rails, led narrowly from Veracious and New Day Dawn, with Winter Lightning next.

Turning for home, Awesometank and Veracious were first into the straight, with Winter Lightning next.

Veracious joined Awesometank and pressed on approaching the furlong pole.

In the final furlong, Ryan Moore pushed out Veracious for an impressive win by a couple of lengths from Awesometank, who kept on well when passed, with Winter Lightning third.

Sir Michael Stoute was winning this race for the seventh time.


Too Darn Hot dots up in the Solario Stakes

Too Darn Hot was an impressive winner of the Champagne Stakes
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Too Darn Hot built on the promise of his runaway debut success, with an awesome display to land the Group Three 188Bet Solario Stakes at Sandown Park.

Six two year old colts lined-up for this prestigious seven furlong contest, won last year by subsequent Derby winner Masar.

The Chaesham Stakes winner Arthur Kitt, took the field along with Victory Command.

This pair took the field into the home straight and continued to duel.

However, Too Darn Hot, impressive at this racecourse on debut, stormed into the lead inside the final quarter of a mile and shot clear.

Frankie Dettori was never in any danger on the regally-bred colt and he coasted to a wide-margin victory in the manner of one of the year’s leading juveniles.

Arthur Kitt couldn’t cope with Too Darn Hot, but ran commendably, keeping on for a clear second, perhaps four lengths down on the winner, with Confiding staying on for third.

The John Gosden trained son of Dubai, is out of the brilliant Dar Re Mi. He holds entries in the Champagne Stakes, Royal Lodge Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes.


Improving Yourtimeisnow lands the Dick Poole


Roger Varian’s team have been in good form of late and the improving juvenile filly Yourtimeisnow, showed plenty of resolve to make all in the Group Three Shadwell Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury.

A field of nine went to post for this six furlong contest.

Andrea Atzeni soon had Yourtimeisnow up with the pace, with the inside rail to help her.

The daughter of freshman sire Charm Spirit, took a while to settle down but soon had her rivals under pressure.

With a furlong to race, Lady Aria came to challenge the leader, but Yourtimeisnow had plenty in reserve and fought off her rival.

At the line, Yourtimeisnow had ½ a length to spare over Lady Aria, with the pair always clear of their rivals; Come On Leicester eventually took third place.


Enable back in style at Kempton

Enable parading before her 2017 Arc victory

Enable made a belated reappearance but looked as good as ever, as she readily disposed of Crystal Ocean in the Group Three 188Bet September Stakes at Kempton Park.

A race which has in the past been a graveyard to top class horses making their returns, hosted the 2018 bow of 2017’s superstar filly, Enable.

Beforehand, trainer John Gosden sounded a cautionary note that the filly would come on for the run and would not be given a hard time. In the preliminaries, she appeared keen.

Just three horses took on last year’s dual Classic and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, over just short of 1 ½ miles, but the smart Crystal Ocean, just touched off by Poet’s Word in thbe King George, was among them.

At the break, Enable was best away and went into the lead, pointing her toe and with her ears pricked.

Enable passed the post with a 2 ½ length lead over Crystal Ocean, with a gap back to Cribbs Causeway and Peak Princess.

Heading down the back, Enable and Frankie Dettori, continued to lead Crystal Ocean.

Crystal Ocean edged closer on the turn out of the back and the two were well clear of their toiling rivals.

Enable turned for home with Crystal Ocean giving chase. Dettori asked her to quicken with 1 ½ furlongs to race and she stretched on impressively.

At the line, Enable coasted to a comfortable two length victory over Crystal Ocean, with Cribbs Causeway miles back in third.


Kessar well on top in the Sirenia Stakes

Kessar ensured John Gosden landed both Group Threes on the card, as he impressed in the Group Three 188Bet Casino Sirenia Stakes at Kempton Park.

Five two year olds went to post for this six furlong race.

At the off it was Quiet Endeavour who went into the lead from Junius Brutus and Kessar.

Junius Brutus joined the leader on the turn for home and the front pair duelled.

With two furlongs to run, Junius Brutus asserted and moved a length clear, with Kessar giving chase.

Kessar and Kieran O’Neill closed the leader down and went clear in impressive fashion, lengthening away to beat Junius Brutus by around two lengths, with Fuente staying on for third.


Here Comes When excels at muddy Haydock

Here Comes When 
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Here Comes When, a former Group One winner, landed the Group Three Unibet Mile (Registered as the Superior Mile Stakes) at Haydock Park.

Heavy and deteriorating ground saw a depleted field of six take part.

The race got underway with Threading quickly into her stride, but joined to the inside by Regal Reality, who pulled his way into the lead.

Settling down, Regal Reality moved into a length lead under Ryan Moore, with Threading second and then the former Sussex Stakes winner Here Comes When.

Regal Reality turned into the home straight in front, but with half a mile to run, was joined by Threading.

With a quarter of a mile to race, Regal Reality kept up the gallop, but was challenged by Here Comes When, while Circus Couture stayed on.

However, the veteran Here Comes When, a confirmed mud lover, found most inside the final furlong and drew on under Oisin Murphy, beating Circus Couture comfortably, with Regal Reality third.


The Tin Man revels in Sprint Cup glory

The Tin Man 
Image by Newbury Racecourse

The Tin Man came back to his best to bravely hold on in the Group One 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park.

A dozen horses lined-up for this historic six furlong contest, including last year’s winner Harry Angel, although they faced heavy ground which turned it more into a slog.

Hey Jonesy broke best, but was quickly joined by Harry Angel.

By halfway, Harry Angel had taken command and at the two furlong pole, was two lengths clear, with James Garfield, Brando and Sands Of Mali closing.

With a furlong to race, The Tin Man went on from Brando and Gustav Klimt, as Harry Angel faded.

It got desperate in the final furlong, as The Tin Man tried to fight off the closing Brando and Gustav Klimt, who inched nearer with every stride.

But The Tin Man and Oisin Murphy resolutely held on, repelling Brando by about ¾ of a length, with Gustav Klimt on their coat tails and followed home by Donjuan Triumphant.

The James Fanshawe trained six year old had won last year’s Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, on good to firm.


Fleeting times it well in the May Hill

Fleeting provided further evidence of the return to form of Aidan O’Brien’s yard as she comprehensively landed the Group Two William Hill May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Eleven two year old fillies went to post for this prestigious one mile contest.

At the break it was Divinity who went on from Peach Tree, with the field clustering as they raced down the centre of the track.

Divinity continued to tow the field along to halfway, with Peach Tree next and Dubai Beauty poised to the outside.

Heading to the quarter mile pole, the leader was swallowed up, as a wall of five horses vied for the lead: and Dubai Beauty, Dutch Treat, Miss Celestial, Peach Tree and Star Terms.

Star Terms went on with a furlong to race, with Sand Share, while Fleeting began her challenge..

It was Fleeting and Donnacha O’Brien, who gained the best momentum on the far side of the course and powered home, going away late on to win cosily by a couple of lengths.

Star Terms came home second, with Sand Share third and Magnetic Charm an eye-catching fourth.


God Given back on son in the Park Hill Stakes

God Given
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

God Given landed a sixth victory for trainer Luca Cumani, in the Group Two DFS Park Hill Stakes.

Seven fillies lined up for the ‘Fillies’ St Leger’ over the full Leger course and distance.

Horseplay, racing wide, was the early leader, with Galmarley to the inside, pulling her way to the front after about a furlong.

As Horseplay dropped back, Glamarley was joined by Flattering, the two matching strides and tracked by Sizzling and Horseplay.

Flattering and Wayne Lordan, edged into a narrow lead, with Horseplay inching into second, ahead of Galmarley.

Turning for home, Flattering held the call from Horseplay, but the cards had yet to be played down the long home Town Moor home straight.

The field raced wide into the straight and Flattering came under pressure from Horseplay, while Sizzling made ground to the inside.

Sizzling went on at the three furlong marker, with Galmarley challenging, while Horseplay and God Given were also in contention.

Horseplay hit the front with 1 ½ furlongs to race, followed through by God Given, as the pair drifted across to the far rails. In behind, Pilaster was closing with every stride.

But it was the two four year olds who fought out the finish, with God Given and Jamie Spencer getting up on the line to give Luca Cumani a deserved Pattern win. Horseplay lost little in defeat, with Pilaster a close third.


The Great Heir springs a valuable surprise

The Great Heir finished fast and late to land the valuable Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes, for Kevin Ryan, at Doncaster.

A field of 22 juveniles lined up for this valuable 6 ½ furlong race.

As they got away, Jfool and Almur were among the leaders, as the field split into two distinctive groups.

Jfool on the stands side, held the overall lead, while to the far side, Aim Power led.

The Irish Rover came through approaching the furlong pole, but was swamped late on, with The Great Heir and Andrew Mullen, bursting through on the far rail.

But the race was not quite over, as Dirty Rascal finished to some aplomb, but was just denied. Wasntexpectingthat was hot on their heels in third, with The Irish Rover, who had looked the likely winner a furlong out, only fourth.


Dancing Star on top in the Sceptre

Dancing Star
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Dancing Star, a former Stewards’ Cup winner, proved she stays further as she landed the Group Three Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster.

Nine fillies and mares contested this seven furlong race.

From the stalls it was Pepita, to the inside, who went into the lead, with Laugh Aloud racing second.

The field split into two groups, with Pepita heading a group of three to the far side, while Laugh Aloud had five chasing her.

Pepita continued to lead, but Dancing Star and Eirene went on and fought out a tremendous scrap.

It was Dancing Star and Oisin Murphy, who got up to win by about a length, from Eirene, with All Out staying on for third, ahead of Pepita.


Soldier’s Call makes all in the Flying Childers

Soldier’s Call 
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Soldier’s Call never saw another rival, as he dominated the Group Two Wainwrights Flying Childers Stakes.

A field of nine juveniles went to post for this five furlong dash.

From the break it was Soldier’s Call who bound into a length lead from Shumookhi and Legends Of War.

Soldier’s Call continued to power along and at the furlong pole, was still comfortably clear and travelling well.

In behind Rumble Inthejungle weakened and nothing else could pick up.

Nothing was able to strike a blow, as Soldiers Call maintained his advantage and went further clear under Danny Tudhope, to win impressively.

Well Done Fox came home a couple of lengths behind in second, with Gossamer Wings third and then Legends Of War.

The Archie Watson trained Soldier’s Call, a son of Showcasing could head to the Prix de l’Abbaye next.


Thomas Hobson heads a Willie Mullins one-two in the Doncaster Cup

Willie Mullins rubbers dominated the finish to the Group Two Doncaster Cup Stakes, as Thomas Hobson got the better of Max Dynamite.

A field of eight went to post for this historic contest over just short of 2 ¼ miles.

At the off, it was Lord Yeats who was first out of the gates, but Jukebox Jive, running in the colours of the legendary Double Trigger, soon asserted.

Passing the post with a circuit to run, Jukebox Jive held a three length lead over Renneti, with Lord Yeats and Algometer next.

Heading down the back, the leader moved into a five length lead under Joe Fanning, but as they headed to Rose Hill, the lead was reduced again.

Jukebox Jive continued in front though, with a two length lead from Renneti, with Lord Yeats third and then Algometer and Max Dynamite.

Turning into the long home straight, Jukebox Jive still led, but under more pressure, with Renneti challenging and then Lord Yeats, while Max Dynamite looked a danger to the outside and Sheikhzayedroad began to close.

Max Dynamite sprinted into the lead and with a furlong to run, was chased by his stable mate Thomas Hobson.

Ryan Moore had sat patiently on Thomas Hobson but found a good turn of foot to close on Max Dynamite and go on inside the final furlong.

The Willie Mullins pair went clear of their rivals and while Max Dynamite kept on honestly, Thomas Hobson held on by ½ a length, with a wide margin back to Sheikhzayedroad in third.


Sangarius a class above Flying Scotsman rivals

Sangarius looked a potentially top class colt as he readily landed the Listed Weatherbys Global Stallions App Flying Scotsman Stakes.

A field of eight lined-up for a race won in 2010 by Frankel, there should have been nine, but Commanding Officer became upset in the stalls, suffering a fatal injury.

At the break it was Athmad who led from Jonah Jones, with Dubai Dominion next and then Sangarius.

Athmad continued to lead with two furlongs to race, with Jonah Jones to the far side.

However, the Sir Michael Stoute trained Sangarius, began to make smooth headway and quickened clear approaching the furlong pole.

The Kingman colt was kept up to his work by Ryan Moore and impressively won by 2 ½ lengths from Dubai Dominion, with Pogo coming home third.


A Momentofmadness repels all in the Portland

A Momentofmadness
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

A Momentofmadness produced a carbon copy of Soldier’s Call’s victory the day before, as he made all to land the William Hill Portland Handicap at Doncaster.

A field of 21 lined-up for this 5 ½ furlong dash.

At the gates it was Savalas who led on the far side, but A Momentofmadness and Abel Handy were also up with the pace.

A Momentofmadness went three lengths clear as the field bunched in behind, down the centre of the track.

With two furlongs to race, A Momentofmadness was still clear and inside the final furlong continued to hold of the closing pack.

At the line, the five year old and William Buick, were still a length up on Encrypted, with Wentworth Falls and Dakota Gold next.


Mustashry on top in the Park Stakes


Mustashry’s stamina saw he find more when needed, to narrowly land the Group Two Alan Wood Plumbing and Heating Park Stakes at Doncaster.

Nine horses contested this prestigious seven furlong contest.

Raydiance took the field along from Mustashry, with Unfortunately racing between this pair.

At halfway, there was no real change in the order, with Dutch Connection and Tomyris next.

With two furlongs to race, Dutch Connection threw down a challenge, with Mustashry in pursuit.

But on the stands side D’bai came to throw down a strong threat and joined his fellow Godolphin runner Dutch Connection, with Oh This Is Us also closing.

In a thrilling finish, Jim Crowley, on the far side, found more on Mustashry and the Sir Michael Stoute runner edged ahead of D’bai to land the spoils, with Oh This Is Us just ahead of Dutch Connection.


Too Darn Hot asserts in the Champagne Stakes

Too Darn Hot wins the Champagne Stakes
Image supplied by

Too Darn Hot consolidated his positions as one of the year’s leading juveniles, with a stellar performance to win the Group Two Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Six juveniles went to post for this seven furlong contest, which attracted two unbeaten runners with big race victories already to their records.

As the race got underway, there was an even break, with Bye Bye Hong Kong going on, but pulling hard.

Bye Bye Hong Kong and Cardini vied for the lead and went five lengths clear, with the latter taking over, while Phoenix Of Spain raced alone on the far side, in third.

Cardini passed the two furlong pole in the lead, with Phoenix Of Spain challenging, as Too Darn Hot began to close to the stands side.

With a furlong to race, Phoenix Of Spain went on, but Frankie Dettori and Too Darn Hot, inevitably closed down the leader before asserting his consummate class.

The final half a furlong turned into an exhibition, as Too Darn Hot, a son of Dubawi, stretched away in brilliant style.

At the line, Too Darn Hot was perhaps three lengths clear of Phoenix Of Spain, with Cardini well back in third, ahead of Van Beethoven. The disappointment of the race was Dark Vision, who never travelled and trailed in last.

John Gosden’s Too Darn Hot, is now three from three, having won the Solario Stakes before this success.

His victory was an exciting preliminary to the St Leger, in which his sister Lah Ti Dar was set to run.


Kew Gardens revels over the St Leger trip

Kew Gardens 
Image supplied by Goffs

Kew Gardens, a confirmed stayer with a touch of class, made the most of getting first run on the filly Lah Ti Dar, to win the Group One William Hill St Leger Stakes at Doncaster.

A dozen horses went to post for the final Classic of the 2018 English Flat Season, over 1 ¾ miles.

The race got underway with a roar from the Yorkshire crowd.

Nelson, next to the inside rails, went to the lead from the Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee, with Old Persian racing wide.

Nelson pulled hard up front, but set a good pace from Dee Ex Bee and Proschema, with Old Persian next, followed by Loxley and Southern France.

Nelson raced over Rose Hill and continued to lead by 1 ½ lengths from Dee Ex Bee and Proschema.

Turning for home, Nelson was still in front of Proschema, while Dee Ex Bee came under pressure and Old Persian travelled well.

Nelson took the field to the three furlong pole but a wall of horses challenged, with Dee Ex Bee sticking on, but passed by Southern France and Old Persian.

Old Persian, Kew Gardens and Southern France came through and all looked to have big changes, while further back, Lah Ti Dar was making progress.

But it was Kew Gardens, with first run, who went on under Ryan Moore and strode two lengths clear, with Lah Ti Dar, coming from further back, having a big deficit to make up.

Throughout the final furlong, it was between the two and the filly simply couldn’t bridge the gap, as Kew Garden’s confirmed stamina saw him maintain the gallop all the way to the line.

Kew Gardens was still a couple of lengths clear at the line, with yawning gaps back to Southern France in third and Dee Ex Bee, who had seemed the first horse beaten, but who kept on for fourth.

The winner, a son of Galileo, had won the Group Two Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and the Group One Grand Prix de Paris, before running a race full of promise in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

He was giving trainer Aidan O’Brien a sixth success in the world’s oldest Classic.


Young Rascal back with Newbury win

Young Rascal beats Mirage Dancer at Newbury
Image supplied by Newbury Racecourse

Young Rascal returned from a long lay-off in some style, landing the Group Three Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes (Formerly the Arc Trial) at Newbury.

An interesting group of seven horses lined-up for this eleven-furlong contest.

The race got underway in torrential rain, with Young Rascal and Mirage Dancer taking the field along.

Settling down, Mirage Dancer and Ryan Moore took on the role of pacesetters, with Jim Crowley content to track the leader and Desert Skyline racing third.

Turning into the long home straight, Mirage Dancer continued to lead Young Rascal and Desert Skyline, with Extra Elusive next and Eugenio challenging to the inside.

Mirage Dancer kept up the gallop with a quarter of a mile to race, but was joined by Desert Encounter and Young Rascal on either flank.

The final furlong was a thriller, with all three horses racing virtually in a line and none prepared to give way.

Late on, last year’s winner Desert Encounter was just seen off and Mirage Dancer and Young Rascal stretched their necks out as they flashed past the post together.

After a photo finish, the three year old Young Rascal was called the narrow winner from Mirage Dancer, with Desert Encounter about half a length down in third.

The William Haggas trained Young Rascal, a son of Intello, had not been seen since finishing a disappointing seventh behind Masar, in the Investec Derby, in early June.

Kessaar revels in Mill Reef Stakes conditions

Kessaar wins the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes
Image supplied by Newbury Racecourse

Ever deteriorating ground suited Kessaar just fine, as he bound clear to score an emphatic victory in the Group Two Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes.

Seven went to post and all broke evenly at the start of this six-furlong race.

Kessaar pressed on from Konchek, with The Irish Rover to the far side.

With two furlongs to race, Kessaar was under pressure and True Mason ranged alongside him.

The two drifted across the track, but drew clear as they began to duel.

Whilst True Mason had arrived looking full of running, Kessaar was far from done and saw out the trip on soft ground much the better.

The final furlong saw Kessaar and Frankie Dettori draw away from True Mason for an impressive success by about three lengths, with Shine So Bright doing his best work close to home, to finish a further couple of lengths back in third.

John Gosden’s Kessaar, a son of Kodiac, appears to be on the upgrade at present, having won the Group Three Sirenia Stakes just a fortnight earlier.

Mr Lupton denies Take Cover at Newbury

Mr Lupton beats Take Cover at Newbury
Image supplied by Newbury Racecourse

Mr Lupton won a shade cosily in the Group Three Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes.

Ten horses contested this five-furlong race, which was possibly the final career start for the terrific Take Cover.

Take Cover was fast from the gates and soon into a length lead from Mrs Gallagher.

The veteran took the field along to the furlong pole,. With Mrs Gallagher for company and Mr Lupton and Equilateral challenging.

Inside the final furlong, Mr Lupton just had too much in the ground and edged into a decisive lead under Gerald Mosse, to win by about a length, with Rebel Streak just gaining third place from Equilateral.

Queen Of Bermuda impressive at Ayr

Queen Of Bermuda

Queen Of Bermuda put up an authoritative performance to readily land the Group Three William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes at Ayr.

Eleven juvenile fillies took part in this six-furlong race on heavy ground.

At the off it was Shumookhi who went on with Light My Fire, as the field sorted itself out and raced down the centre of the track.

The front pair continued to vie for the lead but it was Shumookhi who pressed on.

With a furlong to race, Shumookhi was challenged by Queen Of Bermuda.

Joe Fanning and Queen Of Bermuda, showed a good turn of foot late on to win comfortably by a couple of lengths from Shumookhi, with Light My Fire ahead of Queen Jo Jo.

Dead-heat in the Ayr Gold Cup

Baron Bolt

Son Of Rest and Baron Bolt could not be separated as they shared the spoils in a memorable renewal of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup.

A field of 25 took part in this traditional six-furlong cavalry charge, on heavy ground.

At the off, it was Muntadab and Teruntum Star prominent with G Force and |Gun Metal, as the field split into three groups.

Three became two as the field reached halfway, with Teruntum Star still prominent.

Heading to the furlong pole, Teruntum Star and Perfect Pasture where still three, but Son Of Rest stormed through on the stands side, going clear.

However, what appeared inevitable victory for the Irish raider, became far less certain, as Baron Bolt emerged from the pack to join issue.

At the line, there was nothing to separate the pair to the naked eye, with the two four lengths clear of Get Knotted and Flying Pursuit.

After a protracted photo finish, the judge confirmed that nothing had separated the pair, as a dead-heat was called to the 2018 Ayr Gold Cup.

It was a big British victory for Irish star jockey Chris Hayes and a major success for apprentice Cameron Noble, as the Fozzy Stack and Paul Cole yards both celebrated a memorable outcome.

Arctic Sound thrives in the Tattersalls Stakes on a balmy Newmarket day

Arctic Sound wins the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket

Arctic Sound ran out a convincing winner of the Group Three Tattersalls Stakes (Registered as the Tattersall Somerville Stakes) at Newmarket.

Cardini and the $2.6 million colt Prince Eiji, were soon at the head of affairs and continued to dictate the pace to the two furlong pole.

As Cardini faded, Prince Eiji found himself in front and clear with a furlong to run, but his inexperience began to tell as he wandered around in the Dip.

Meanwhile, Arctic Sound had started to build up momentum down the centre of the track and came to join the leader, while Bye Bye Hong Kong, also racing off the rail, started to close.

Arctic Sound went on and his final challenge came from bye Bye Hong Kong, but the Mark Johnston runner was always holding his rival comfortably.

The Silvestre De Sousa-ridden colt eventually beat Bye Bye Hong Kong by a length, with his ears pricked, while Prince Eiji ran a promising race on only his second started, to finish a further length-and-a-quarter back in third.

Arctic Sound had disappointed when last of six in a Listed race at Salisbury in July, but returned to winning ways when dropped in class at Doncaster last time.

And Johnston, winning the 7 furlong Group 3 race for the second time in as many years, was left second-guessing himself in the winner’s enclosure after the son of Poet’s Voice bounced back to form.

He said: “I will need to go back and look at the Salisbury race and see what went wrong, because if he had won there, we might not have been going on to Doncaster, we would have been going for bigger things, which we originally thought.

“We might go back to the very original plan – a return to Plan A.

“When you look at his profile, he seemed to be on the climb and seemed to be heading into Pattern races, and then we went to Salisbury and the wheels came off.

“So, we went down in grade and he won again, and we stepped back up today and he’s won again.

“We will have to look again at that Salisbury race, because afterwards we didn’t think he was quite good enough. We will have to think again, because he is back on track.

“He has had quite a bit of racing this year and the obvious things, like the Royal Lodge, are on Saturday.

“I think the (Group 1) Vertem Futurity Trophy (formerly the Racing Post Trophy) might just come a bit too soon, so we will probably sit back and wait. I would have no issues about putting him away or running him again before the end of the season. If there is no race for him, we will put him away.”

He added: “We have got a lot of good two-year-olds, but there is no real pecking order.

“Dark Vision obviously disappointed (when last of six to Too Darn Hot in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster) and probably should still be at the top.

“He has been unsound since the run and he is on his way down this afternoon for a bone scan, and it looks like he may have a stress fracture of the pelvis or something high up. In some ways that is better than that being his form. He’s still top of the tree but we have a lot of good two-year-olds all vying for position behind him.”

Asked about the long-term plan for Arctic Sound as a three-year-old, Johnston added: “Anything that has won a Group race at this time of year, you are thinking in terms of the Guineas, but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then. Maybe we could go to the Dante over a mile and quarter – I don’t know. We’ll see how he does over the winter.”


Highgarden blooms in a thrilling Nayef Stakes

Highgarden inches to victory in the Nayef Stakes at Newmarket

Highgarden opened her account for the year by getting the better of a thrilling three-way finish to the Group 3 Princess Royal Nayef Stakes under Frankie Dettori.

The daughter of Nathaniel had been frustrated in her bid to land a group race this term but she wasn’t going to be denied this time and she showed a tremendous attitude to edge ahead of her rivals in the final strides.

The narrow success continued John Gosden’s excellent recent record in the prestigious contest for fillies and, for the winning rider, it was a fitting way to celebrate the 22nd birthday of his super seven winners at Ascot in 1996.

Gosden said: “We are over the moon to win a Group 3 race with her.

“She’s grown quite a lot recently, she’s been through an awkward phase, as we all do, but she’s really starting to come to herself now. She’s by Nathaniel who improved with age, he won an Eclipse as a four-year-old, so she’s exciting for next season.

“We would be carrying a Group 3 penalty now so I’ll have to see but there is a really good programme for fillies in the spring and races like the Lancashire Oaks will have to be on the agenda now; I’m pretty sure she’ll stay in training.
Jamie Spencer and Mrs Sippy came off second best by a head to Highgarden in a three-way head-bobber.

Mrs Sippy was dropped out early on and Spencer almost timed his run to perfection on the daughter of Blame, but tfailed to follow up her Listed win in France 16 days earlier.

Spencer said: “She travelled well and the race went perfectly, other than the result. She was a little bit lively before the race and got warm, and you can’t waste energy at any stage in a race, so maybe that cost me.

“I hit the front and had I had waited longer and produced her on the line, I would have won.”

Her trainer, David Simcock, feels Mrs Sippy will likely head to Dubai over the winter and was far from disappointed that she had been touched off by the Frankie Dettori-ridden winner.

Simcock said: “She is not complicated. She was very straightforward the last twice in France and is a big frame of a horse, so that old adage, and I know it is a cliché but it applies: you can’t believe she would not be better next year.

“In truth, Newmarket probably is not the right place for her because of the scenario that it is a long way to the start and she has that chance to just get a little overheated. But she is a filly who is going forward and running very well, and we got beaten a head at the end of the day. Jamie timed it perfectly, but unfortunately, she was probably empty in the last half-furlong.

“No damage done. That will be her for the season.”

Simcock also had news of Dubai Gold Cup runner-up Sheikhzayedroad, who finished second in the Jockey Club Rose Bowl on Thursday.

He said: “Sheikhzayedroad might have a holiday to Dubai in the spring and I very much doubt we will see him racing in England again.”

Charlie Fellowes is mulling over a tentative plan to send Crimson Rosette to America after she finished a neck further back in third in the 1m4f event.
He said: “She ran really well and just didn’t get the cleanest run though. She is so tough. She went through a small gap and I think she hit the front and has just been headed on the line.

“I don’t know whether that will be her done in England. She likes quick ground and we are not going to get any quick ground here now.

“She will be covered next year. The only real option is a race at Keeneland in three weeks, but she has had a long season. We will see. That might be her done. I will have to speak to (owner) Mr Oppenheimer and see what he says.”


Just Wonderful follows in dam’s footsteps with Rockfel Stakes win

Just Wonderful goes on in the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket

Just Wonderful powered herself into next year’s 1,000 Guineas reckoning with a stylish success in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes.

Ryan Moore was forced to sit and wait for the gap to open up the rail but it was clear he still had plenty of filly underneath him and she burst clear once getting daylight to see off a strong field with ease.

It was a performance that brought back memories of her dam, Wading, who was an impressive winner of this race in 2011 and connections must now believe they have a classic contender on their hands.

Kevin Buckley, Coolmoore’s UK representative, said: “Her dam Wading won this race for us in 2011 and this filly was equally impressive.

“She’s got a wonderful pedigree and Aidan’s made no secret of how highly he rates her so it’s pleasing to see her put in such a terrific performance on the track.

“She didn’t run her race in the Moyglare for whatever reason, nothing came to light afterwards so maybe it was just an off day, but she’s certainly got herself back on track today.

“She’s in the Fillies’ Mile but Aidan will have to speak to the owners before any decisions are made. She certainly looks like a nice filly for next year and Ryan [Moore] said she loved the track so if she comes back for the Guineas we’ll have no worries on that front.”

Connections of the placed horses in the Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes are both targeting a return to the Rowley Mile next spring for the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas.

In what looked a decent renewal of the 7 furlong juvenile contest, Just Wonderful ran out an impressive length-and-three-quarters winner from the David Elsworth-trained Dandhu, who stayed on nicely under Gerald Mosse, despite showing signs of inexperience.

Elsworth was full of self-depreciation and quipped: “She ran all right, didn’t she? It’s probably a sub-standard Rockfel!”

He added: “She is a nice filly and has just drifted into this level without any questions being asked of her. She won at Kempton last time when she was as green as grass on her third run and I haven’t over-done her, so it was nice to see her run as well as she did.

“I feel she is an improving filly. This will probably be the end of the season for her, but we’ll see. She would like to have had a bit more cut in the ground. She looked about too, and she would not have the experience, although I know this was her fourth run.

“We’ll have to give the Guineas trials a whirl.”

Elsworth has enjoyed a good season and he is keen to eclipse the million-pound barrier.

He added: “We’ve done all right this season. What we would like to do is reach a million. We have only had 120-odd runners with 25 horses. It would be good for the staff, because they work bloody hard. It would be lovely to see us get a million again, as we did a couple of years ago when we won the Juddmonte. Back in the last century we got a million a couple of times, but it is a long time between drinks, isn’t it?

“We’re getting pretty close, so that would be good, wouldn’t it?”

Main Edition set the fractions under Frankie Dettori, but she was a spent force in the last half-furlong as Just Wonderful swept by.

Her trainer, Mark Johnston, said: “It is not the end of the world. She won’t run again this year. We will still be hopeful that she will get a mile of the Guineas and she will be a bigger, stronger filly next year.

“So, we will aim for that, but we can always come back in trip later if necessary.

“We probably won’t give her a run before that, because what have you got? Group Threes over seven furlongs or a mile in soft ground, usually. So, she is probably not one you’d give a run to before the Guineas.

“She is not ground dependent, she is just quite not getting home. It is twice Frankie has ridden her and it is much the same story.

“Today, he said, ‘I have gone too fast and she has not got home’. In hindsight he said that if he had held onto her for half a furlong further, she would have got home. It’s not the end of the world – he has come in and said she is a good bit better than that.”

Mustashry lands the Joel Stakes after a compelling battle

Mustashry beats Zabeel Prince in the Joel Stakes

Mustashry got the better of a pulsating battle with the tenacious Zabeel Prince, in the Joel Stakes at Newmarket.

Versatility is proving quite an asset for Mustashry who bagged his second Group 2 event of the season under Jim Crowley.

Sheikh Hamdan’s son of Tamayuz has won over distances ranging from seven to ten furlongs and, stepping back up in trip after winning over seven furlongs at Doncaster last time, he again showed he’s got the heart for a battle by seeing off long-time leader Zabeel Prince in the closing stages of the Joel Stakes.

The winner was the only runner in the five-strong field not to hold a Group 1 engagement this autumn but he’s earned a crack at that level and he will be a tough nut to crack if getting his favoured fast ground wherever he goes.

Winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute said: “He’s a very honest horse and we’ve been very lucky to get good fast ground because he loves it.

“He’s such a versatile horse, winning a Group 2 at 7 furlongs and now a mile, but I think this is more like his optimum trip.

“He’s not in anything at the moment but we’ll weigh up the options, he wouldn’t want to be running on heavy ground so a lot depends on how dry an autumn we get.

“Angus Gold was talking about calling it a day with him now but I would be disappointed if he wasn’t in training next year.”

Trainer Roger Varian may give Zabeel Prince a run in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes following his battling runner-up effort in the Shadwell Joel Stakes.

The five-year-old Lope de Vega gelding, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, was having his first run since May as he chased home Mustashry.

After the half-length defeat, Varian said: “That was a good run. I’m pleased with him.

“Silvestre said he felt like a proper horse today. He rode him this time last year when he was coming up through handicaps, but he said he felt like a proper horse this time. While he let down on that ground, he said he couldn’t shake the winner on it, as he was feeling the ground in the last furlong.

“He is going to win a big race, especially when he gets his conditions.

“He was pretty fit coming into this, although I’m sure he will improve a little bit for the run.”

Regal Reality, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, was a further four-and-a-half lengths away in third.

Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud, who own the three-year-old Intello colt, said: “He ran well. It was a race that didn’t unravel in his favour. He had a hard race at Haydock (when third last time) and that took its toll.

“Ryan [Moore] said he just needs to grow up mentally. He handled the ground but needs to grow up and improve a bit.

“They were always quickening, and he was not really able to switch off and produce his kick.

“Ryan suggested we might give him one more run before the end of the season to educate him mentally.”

Zonderland, also in the Cheveley Park Stud colours, was fourth.

Richardson added: “The old boy Zonderland lost his near-fore shoe and probably found the ground a bit too quick for him at his age (five), but he has run all right.”

Mohawk takes some notable scalps in the Royal Lodge Stakes

Mohawk heads Sydney Opera House in the Middle Park Stakes

Aidan O’Brien signalled his intent early on this card, as Mohawk lead home a Ballydoyle one-two-three in the Group Two Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket.

Seven juveniles went to post for this one mile contest, with Victory Command and Cape Of Good Hope up with the pace.

Mohawk, under Donnacha O’Brien and stable mate Sydney Opera House, began to pick up to the far side and were in contention at the two-furlong pole.

The two colts quickened into the Dip and went clear of their rivals, fighting out a super finish.

But it was Mohawk, a son of Galileo, who got the better of the argument, to beat the Australia colt Sydney Opera House, by about a length, with the pair well clear of Cape Of Good Hope, who completed a Ballydoyle clean sweep.

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Middle Park Stakes hotpot Ten Sovereigns later in the card, got his day off to the perfect start by saddling the first three home in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes.

With Beatboxer proving bitterly disappointing, the way was clear for the O’Brien contingent to come to the fore and Mohawk was delivered perfectly by Donnacha O’Brien in the final furlong to score by a length-and-a-quarter.

It was Mohawk’s first attempt at the mile trip and his pedigree suggests he’ll improve further as he goes up to middle distances as a three-year-old.

The winning trainer said: “He’s a lovely horse, he’s been coming along lovely and he loved going a mile. He’ll be a lovely middle distance for next year.

“He’s progressing really well and we’ll probably put him away now for the classic trials in the spring.

“The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile would be a possibility but I think I would probably like to leave him now and wait for the spring. I would imagine that he’s done enough.

“He’ll be very happy starting at a mile before progressing from there. “

Winning jockey Donnacha O’Brien added: “He was pretty straightforward and he’s a lovely, uncomplicated horse. It’s a lovely race to win and he should go on from that. He will be a nice horse for next year.
“I’ve had a good year and been lucky enough to ride some wonderful horses and in some big races. I’m very grateful and thankful.”
Mohawk’s success is a major boost to the form of Quorto, who thrashed Mohawk by seven-a-half-lengths in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh earlier in the month.

Mowhawk had a length and a quarter to spare over his stablemates and O’Brien said: “I’m very happy with the placed horses. Wayne’s horse is a lovely middle-distance horse for next year and Seamie’s horse is the same. It’s a bit of time since he last ran (77 days) and he ran a lovely race.”

Fairyland wins a three-way thriller in the Cheveley Park Stakes

Fairyland (crossbelts) challenges in the Cheveley Park Stakes

Fairyland consolidated her position as one of the season’s leading two year old fillies, with a hard fought victory in the Group One Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.

A field of eleven fillies went to post for this six-furlong race.

Prix Morny winner Pretty Pollyanna, was soon up with the early pace, along with Lady Kaya.

It was the latter who pressed on and Pretty Pollyanna came under pressure a long way from home.

With two-furlongs to race, Comedy, So Perfect and Queen Of Bermuda, had joined Lady Kaya, while Fairyland and Donnacha O’Brien, were beginning a run towards the stands side.

Inside the final furlong, Comedy and So Perfect edged ahead, with Fairyland closing, along with The Mackem Bullet.

Comedy’s stamina ebbed late on and the Newmarket crowd were treated to a terrific finish, as The Mackem Bullet came with her run between the two Ballydoyle fillies, So Perfect and Fairyland.

But it was Fairyland, a daughter of Kodiac, who inched into a narrow lead as the trio flashed by the post. The Mackem Bullet took second, with So Perfect losing little in defeat in third.

Fairyland had proven top class when landing the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York, in August, at a time when many of the O’Brien horses were sick.

Prior to 2016, Aidan O’Brien had never won the Cheveley Park Stakes – he has now annexed the last three renewals.

The winning trainer said: “She’s come forward from York and she’s a lovely filly.

“She came back from a break at York and we were delighted with her that day because we thought she would come forward from that run.

“She was affected as badly as most in our yard by the problems earlier in the season but we are delighted with her now, she’s a lovely big filly.

“Donnacha gave her a peach of a ride, she’s got loads of speed. We always thought that she would stay and get a mile but she’s got loads of speed. She relaxes very well and has got a lovely mind, which is key.

“We probably won’t run her again, she’s had a tough enough time.”

Brian Ellison is eyeing a trip to the Breeders’ Cup with The Mackem Bullet, who was beaten a neck by Fairyland in a thrilling finish to the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes.

The pair filled the first two places in the Lowther Stakes at York last time and that form was upheld in the 6f Group 1, as Donnacha O’Brien and Oisin Murphy fought out another close finish.

The Mackem Bullet was purchased by Japanese owner Katsumi Yoshida following her York run and Brian Ellison is now looking ahead to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ race at Churchill Downs at the end of November.

Ellison said: “I’m delighted. You come to these races knowing these are the best fillies in the country. I’m over the moon and obviously she is a good filly. She ran well in her last run three starts back at Ascot (when third to Angel’s Hideaway), and Oisin [Murphy] said he had too much daylight running into the wind. Then she ran at York (Lowther Stakes) and was fantastic and we were beaten twice by a very good horse in Fairyland.

“She is a big filly when you look at the rest of them. She will make a lovely three-year-old.

“Oisin said she is crying out for a mile – he said she got outpaced into The Dip and then she was staying on. When he rode her at Ascot, he said she needed seven furlongs and today he said she was crying out for a mile.

“We will have to see what the new owners think about the Guineas, but the Breeders’ Cup is on the agenda. That would be a first runner in the Breeders’ Cup for me – she is the best filly I have trained. She is uncomplicated, you don’t have to over-work her.

“Mr. Yoshida having horses with the yard is great – I just hope he’ll send me some more! After York we had about 10 or 15 offers and she went to the highest bidder.”

Murphy added: “She is a lovely physical specimen and it is great that Mr. Katsumi Yoshida is involved in this stable and purchased the filly.

“He is one of the biggest owners in Japan, so to have a horse with Brian Ellison is fantastic.

“It is great for the stable and Brian has done a great job with the filly, who she has improved with each run. She was second in a Group Two at York, second in a Group One today and that Lowther form stands up. I think she will certainly be suited by stepping up in distance.”

So Perfect was half a length back in third for the Aidan O’Brien team under Seamus Heffernan.

O’Brien said: “She ran a nice race and we might run her again this season.”

Michael Bell was not too disappointed with unplaced favourite Pretty Pollyanna, who appeared a little keen early on under Silvestre de Sousa.

Her trainer, Michael Bell, said: “She hasn’t run a bad race, but obviously hasn’t run as well as we’d hoped.

“She wasn’t keen, but Silvestre did take her back which, in hindsight, was the wrong thing to do because she got beat.

“So where we go, I’m not sure. She has an entry in the Fillies’ Mile but obviously we will talk to Tim and Bill Gredley and see what to do.”


Ten Sovereigns takes top billing in the Middle Park Stakes

Ten Sovereigns beats Jash in the Middle Park Stakes

Ten Sovereigns prevailed as two unexposed colts rose to the top in a compelling Group One Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Eight juvenile colts went to post for this six-furlong contest, with Ten Sovereigns of huge interest, having dotted up in two contests in Ireland.

Emaraaty Anna and Legends Of War were the early leaders, but were soon joined by Rumble Inthejungle and Marie’s Diamond.

Approaching the Dip, Marie’s Diamond went on, while Ten Sovereigns was moved into a challenging position by Donnacha O’Brien and Jash began to make ground towards the stands side.

Ten Sovereigns went on, but appeared a little unbalanced in the Dip and was unable to shake off Jash.

The two emerged from the Dip locked in battle – and steadily pulled clear of the rest of the field.

For the first time in his racing career, Ten Sovereigns was made to work hard as Jash kept him honest all the way to the line. Rumble Inthejungle came home third.

But the Irish colt prevailed, to give trainer Aidan and son Donnacha, a memorable Group race treble on the Newmarket card.

O’Brien was cautious about bidding for the Middle Park/Dewhurst double, achieved last year with his U S Navy Flag. He said: “I think it might not be the right thing because he’s not long out since he started and we rushed two runs in together, and he just about made this one so I think it might be the wrong thing for him, but the lads will decide that.”

The trainer added: “He learned plenty today so I’m delighted with that.

“He’s a very fast horse, he’s got loads of speed, and it’s exciting for the lads now because they have all the stamina in the Galileo mares and now they have the start of all the No Nay Never and his sire Scat Daddy’s speed so that was the exciting thing about today, seeing him come up to Group 1 standard, because you don’t really know until they go and do it.

“Donnacha said when he came in after winning at the Curragh last time that it was the first time that he showed greenness and I was worried about the first day he ran, he galloped up the Curragh by himself, and then that’s why it wasn’t ideal to go back so quick for the next one but we felt that we had to go back if we were going to come here.

“I think he’s an exciting horse, when they can travel well and tough it out at the end, that’s a good sign.

“I think he’ll get a mile but not much further than that.

“The horses are running well now so we are delighted but we take nothing for granted, you just hope.”

Jash will return to the Rowley Mile next spring for the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas after chasing home Ten Sovereigns in the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.

In yet another thrilling finish, connections of the half-length runner-up found out a little more about the son of Kodiac in the 6f event.

After Jim Crowley’s mount kept responding in the final furlong, trainer Simon Crisford was left mulling a tilt at the colts’ mile Classic.

Crisford said: “It was a big effort. Obviously, he looked very good in his novice races, but this was a very big step up and today he was just out-gunned by a very, very good colt.

“It definitely answered a few big questions for us, because we came here not knowing how good he was going to be. We knew he was good but didn’t know how good. We now think and hope that we have a colt worthy of a Guineas preparation. That is him done for the season.”

Crowley added: “He gave me a super ride. We have always thought quite a bit of him and it rode like a very good race, as it should do. Hopefully next year, he will stay a bit further. That was a very big step up for him.

“He has been running in novice races to a Group One and that answered a few questions. I’m sure he will get further next season, as he has a lot of strengthening up to do.”

In contrast the Richard Spencer-trained Rumble Inthejungle, who was a further three-and-a-half lengths back in third, is likely to remain at sprint distances next season.

Rumble Inthejungle had been last of nine in the Group 2 Flying Childers at Doncaster last time but put that form well behind him under James Doyle.

Doyle, who replaced Tom Queally aboard the son of Bungle Inthejungle, said: “I was pleased with that. It was a good run. Things didn’t go right for him at Donny the last day, but today it was a good run.

“It will probably be his last run of the season, but it was nice for him to end the season on a high.

“Obviously this was my first experience of him and he did everything right. He was a bit gassy early and we were drawn out on a wing, which was not ideal, so he did a little bit too much early and I was really pleased with the way he finished.

“He is big horse and you’d think he will do a lot of strengthening over the winter. He is naturally going to be a fast horse and the Commonwealth Cup is probably going to be his target next year and we will work back from that.”

Wissahickon wins the Cambridgeshire

Wissahickon joins Via Via in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket

Wissahickon evoked memories of Halling, with a decisive win in the bet365 Cambridgeshire at Newmarket.

A field of 33 went to post and from the start, split into two distinct groups, with the bulk of the runners heading down the centre of the track and a smaller bunch racing on the stands rail.

Approaching the two-furlong pole, Zwayyan and Via Via were up with the pace, with Afaak also prominent.

But the race complexion soon changed, as Frankie Dettori, teaming up with Halling’s trainer John Gosden, began to make a significant move on Wissahickon.

The three year old overhauled Via Via inside the final furlong and shot clear in taking fashion.

At the line, Wissahickon 3 ¾ lengths clear, with Mordin just claiming second ahead of Via Via and Sabador.

The winning trainer said: “Frankie said they went too hard. I said to him ‘you came off the bridle early on’ but he said ‘no John, they were going too hard so I just let him coast for three furlongs and then I picked him up again.’

“That’s age and wisdom, it was a very clever ride and an interesting tactic.

“He’s not a Halling but he’s good and we’ll have to go up to Listed class now. He’s a nice horse but he’s a bit wild. Frankie was very brave for a boy of 47.

“Frankie said to me, ‘this isn’t Halling John, you’ve made a big mistake here’, and I said that he had a stone too much but anyhow he won well but it was a clever ride. Full marks to the jockey on this occasion.

“We’ll have to go up in class now but he’s by Tapit so he loves fast ground and we’ll not want to be running him on wet autumn ground.”

Quorto finished for 2018


Quorto, so impressive when landing the Group One Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh, will not race again in 2018.

The son of Dubawi, emulated his sire in winning the Group Two Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, before adding the Irish Group One contest.

Like Dubawi, Quorto will not be tested again as a two year old.

Charlie Appleby told “He has done exceptionally well in his first season, winning his Group Two and Group One, and progressing all the time. The 2,000 Guineas has always been the long-term plan, and following discussions with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, we have decided to put him away for the year,” he added.

Grand National hero One For Arthur back in training

One For Arthur takes the last fence ahead of Cause Of Causes in the Grand National
Image by

Trainer Linda Russell has confirmed that her 2017 Grand National winner One For Arthur, is back in training.

The nine year-old has not raced since his Aintree triumph, having suffered a tendon injury.

However, he is on track to return to action before the end of 2018, with Russell contemplating the Betfair Chase (November 24th), the Ladbrokes Trophy (December 1st) and the Becher Chase (December 8th)’

She commented: “He’s started cantering and we’re really pleased with him.

“He’s done a lot of pre-training and been on the treadmill a lot.

“It’s so nice to have him back in the string, to turn round and see his face coming up behind me. It’s perfect.

“There are a few races he can run in at the end of November time. I haven’t exactly decided which one.”


Second Step is retired

Second Step (right) wears down Ito, with Nutan third in the Grosser Preis Von Berlin
Image by Jimmy Clark

News has broken this evening that one of Course-Specialist’s favourite flat horses of recent years, Second Step, has been retired.

The seven year old son of Dalakhani was originally trained by Luca Cumani, winning a three year old maiden in the spring of 2014.

After a fairly light campaign, he rounded off the year with a Listed victory in the Finale Stakes at the Curragh.

It was his comeback the following spring, which set pulses racing that Second Step was a top class performer.

Contesting the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes, at Newmarket, on 2,000 Guineas Day, he found himself up against the highly-regarded Telescope.

When Telescope hit the front passing the Bushes, there was a gasp from the stands, such was his acceleration. But he did not quite shake off Second Step and gradually, Andrea Atzeni edged into contention, passing his rival in the shadow of the post, for a famous win.

After finishing second to the mighty Big Orange, in the Group Two Princess Of Wales’s Stakes, Second Step had his biggest success, when landing the Group One 125th Gross Preis Von Berlin at Hoppegarten, defeating Ito by ¾ of a length.

Second Step was never quite the same again, although he often contested top class races, including the Irish St Leger, Woodbine International, Yorkshire Cup, Coronation Cup and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Having seemingly lost his spark, the now six year old, joined Roger Charlton in 2017m winning the Listed Tapster Stakes at Goodwood and later adding a success at Windsor.

He proved no match for Crystal Ocean at Newbury this spring, but added one more victory in the Listed Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket in June.

Second Step’s final run came in the Glorious Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, where he finished third to Mirage Dancer.

Roger Charlton Tweeted news of his retirement:

“Second Step aged 7, has been retired. He raced 9 times for us, 1st x3, 2nd x4, 3rd x 2 all at stakes level, having won a G1 for @lucacumani . A wonderful servant for Merry Fox Stud, and pictured here with Asif who rode him so well every day. #properhorse #happyretirement”


2018/19 Chase Triple Crown is launched

Jump racing’s leading staying chasers will get the chance to secure connections a £1 million bonus for winning The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown when it returns in the 2018/19 season, it was announced today.

The pay-out – which would be awarded on top of individual race prize money and shared between winning owners, the trainer, staff at the training yard and the jockey – will go to a horse winning all three of Britain’s leading Grade 1 chases and is the largest of its kind in Jump racing.

The initiative was devised by Jockey Club Racecourses, which stages 85% of Grade 1 Jumps races in Britain and reinvests all of its profits back into the sport. It rewards a horse winning three elite races run over 3+ miles at The Jockey Club’s tracks: the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in November, the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day in December and the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of The Festival next March.

The bonus will be awarded alongside The Kauto Star Trophy, named in honour of the great chaser who achieved the feat in 2006/7.

A chaser has won two of the legs of the Chase Triple Crown in six of the last ten seasons. Four of those saw Cue Card in 2015/16, Silviniaco Conti in 2014/15 and Kauto Star in both 2009/10 and 2011/12 win the first two races of the challenge before failing to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Twice in that period the last two legs have been won by Long Run in 2010/11 and Kauto Star in 2008/9 in seasons where they did not win the Betfair Chase.

Former Champion Chase winner Edredon Bleu passes away

Edredon Bleu (seen winning at Kempton Park) was a memorable winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2000
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Edredon Bleu, the winner of a pulsating 2000 Queen Mother Champion Chase and a King George, has passed away at the age of 26.

The French-bred gelding made his name as a bold front runner for Henrietta Knight – and struck up a memorable partnership with AP McCoy.

He began to make his mark in 1998, landing the Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival before winning the first of four successive Peterborough Chases at Huntingdon.

He won a memorable renewal of the Champion Chase in March 2000, refusing to give way in a three-way battle with Direct Line and Flagship Uberalles, one of the great Festival races.

A year later, he won the Celebration Chase at Sandown Park.

Two Haldon Gold Cups followed at Exeter, before one of his greatest moments, when as a veteran, he held off Tiutchev, to win the 2003 King George VI Chase at Kempton Park.

Knight said: “He was put down on Friday. He was coming up on 27 and he had one or two problems, it was much kinder to put him down – he had a few sores which couldn’t heal up, they don’t when they’re older.

“He had a wonderful life with Graham Thorner, who really looked after him well. He was very happy and Graham was very good to him.”

Course-Specialist was privileged to interview Henrietta Knight about Edredon Bleu’s career. You can read the article here:

Winner of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019 to receive original 1924 trophy

1924 Cheltenham Gold Cup trophy
Image supplied by the Jockey Club

Cheltenham Racecourse is delighted to announce it has been reunited with the original Cheltenham Gold Cup trophy, dating back to 1924, and will present it to the winner of the 2019 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.

First awarded 94 years ago to five-year-old Red Splash, owned by Major Humphrey Wyndham, trained by Fred Withington and ridden by Dick Rees, it will now be re-introduced as a perpetual trophy, presented to the winning connections of next year’s race on Friday, March 15th, 2019 and in future years.

Cheltenham Racecourse was recently approached by the previous owner of the original Cheltenham Gold Cup; it has been in a bank vault since the 1970s.

It is the first time that the trophy for the Cheltenham Gold Cup has changed since 1972.

The 1924 Cheltenham Gold Cup weighs 644 grams of nine carat gold and is plated in 18 carat gold to give it a rich colour and will now be mounted on a plinth bearing the names of every horse to have ever won the great chase.

Commissioned and purchased from Simmons of Cheltenham, the 1924 trophy was created by S Blanckensee & Son Ltd of Birmingham. Its whereabouts over past decades are unclear, but it has been in private ownership in recent times.

Ian Renton, Regional Director, Cheltenham & The South West, The Jockey Club, said: “To bring the first ever Cheltenham Gold Cup trophy back to its rightful home and to use is as the perpetual trophy moving forwards really demonstrates the rich history and heritage of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

“We are also delighted that it will now carry the names of all our previous winners on the plinth.

“It’s a beautiful, decorative trophy, dating back almost 100 years and it will sit perfectly on the winner’s podium come March next year, when we crown the next Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup champion.”

Jason Ash, Chief Marketing Officer at C&C Group plc, owners of Magners Cider added: “As we look forward with huge anticipation to our first Festival as Presenting Partner and Naming Partner of the showpiece race at The Festival; the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, we share The Jockey Club’s excitement that the original Cheltenham Gold Cup will be presented to the connections of next year’s winner.

“We have no doubt that the history, heritage and prestige of this great race will be enhanced through the re-introduction of this beautiful cup as originally presented back in 1924.

“On behalf of millions of National Hunt fans in the UK and Ireland and beyond who are already turning their thoughts to next year’s Festival, we would like to congratulate The Jockey Club on bringing the original Cheltenham Gold Cup back home to Cheltenham.”

The 2019 Magners Cheltenham Gold is staged on Friday, March 15th, Gold Cup Day, the fourth and final day of The Festival™ Presented By Magners.

The 2019 winning owner will receive a replica of the original Cheltenham Gold Cup to keep, with the Cheltenham Gold Cup remaining at Cheltenham over the year.


Point-to-Point Flat races up in number 

Ten such races, restricted to four-, five- and six-year-olds, are programmed, from Alnwick in Northumberland to Great Trethew in Cornwall, including a successful bid from West Wales as Ffos Las is seeking to support point-to-pointing by hosting a fixture.

When a single point-to-point Flat race was introduced in 2016/17 the number of declared runners required three divisions. Last season six races – all sponsored for the first time by construction company JRL Group Ltd – took place, and five required a division due to the number of declared horses. The one exception attracted 11 runners.

Two such races are scheduled soon after the British season opens on November 18. The first at Ffos Las on December 9th, followed a week later by one at Wiltshire’s Barbury Racecourse, which staged the inaugural event two years ago. The same venue will host one of the additional races (February 10th), while two further entrants to the Flat race list will take place in the North West area at Bangor-on-Dee (March 10th), and in the Wessex area at Milborne St Andrew (March 23rd).

Clare Hazell, chief executive of the Point-to-Point Authority, said: “The JRL Group Ltd Point-to-Point Flat Races were introduced to encourage owners to run young horses in our sport, to give such horses racing experience, and to provide another showcase for the calibre of talent within British point-to-pointing.

“Owners and trainers have clearly supported the concept, and the races have been well received by competitors and spectators alike. We are very grateful to JRL Group Ltd for once again supporting, and increasing their backing for, this type of race.”


Highclere Thoroughbred Racing launches new Northern Division

Jason Fildes (left) and Harry Herbert
Copyright: Highclere Thoroughbred Racing

Highclere Thoroughbred Racing has revealed its latest series of racing syndicates as part of a newly formed Northern Division. Initially comprised of three syndicates, the Northern Division will reflect the wealth of horseracing talent in the north of England and will be run by Jason Fildes, who has joined Highclere’s management team following four years as General Manager of Haydock Park Racecourse.

Jason brings with him an in-depth knowledge of racing along with over 25 years’ business management experience. A keen racing enthusiast from a young age, Jason has previously been a syndicate owner with trainers Alan King, Graeme MacPherson, Will Kinsley, Clive Cox, and William Haggas.

The three syndicates under Jason’s management are named after celebrated northern artists. They are the George Stubbs Syndicate, after the artist of great equine paintings such as ‘Whistlejacket’; the David Hockney Syndicate, after one of Britain’s most influential modern artists; and the Antony Gormley Syndicate, after the creator of the ‘Angel of the North’ sculpture.

The new syndicates will be placed under the stewardship of three hugely successful trainers. Mark Johnston, Britain’s most victorious trainer of all time; Group 1 winning and fellow Yorkshire based trainer Richard Fahey; and new to the Highclere trainer roster this year, Tom Dascombe, whose state of the art Manor House Stables are based in Cheshire.

Highclere pride themselves on giving their owners the best possible opportunity to experience racing at the highest level at a more affordable price. Each of the new syndicates is structured with a different pricing band and will once again give owners the opportunity to create a two horse syndicate from single horse options.

The Hon. Harry Herbert, Chairman of HTR, commented: “I am extremely excited to launch this new northern focused initiative for Highclere with three new syndicates. These syndicates will race in 2019 and will be trained by three very talented northern based trainers, including the recently crowned most winning trainer of all time.

“I am also delighted to welcome Jason Fildes to our management team as we begin this new chapter at HTR. He is extremely well placed and experienced to manage our horses and work closely with the trainers to ensure continued success for our owners.”

Jason Fildes, HTR Northern Manager, commented: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as General Manager at Haydock Park and am extremely grateful for all the support I received whilst in that role. The opportunity though to join Highclere and create an HTR Northern Division was unmissable. I very much look forward to working with Harry and the rest of the Highclere team.”

For more information on the syndicates please visit the website

Irish Racing News


Just Wonderful impresses in the Flame Of Tara

Just Wonderful and her stable mates, reinforced the return to form for Ballydoyle, as she showed a good turn of foot to win the Group Three Flame Of Tara Irish EBF Stakes at the Curragh.

Eight two year old fillies went to post for this one mile contest.

At the break, Fleeting went on from Peach Tree to the inside, with Bandiuc Eile between the Ballydoyle pair.

Peach Tree pressed on next to the rails from Bandiuc Eile.

With two furlongs to race, Peach Tree still held the call, with Fleeting coming to challenge and Chynna making ground.

At the furlong pole Peach Tree had seen off these rivals, but Just Wonderful, held up for much of the race, quickened well to the outside and began to eat into her stable mate’s advantage.

The daughter of Dansili hit the front and went away for a convincing victory under Donnacha O’Brien, to beat Peach Tree and Fleeting in an Aidan O’Brien clean sweep.

Just Wonderful had disappointed in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, but acquitted herself well against the colts, when third to Marie’s Diamond, in the Anglesey Stakes.

I’m So Fancy scores in the Snow Fairy Stakes

I’m So Fancy was produced with a perfectly-timed run to land the Group Three Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes at the Curragh.

Eleven fillies and mares contested this nine-furlong race, remembering that brilliant filly of recent years.

I’m So Fancy went on from Snowy Winter, but Adorable soon passed them both to take up the running.

Settling down, English raider Adorable continued to set the tempo from Snowy Winter and Desert Diamond.

That was the order as they turned for home, with Adorable narrowly in front of Snowy Winter, who quickly went on.

With two furlongs to run, Snowy Winter was tackled by Desert Diamond, while I’m So Fancy and Hence stayed on.

I’m So Fancy took it up in the final furlong under Colm O’Donoghue and ran out a length winner from Desert Diamond, Hence and Mary Tudor, to give trainer Jessica Harrington another big winner.


Ten Sovereigns routs Round Tower rivals

Ten Sovereigns

Ten Sovereigns confirmed the initial impression that he was a very smart horse, with a superb performance to easily win the Group Three John Sisk and Son Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh.

Eight two year olds lined up in this six furlong contest, with much interest surrounding the previous weekend’s wide-margin maiden winner Ten Sovereigns.

It was Ten Sovereigns who was best away, but stable mate Fantasy soon went on.

Fantasy and Ten Sovereigns continued to lead with Could Be King to the stands side and then Limit Long and Bruce Wayne.

With two furlongs to race, Ten Sovereigns went on and quickened away in brilliant style. The final furlong saw this son of No Nay Never go further clear for another wide margin win, slamming Bruce Wayne by about five lengths, with Fantasy third.

This was a hugely impressive victory by a colt who caused quite a stir just a week before. However, whilst this at least provided some form lines, this did not represent the strongest field for a Group Three.

The Aidan O’Brien trained Ten Sovereigns, is a big, powerful, imposing colt and has more improvement to come. He looks sure to be contesting Group One races before the end of this season and that view was confirmed afterwards, by his trainer:

“You’d have to be very happy with that. When he hit the front he really opened up. The Middle Park is the plan and he should have enough experience for it now.
“He’s fast and he’s a relaxed  colt and a very clear-winded one. He does everything very easily and should have no problem getting seven furlongs. We’ll see about a mile, but often if they are good enough they’ll get a mile okay.”


Snow Falcon lifts the Kerry National at Listowel

Snow Falcon jumps the last on his way to victory in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan
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Listowel’s Harvest Festival hosted its highlight and was rewarded with a terrific finish, as Snow Falcon just denied Saturnas in a head-bobbing end to the Guinness Kerry National.

A crowd in excess of 25,000, were witnessed to a super renewal of this three mile contest, with 18 horses going to post.

A Rated went on from the tapes, while Timiyan was lucky to survive a calamitous mistake at the first fence and became attached.

Vieux Morvan went on at the second fence, from A Rated, with Rogue Angel also prominent and then Snow Falcon and All Hell Let Loose.

Vieux Morvan pressed on as the field passed the stands, with two circuits in front of them.

Rogue Angel and Rachel Blackmore went into the lead at halfway, pressed by A Rated and this pair moved a few lengths clear of Snow Falcon and Vieux Morvan, as they headed into the home straight again. At the back, Slow Motion was pulled up.

Rogue Angel set out on the final circuit, with an increased lead of 10 lengths.

Six out and Snow Falcon, A Rated, All Hell Let Loose, Dell’ Arca and Shantou Village had closed the leader down dramatically. Four out Bishops Road and All Hell Let Loose departed.

Meanwhile, Snow Falcon went to the front at the third last fence and turned for home chased by Saturnas, Rogue Angel and Shantou Village.

Snow Falcon and Jonathan Moore took the second last well and moved four lengths clear of Saturnas, approaching the last.

On the flat, Saturnas began to dramatically close on the leader and it got desperate, but Snow Falcon just held on by a diminishing neck.

Four lengths back came the gallant Rogue Angel, with Dell’ Arca the best of the British runners in fourth.

Snow Falcon had finished fourth in the Galway Plate and was giving Noel Meade a valuable victory.

Sparkle’n’joy gives Irish Champions Weekend lift off for Jessica Harrington

Sparkle’n’joy showed tremendous heart to battle back and win the Listed Ballylinch Stud Irish EBF Ingabelle Stakes at Leopardstown.

A field of sixteen two year old fillies took part in this seven furlong contest, which got the LONGINES Irish Champions Weekend underway.

Sparkle’n’joy led early on from Foxtrot Liv, but My Laureate soon went to the front.

My Laureate was a length clear as the field turned for home, with Sparkle’n’joy and Foxtrot Liv close up.

Inside the final furlong, Sparkle’n’joy gamely edged back in front, under Shane Foley and reached the line with a narrow advantage over Foxtrot Liv. Iridessa and Trethias were next home.

Sparkle’n’joy, a daughter of Sepoy, was giving trainer Jessica Harrington the best possible start to the meeting, with superstar Alpha Centauri due to run later on the card.


Madhmoon storms to Champions victory at Leopardstown

Madhmoon comprehensively confirmed the promise of his debut win, as he proved a notch above his rivals in the Group Two KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes over a mile.

Seven two year olds went to post for a race that often throws up Classic clues for the following year.

As the gates burst open, it was Sydney Opera House who broke best, but Western Australia his stable mate, edged on into the lead.

Settling down, Western Australia led Sydney Opera House and Madhmoon, with Copia Verborum to the inside and then Broome.

As the field reached the home turn, Western Australia still narrowly led Sydney Opera House, with the pair a couple of lengths ahead of Madhmoon, who began to range up in the straight.

With 1 ½ furlongs to race, Madhmoon went on and took two lengths out of the field under Chris Hayes.

That sealed the victory, as nothing could close in the last 100 yards, with Madhmoon coasting home a couple of lengths clear of Broome, who stayed on nicely. Masaff took third, ahead of Western Australia.

The Kevin Prendergast trained Madhmoon, a son of Dawn Approach, had made a big impression at Leopardstown on debut, a month earlier.


Rostropovich commitment gains Rewards at Leopardstown

Rostropovich wins the Dee Stakes
Image supplied by Goffs

Rostropovich proved game as he toughed out a challenging final furlong to win the Group Three Paddy’s Rewards Club Stakes.

Six lined-up for this 1 ½ mile contest.

Giuseppe Garibaldi was away well on the inside, but the filly Kalaxana soon went to the front under Chris Hayes.

Settling down, Rostropovich went into a narrow lead from Kalaxana and Master Of Reality, with the trio closely bunched.

With three quarters of a mile to race, Master Of Reality was given his head by Billy Lee, moving into a two length lead over Rostropovich and Kalaxana.

Master Of Reality took the field into the home straight from Rostropovich, who raced with his tongue out.

The latter went on with two furlongs to run and was challenged to the inside by stable mate Giuseppe Garibaldi, with The King also inching closer.

With his head held high, Rostropovich had to work hard to hold on to his lead, but he answered Donnacha O’Brien’s calls to win by about ½ a length from Giuseppe Garibaldi and The King.


Laurens the toast of Leopardstown in the Matron Stakes

Laurens winning the Matron Stakes from Alpha Centauri
Image supplied by Goffs Ltd; copyright: Alain Barr

Laurens was back to a mile and back to her best as her never say die attitude accounted for none other than Alpha Centauri, in the Group Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

Seven fillies went to post for this mouth-watering one mile contest, which included the Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Alpha Centauri and the Prix de Diane heroine Laurens.

At the off, it was Alpha Centauri and Laurens who went on with Happily, while Magical was also close up.

Danny Tudhope moved Laurens into the lead from Magical and Happily, with Alpha Centauri content to sit fourth, ahead of Dan’d Dream, Clemmie and Lightning Quick.

Laurens turned for home with a length lead over Magical and Happily, with Alpha Centauri moved wider by Colm O’Donoghue.

Laurens continued to battle on in front and approached the furlong pole with Magical still harrying her.

Meanwhile, Alpha Centauri loomed large on the outside and closed the two down, looking likely to press on for another Group One win.

But Laurens, who has won over further, was nothing if not resilient on the inside. Having seen off Magical in her typical stubborn fashion, she was eye-balled by Alpha Centauri inside the final furlong.

As Alpha Centauri closed though, she seemed to slightly falter and that gave the impetus to Laurens, who had the momentum to keep up the gallop.

That was the decisive moment as Laurens passed the post with Tudhope raising his arm aloft in triumph, the length conqueror of Alpha Centauri.

Clemmie, patiently ridden at the back of the field, stayed on nicely for third, ahead of and Magical.

Laurens has taken owner John Dance and trainer Karl Burke, on a magical journey over the past twelve months. It was a year ago this week that she truly signalled her arrival, with victory in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger Meeting.

The daughter of Siyouni has now won four Group One races.

I Can Fly lands the Boomerang Stakes

I Can Fly

I Can Fly was delivered with precision timing to win the Group Two Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes.

Ten horses took on this one mile test.

Marshall Jennings went on but Kenya soon took the lead with Pincheck prominent.

Kenya, against the rails, led from Pincheck and Making Light, with Marshall Jennings to the inside.

On the home bend, it was still Kenya who led Pincheck, with Marshall Jennings third and a break to the rest.

Kenya kept up the gallop gamely, to see off Pincheck, but the filly I Can Fly, began to sprout wings under Ryan Moore.

I Can Fly hit the front in the final 100 yards and went away for a comfortable victory over Kenya, with nothing else ever really getting a blow in. Pincheck just held on to third, from Zorion.

I Can Fly was adding to a good day for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, who had earlier teamed-up to land the St Leger at Doncaster, with Kew Gardens, before flying over to Dublin.


The Lion defeats the Warrior in another vintage scrap

Roaring Lion

Roaring Lion made it four wins to two in his personal grudge match with Saxon Warrior, as the two three year olds dominated that later stages of the Group One Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

Seven went to post for the big race on the opening day of Irish Champions Weekend, over 1 ¼ miles.

As the race got underway, Deauville went into the lead on the wide outside, from Rhododendron and Saxon Warrior, as the Ballydoyle runners took early command tactically.

Deauville continued to lead with Saxon Warrior moving second, then came Verbal Dexterity taking closer order, while Rhododendron and Athena were also closer up.

On the home turn, Deauville led Saxon Warrior and then Athena, Verbal Dexterity and the closing Roaring Lion.

Into the straight, Saxon Warrior went on by two lengths and a huge roar echoed around Leopardstown.

Old rival Roaring Lion came with his run down the outside, but had given the 2,000 Guineas winner a good head start.

However, at this distance, Roaring Lion has proved a master during 2018 and he quickened to close the gap and join battle.

The two engaged in another thrilling dog fight throughout the final furlong and momentarily, it looked as though the effort of catching Saxon Warrior might take its toll on Roaring Lion.

But the grey son of Kitten’s Joy, who’s honesty had once been questioned, showed he has the heart of a lion, as he got his head up on the line for a memorable victory under Oisin Murphy.

The race centred around these two fine horses, the Lion and the Warrior. Deauville ran perhaps the race of his life, miles back in third and just ahead of the filly Athena, who looks like she may have a big victory in her this autumn.

John Gosden’s Roaring Lion has now won the Dante Stakes, Eclipse Stakes, Juddmonte International Stakes and Irish Champion Stakes.


Eziyra strikes in the Blandford Stakes

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Eziyra was given a patient ride to win the Group Two Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes.

Nine fillies and mares contested this 10-furlong race.

There was a level break and it was Curly who went into the early lead from Eziyra and Panstarr.

The order remained the same, with Curly a couple of lengths clear and the field quite well strung out.

Curly and Seamie Heffernan moved eight lengths clear of Eziyra and began the turn for home with a clear advantage.

Racing to the two furlong pole, Curly got reminders and Eziyra went on in the final furlong, with I’m So Fancy chasing but not making any real impression.

The final threat came from Who’s Steph, who stormed down the outside late on, but was never going to catch Eziyra and Declan McDonogh.

At the line the Dermot Weld filly was a length clear of Who’s Steph and I’m So Fancy.


More Group One glory for Karl Burke with Havana Grey

Havana Grey

Havana Grey made virtually all of the running to dominate the Group One Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes.

A field of nine went to post for this five furlong race, in its first renewal as a Group One contest.

At the start it was Gorane who got a flyer and led with Take Cover and Havana Grey.

The two English trained runners went on, with Havana Grey the narrow leader.

Racing to the two furlong pole, Havana Grey had seen off Take Cover, but was chased by Hit The Bid.

But Havana Grey kept on for Richard Kingscote and as the packed closed, he got to the line still a length or so clear.

Son Of Rest finished off best of all to take second from Sioux Nation, in a blanket finish to the minor placings.

Havana Grey had been a smart juvenile but, aside from his Group Two success here, in the Sapphire Stakes, had perhaps not shown the level of form expected this year, to this point.

However, the son of Havana Gold was back on song in this race, completing a brilliant Irish Champions Weekend double for trainer Karl Burke.


Skitter Scatter raises her game in the Moyglare

Skitter Scatter (centre) 
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Skitter Scatter continued her progression with victory in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes over seven furlongs.

Ten juvenile fillies took part in one of the key races of the year in this category.

Skitter Scatter and Main Edition were the early leaders from Angelic Light.

Settling down, Main Edition held the called from Zagitova and Angelic Light.

Main Edition found more but was challenged by Lady Kaya and Zagitova.

Late on though, Skitter Scatter came with a fine rattle and sprinter clear impressively to win by about two lengths under Ronan Whelan.

Lady Kaya came home second, with Hermosa finishing well for third, ahead of Zagitova.


Quorto emulates his sire in the National Stakes

Quorto wins the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes
Image supplied by Goffs Ltd

Quorto threw his hat into the ring as a leading two year old colt, with an assertive victory in the Group One Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.

Seven juvenile colts lined-up for Ireland’s leading two year old colts’ race, over seven furlongs.

As the race got underway, it was Christmas who went into the lead from Anthony Van Dyck and Quorto.

Christmas moved a couple of lengths clear of Anthony Van Dyck and Quorto as they settled down.

Heading to the two furlong pole, Anthony Van Dyck and Quorto came to tackle Christmas, the pair going away.

It was Quorto who asserted and quickened away from Anthony Van Dyck, winning by a comfortable length, with the pair miles clear of Christmas in third.

The Charlie Appleby trained Quorto, was emulating his sire Dubawi, who had gone on from winning the Superlative Stakes, to the National Stakes, back in 2004.


Flag Of Honour too good in the Irish St Leger

Flag Of Honour won the Irish St Leger
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Flag Of Honour led from start to finish as he dominated his rivals in the Group One Comer Group International Irish St. Leger.

The final Irish Classic of the year attracted a field of six over the 1 ¾ miles of the Curragh.

Flag Of Hour took the field along from the gates, shadowed by Twilight Payment and Idaho.

As the field turned for home, it was still Flag Of Honour in front and he kicked for home, with Latrobe giving chase.

Flag Of Honour passed the two furlong pole with a two length lead over Latrobe, who could make no further impression and the leader pulled further clear to win by three lengths from Latrobe, Weekender and Twilight Payment.

The son of Galileo, was delivering a fifth Irish St Leger victory for trainer Aidan O’Brien and was completing a St Leger double on the weekend, for the master of Ballydoyle, following Kew Gardens’ success at Doncaster.

Barbill leads British clean sweep in valuable Sales Racecourse

The Mick Channon trained Barbill led a British clean sweep of the placings in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes.

This valuable six-furlong race brought together 18 two year olds.

Invasion Day led for much of the contest, but Barbill and John Egan came through down the centre of the track, with a furlong to race.

Barbill was challenged late on by Flashcard and Hot Team, but held on for the victory.

Broadway lands Gowran Group Three

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Broadway was delivered late to land the Group Three Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes at Gowran Park.

Eleven fillies and mares went to post for this race, just over a mile in distance, but with stamina at a premium in the ground.

At the break it was Snowy Winter who got a flyer and was soon two lengths clear of Rickrack.

Snowy Winter continued to lead, but was joined by Erin, who went on at the six pole, from Rickrack, with the field bunched in behind.

Erin and Rickrack continued to lead, with Panstarr and Beautiful Morning next, as the field turned for home.

Panstarr went on from Erin, while Beautiful Morning was still battling on with a furlong to race.

Snowy Winter tenaciously put her head back in front inside the final furlong, with Panstarr still challenging, but on the far side, Broadway’s big white face showed up, as she was produced by Seamie Heffernan.

At the line, Broadway had about half a length to spare over Panstarr and Snowy Winter, giving trainer Aidan O’Brien, a treble on the card.

Mootasadir delivers Group Three success for Hugo Palmer at Dundalk

All-weather specialist Mootasadir, made the trip from Newmarket to Dundalk worthwhile, with a comfortable victory in the Group 3 Recruit Island Diamond Stakes.

The son of Dansili, who has made his name at Chelmsford, Wolverhampton and Kempton, provede much the best as he readily saw off the home guard, under Pat Cosgrave.

He was switched to challenge on the outside and found a fine turn of foot down the home straight, to account for Global Giant by a length and a half, as the British runners filled the first two places.

Kalaxana was best of the Irish runners, a further length and a half back in third.

Cosgrave said, “I rode my first ever winner here when it was a grass track. I’ve only had about five rides here and had three or four winners so it’s been a lucky track for me.

“He’s a strange horse as he’s had six runs in total winning four out of four on the all-weather and twice on the grass been tailed off.

“He just really needs an artificial surface for some reason. It was a good call by Hugo to step him up from a handicap into this Group 3.

“He’s a gorgeous looking individual, and I’m sure Hugo will find another nice race for him.”

Hermosa much too good in the Weld Park Stakes

Aidan O’Brien’s fine run of form continued as Hermosa dictated affairs to win the Group Three Weld Park Stakes at Naas.

Eight juvenile fillies went to post for this seven-furlong race, including two English challengers.

Foxtrot Live was well away but soon joined by Hermosa.

Settling down, Hermosa went on from Foxtrot Live and Elleanthus.

Ryan Moore and Hermosa entered the home straight with a narrow lead over Foxtrot Live, with Chynna staying on in behind.

With a furlong to race, Hermosa was responding well to Moore’s urgings and she pulled away well in the final furlong to account for Foxtrot Live by about 1 ½ lengths, with Chynna taking third.

Cypress Creek scores in the Loughbrown Stakes

Cypress Creek came with a well-timed run to land the Group Three Loughbrown Stakes at Naas.

Eight horses went to post for this two-mile contest.

Persian Lion and Zabriskie were best away, with the latter going into the early lead, but soon joined by Twilight Payment.

Racing down the back, Zabriskie moved 2 ½ lengths clear of Twilight Payment, with a gap back to Victory Salute, as the field became strung out.

The leader turned for home but was joined and quickly passed by Twilight Payment and Victory Salute.

Straightening up, the front pair were clear, but gradually, Cypress Creek began to close.

Twilight Payment had seen off Victory Salute with a furlong to run, but Ryan Moore and Cypress Creek, racing down the centre of the track, came with a powerful challenge and swept into the lead.

The Aidan O’Brien three year old, went on to win by about three lengths, with Twilight Payment having no more to give, just holding second from the closing Falcon Eight.

Cypress Creek was completing a treble on the card for O’Brien.

Unfortunately another Irish Pattern winner for Karl Burke

Unfortunately lands the Group One Prix Morny
Image supplied by Tattersalls Ireland

Unfortunately became the latest Pattern winner for Karl Burke in Ireland, as he was produced late to land the Group Three Renaissance Stakes at Naas.

A field of six lined-up for this six-furlong event.

At the break it was St Patrick’s Day who went to the lead from St Brelades Bay and Fas.

St Patrick’s Day continued to take the field along passing the two furlong pole.

With a furlong to race, St Brelades Bay challenged, but down the outside, it was Unfortunately, who had been patiently ridden, who stormed home.

Late on he swept past St Patrick’s Day under Chris Hayes, to win a shade cleverly, with St Brelades Bay third.

Unfortunately was adding further lustre to a terrific month in Ireland, for trainer Karl Burke.

Japan wins an 18th Beresford Stakes for Aidan O’Brien

Japan showed his raw potential as he quickened well from out of a pocket, to land the Group Two Beresford Stakes at Naas.

Seven juveniles contested this mile race, dominated in recent years by Aidan O’Brien, who fielded three of the field this time.

There was a tortuous ten minute delay as Pythion spread a plate before mercifully, the race finally got under way.

Mount Everest was well away but it was stable mate Sovereign who pressed on, with the two O’Brien runners tracked by Japan, making it a Ballydoyle, one, two, three.

Sovereign was first into the home straight, with Ryan Moore niggling Mount Everest, while Japan was shut in and Guarantee tried to make his run.

Mount Everest kept on well to hit the front with a furlong to race, but Japan and Seamie Heffernan finally found a way out and once into the clear, began to build momentum.

Japan ranged alongside his stable mate inside the final furlong and went on close to home, to win by about ¼ of a length, with the two a couple of lengths clear of Power Of Now in third, ahead of Sovereign.

Japan, a son of Galileo, had won on his second start and is now two from three.

He was giving trainer Aidan O’Brien an eighth straight win in the Beresford Stakes and a remarkable 18th overall.


Injury ends Saxon Warrior’s racing career

Saxon Warrior wins the 2000 Guineas from Tip Two Win and Masar
Copyright A.J. Byles

Saxon Warrior, who won the Qipco 2,000 Guineas whilst still unbeaten, has run his last race.

Coolmore has confirmed that the son of Deep Impact sustained a bad tendon injury when running second to Roaring Lion in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. He will now stand at stud.

Saxon Warrior had made a big impression when landing a Curragh maiden on debut and returned to the Kildare venue to win the Group Two Beresford Stakes.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge then headed to Doncaster for the Group One Racing Post Trophy and a first meeting with Roaring Lion. In all, they would meet six times. As his rival wandered around in the closing stages, Saxon Warrior got the better of him to win a first Group One and remain unbeaten in three.

O’Brien made no secret that Saxon Warrior was Ballydoyle’s leading Classic hope for 2018 and the general consensus was that he would return in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, but would most likely excel over further distances.

In the Guineas, Saxon Warrior quickened well out of the Dip to beat Tip Two Win, Masar and Roaring Lion, giving jockey Donnacha O’Brien his biggest moment in England.

The Derby at Epsom was expected to be Saxon Warrior’s next target – and it was anticipated that he would revel over 1 ½ miles. However, he put in an out of sorts run and never seemed happy, coming home fourth behind Masar.

In the Irish Derby, he took time to pick up and ran on to finish third to Latrobe and it seemed 1 ½ miles was too far.

Just one week later, Saxon Warrior was back in action and embroiled in a terrific scrap with his old rival Roaring Lion. The grey drifted across Saxon Warrior, but kept the race.

The pair were back for more in the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes at York, in August. This time, Roaring Lion won in no uncertain terms, with Saxon Warrior five lengths down in fourth.

But the pair saved the best until last in their personal duel. The sixth meeting was in the Irish Champion Stakes, where Saxon Warrior got first run and a healthy head start. He pulled clear of his field, but Roaring Lion swept late down the outside and inched ahead in an enthralling final furlong.

It proved to be the last furlong of Saxon Warrior’s racing career and a glorious defeat.

Coolmore tweeted: “Unbeaten Group 1 winning 2YO & Classic winning 3YO Saxon Warrior has been retired after suffering a tendon injury in yesterday’s Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes.”


Alpha Centauri retired after sustaining injury in the Matron Stakes

Alpha Centauri

Shortly after news had broken about Saxon Warrior’s retirement, news came through that Alpha Centauri had also raced for the last time.

The Jessica Harrington trained daughter of Mastercraftsman had finished second to Laurens in the Group One Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, appearing to slightly falter, late on.

It was later revealed that Alpha Centauri had suffered a chip to a fetlock and the decision was then taken to retire her.

Alpha Centauri made a big impression as an imposing juvenile, winning her first two starts, before narrowly losing her unbeaten record behind Different League at Royal Ascot.

An easy surface counted against her in the Moyglare Stud Stakes where she finished fifth to Happily and she was again inconvenienced by an easy surface on her return at Leopardstown, in April.

However, in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas, Alpha Centauri was a different proposition, finishing late to beat Could It Be Love by 1 ¾ lengths.

At Royal Ascot, she confirmed herself outstanding, in a clash of the 1,000 Guineas winners. Alpha Centauri and regular partner Colm O’Donoghue, shot six lengths clear of Threading, for a second Group One victory.

In July, she was in her pomp, dominating her rivals in the Falmouth Stakes and again showing her acceleration to be a potent weapon, as she beat Altyn Orda by 4 ½ lengths.

By this point, Alpha Centauri had strong claims to be horse of the year. She consolidated those with another commanding performance next time out, beating older horses and colts in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville.

Her winning margin was 2 ½ lengths over subsequent Prix du Moulin winner Recoletos.

Four Group One victories on the bounce took her to Leopardstown and her defeat at the hands of Laurens, but the memory of her giant stride in full flow, has been one of the enduring images of 2018.

Outstanding stayer Order Of St George is retired

Order Of St George

Order Of St George, dual winner of the Irish St Leger and also the 2016 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, has been retired.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien was quick to pay tribute to the six year old, describing him as “an incredible horse who had the class to be competitive in an Arc”.

The son of Galileo had been training for a third Irish St Leger at the Curragh on Sunday, but the decision was taken to retire him.

O’Brien said: “We’ve decided to retire Order Of St George. We did not want to be greedy and risk him on Sunday. It’s nothing serious, just age has caught up with him, and we thought it was the right thing to do for the horse.

“Order Of St George was a incredible horse. He was a big, strong animal who was always very clean-winded. He was an incredible stayer but had the class to be competitive in an Arc.

“He handled soft ground, heavy ground, good ground and quick ground. He was versatile both in terms of ground and trip. He won a lot of races and was probably a little unlucky to be pipped in one or two others as well.”

Order Of St George had run a remarkable race in the 2016 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, finishing third behind Found, in an O’Brien clean sweep. Last year he again dropped down to the 1 ½ miles and finished fourth behind Enable.

Order Of St George, won 13 of his 25 starts and just shy of £2 million in win and place prize money.


Greenmount Park Novice Chase upgraded to Grade 1

Limerick Racecourse will have the honour of staging the first Grade 1 race to be run in Munster with the announcement that the Greenmount Park Novice Chase has been upgraded in time for the Limerick Christmas Festival. The race, over a distance on 2 miles and 31/2 furlongs, will be run with a significantly increased value of €90,000 this year and will be televised live on RTE.

The feature of the four-day December meeting, the race is the centrepiece of the high-class St Stephen’s Day card and has been run as a Grade 2 since 2002. In recent years it has been won by subsequent Grade 1 winners Sir Des Champs, Gilgamboa, Outlander and Bellshill.

Patrick O’Callaghan, Manager of Limerick Racecourse, said:

“We are delighted that the Greenmount Park Novice Chase has been upgraded to Grade 1 status. Over 20 years ago the Board of Directors had the foresight to develop a new Grade 1 facility at Greenmount Park and now we will have Grade 1 racing to match. The Greenmount Park Novice Chase has always been a distinctive race with notable winners in recent years. St. Stephen’s Day is a highlight on our racing calendar and we are expecting some top-quality runners due to the improved status and increased prize money on offer. The aim has always been to have Grade 1 racing here and it is testament to the Board and all the team that this has been achieved.”

In a further boost to the annual programme at Limerick, a new Listed hurdle for mares will be added to the card on Munster National Day on Sunday, October 14. The Listed Maurice Power Solicitors Mares Hurdle furthers Horse Racing Ireland’s commitment to improving the programme for mares and fillies.


International Racing News


Soldier’s Call lands Chantilly Group Three

Soldier’s Call 
Image by

Soldier’s Call made a successful French raid as he made virtually all the running to land the Group Three Prix d’Arenberg at Chantilly.

A field of eight juveniles took part in this five-furlong race.

Soldiers Call was well away with She’s A Babe and Kilfrush Memories.

Settling down, Soldier’s Call was bombing along in front of Kilfrush Memories.

With a furlong to race, Soldier’s Call still held the lead but was under increasing pressure from Danny Tudhope.

However, the Archie Watson runner kept up his tempo and was able to repel Queen Of Bermuda, who burst out of the pack, with Kilfrush Memories keeping on for third.

Sippican Harbor late surge wins the Spinaway

Sippican Harbor came fast and late to land the Grade One Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga.

A field of eleven juvenile fillies went to post over seven furlongs on the dirt.

From the gates, there was a fight for early supremacy, with Nonna Madeline going on with Guacamole and Catherinethegreat.

At the home turn, Nonna Madeleine still led with Catherinethegreat joining her and then Bella Ciao.

Bella Ciao hit the furlong pole in front, but Sippican Harbor stormed down the outside inside the final furlong and sprinted clear under Joel Rosario, for a clear cut win.

Restless Rider stayed on to finish two lengths second, with Cassies Dreamer third and then Bella Ciao.


Bellafina impresses at Del Mar

Bellafina took full control as she made her mark in the Grade One Del Mar Debutante Stakes.

Two year old fillies once again took centre stage in this seven furlong dirt contest, with five lining up.

Brill and Watch Me Burn were well away and it was the latter who pressed on from Mother Mother.

Settling down, Mother Mother took it up from Bellafina, with the pair matching strides at the top turn, where the latter edged on.

Bellafina quickened away well and turned for home with a clear lead which she extended.

Inside the final furlong, Bellafina and Flavien Prat had the race well sewn up and passed the post 4 ¼ lengths clear of Mother Mother, with another 3 ¼ lengths back to Boujie Girl in third.

Bellafina was giving English trainer Simon Callaghan back to back victories in this race.

Yoshida storms to victory in the Woodward Stakes

Yoshida powered his was to victory in the Grade One Woodward Stakes at Saratoga.

Fourteen went to post for this valuable nine furlong race on the dirt.

There was an even break and Sunny Ridge showed good early pace.

Settling down, Leofric and Rally Cry led and took the field into the back stretch with a three length break on Seeking The Soul and Sunny Ridge.

The front two continued to fight for the lead, clear of Sunny Ridge and Seeking The Soul.

At the top of the stretch, Leofric and Rally Cry were still fighting but the field fanned out, with Yoshida powering down the centre of the track, followed by Gunnevera.

But Yoshida and Joel Rosario had first run and momentum and careered away for an impressive win.

Gunnevera stayed on from the back for second, with Leofric third, ahead of Rally Cry.

Yoshida had contested the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing fifth, back in June.

The Black Album causes an upset in the Prix La Rochette

The Black Album landed a surprise for trainer Jane Soubagne, with success in the Group Three Prix La Rochette at ParisLongchamp.

Six two year olds took part in this seven furlong race, sometimes a trial for the Group One races on Arc Day.

We Go and The Black Album took the field along through the early stages.

The front pair continued to set the pace as the field turned for home, with Delaware under pressure and Lily’s Candle was short of room.,

The Black Album and Mickael Barzalona went on with 1 ½ furlongs to race, as the funereal pace suddenly quickened.

Down the outside, Toijk made up ground from the back and Ecolo, left in last place by Maxime Guyon, also sprinted.

The three horses flashed past the post in a tight finish, with The Black Album holding on.

This was a hugely unsatisfactory race and Ecolo, in particular, was not ridden to best effect, making up many lengths to be defeated by inches.


Jackfinbar another English winner in France

Jackfinbar comfortably won the Group Three Prix de Lutece at ParisLongchamp.

Five three year olds tackled this stayers’ race over 15 furlongs.

At the start it was the English raider, Jackfinbar, who went into the lead under Jim Crowley, with Solesili and this pair went on.

Solesili and Olivier Peslier, kicked into a clear lead and passed the post with a circuit to race and a three length lead.

Racing down the back, Solesili moved further clear, into an 8 length lead from Jackfinbar and Ziyad.

Solesili turned into the home straight with a clear lead but with Jackfinbar closing, with the rest of the field strung out.

The leader soon folded though and Jackfinbar went on with three furlongs to run, chased by Ziyad and the race became a match effectively.

Ziyad was all out to close and could only make a limited impression, with Jack Finbar holding off his rival to score by about two lengths for trainer Harry Dunlop.


Best Solution wins the Grosser Preis Von Berlin

Best Solution and Pat Cosgrave

Best Solution made it three wins on the trot with a battling success in the Group One Longines Grosser Preis Von Baden at Baden-Baden.

A field of seven went to post, including two British-trained runners, for this 1 ½ mile contest, one of the biggest races of the year in Germany.

At the break, it was Defoe who went into the lead with best Solution and Night Music, but the early pace was not strong.

The mare Night Music, under Oisin Murphy, took the field past the winning post with a circuit to race, with Defoe and Best Solution sitting second and third, followed by Khan and Dschingis Secret, with 2016 winner Iquitos and Windstoss next.

There was little change in the order, as the field raced past the five furlong point, with Night Music being joined by Defoe, as they began the turn for home.

Straightening up for home, with two furlongs to race, the field turned wide and headed to the stands side.

Defoe was joined by Iquitos and Best Solution, with this pair going on inside the final furlong.

It looked like a straight fight, but Best Solution and Pat Cosgrave got the better of the argument, but Defoe was closing again late on, to finish a close second in a British one-two. Iquitos ran a cracking race in third, with this trio well clear of Windstoss.

The Saeed bin Suroor trained Best Solution, a four year old son of Kodiac, was completing a German Group One double, having landed the Grosser Preis Von Berlin in August.

Rocques still unbeaten after Prix d’Aumale success 

Rocques wins the Prix d’Aumale
Image supplied by Arqana; ©Zuzanna Lupa

Rocques confirmed herself a leading French two year old filly, with victory in the Group Three Prix d’Aumale at ParisLongchamp.

Eight juvenile fillies contested this one mile race, often a trial for the Prix Marcel Boussac, four weeks later.

At the break it was Isalys who was fastest away, but Ceratonia and William Buick were soon to the fore from Rocques.

Settling down, Ceratonia continued to lead from Rocques and Isalys, with La Feve next and a gap to Devant.

The Godolphin filly Ceratonia, turned for home with an increased advantage of two lengths, but in the straight, had not shaken off her rivals.

Rocques and Pierre-Charles Boudot, went on from Ceratonia and never looked like being caught in the final furlong.

At the line, the unbeaten daughter of Lawman, was about ¾ of a length clear of Ceratonia, with La Feve a fast-finishing third.

The Fabrice Chappet-trained Rocques is now unbeaten in three starts.

Recoletos wins the Prix du Moulin by inches

Recoletos got up in the final stride to deny the filly Wind Chimes, in a thrilling finish to the Group One Prix du Moulin de Longchamp.

A field of eleven assembled for this prestigious one mile race, returning to ParisLongchamp for the first time since 2015.

Oriental was soon in front, but taken on for the lead by Wootton.

Wootton just about led from Oriental and this pair were two lengths clear of Homerique and Plumatic.

Turning for home, Wootton, next to the rails, led Oriental, with Plumatic and Homerique poised in behind and then Without Parole to the outside.

Wootton still led but with a furlong to run, Plumatic went on, challenged by Wind Chamines and Recoletos.

In a desperately tight finish, Recoletos and Olivier Peslier just edged it from Wind Chimes, with Expert Eye finishing fast to take third place, a length back, followed by Plumatic.

Anodor comfortable in the Prix des Chenes

The once-raced Anodor looked a potentially smart colt as he dominated proceedings in the Group Three Prix des Chenes at ParisLongchamp.

Seven juvenile colts and geldings went to post for this one mile race, often a trial for the Prix Jean Luc Lagardere.

The race got underway with a pretty even break.

Anodor went on from Isandi and Al Tariq, with Court Poet to the inside.

Anodor continued to set the tempo under Aurelien Lemaitre, with a length advantage over Isandi and Court Poet.

The pace was not frenetic and turning for home, there was the prospect of a sprint finish.

Up front it was still Anodor who began to wind up the pace under hands and heels and stretched clear impressively.

With first run and a two length lead, Anodor’s advantage proved unassailable and none of his rivals ever threatened to get on terms in the final furlong.

Anodor passed the post a comfortable winner by about 1 ½ lengths from Isandi and then Shaman and Court Poet.

The Freddy Head trained son of Anodin is now two from two.

Called To The Bar edges the Prix Gladiateur

An afternoon with its fair share of close finishes, produced another in the long distance race, as Called To The Bar just got up from Holdthasigreen, to win the Group Three Prix Gladiateur at ParisLongchamp.

Nine took on this marathon event, over just shy of two miles.

Nobody was keen to go on from the stalls and eventually it was Holdthasigreen and Doha Dream who led.

Passing the post, with a circuit to run, Holdthasigreen went on from Game Starter and Doha Dream, with Nearly Caught to the inside.

There was little change in the order as the field raced down the back, with Holdthasigreen continuing to lead narrowly from Game Starter, while Nearly Caught had moved third.

Turning for home, Holdthasigreen was still in front, while Nearly Caught was looking for room and held in by Game Starter.

The leader pressed on in the home straight and was chased by Nearly Caught, while Called To The Bar closed.

Called To The Bar and Nearly Caught had a slight barging match but the former made progress and began to catch Holdthasigreen in the final furlong.

One final surge from Maxime Guyon and Called To The Bar just got up from Holdthasigreen, with Morgan La Faye finishing well for third.

Winx still unbeatable at Randwick

Winx yet again ruled supreme, landing her 27th straight victory in the Group One Colgate Optic White Stakes at Randwick.

All eyes were on Winx, as she bid to extend her incredible unbeaten run over this one mile.

At the break it was Ace High who went on from Religify.

Settling down, Religify came through to lead Ace High, with Le Romain settled in third.

Religify turned for home with a length lead over Ace High, while Winx began her run from the back, with three furlongs to race.

Religify turned in with the lead from Le Romain, but Winx closed them down quickly on the outside.

Once again, Winx kicked clear under Hugh Bowman, storming away, to win by four lengths from Le Romain, with Egg Tart finishing third.

This remarkable seven year old mare was winning her 20th Group One contest and all roads lead now to another Cox Plate.


Oscar Performance lands the Woodbine Mile

Oscar Performance returns
Copyright Eclipse Sportswire / Breeders’ Cup Photos

Oscar Performance bounced back to his best to win the Grade One Ricoh Woodbine Mile at Woodbine.

A field of nine went to post for this contest, including two British raiders in the shape of Lord Glitters and Stormy Antarctic.

At the break it was Divisidero who broke best, but Oscar Performance went on to lead from Mt Havercamp and Delta Prince, with Stormy Antarctic next.

Oscar Performance, continued to lead from Mr Havercamp and Delta Prince.

At the top bend, Oscar Performance continued to lead from Mr Havercamp, and turned into the home straight.

The front pair continued to duel, with Stormy Antarctic the only horse closing.

However, Oscar Performance burned off his rivals to make a stunning return, having pulled up on his prior start, winning by a couple of lengths from Mr Havercamp and Stormy Antarctic. Lord Glitters, the other British runner, could never strike a blow, coming home a disappointing seventh.


Johnny Bear doubles up in the Northern Dancer

Johnny Bear came late to win the Grade One Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine.

Ten horses took part in this 1 ½ mile contest, including last year’s first two, Johnny Bear and Hawkbill.

At the break, Hawkbill and Jamie Spencer went straight to the lead from Tiz A Slam.

Hawkbill took the first corner OK but then raced very wide, before moving across to the inside rail, as the field headed down the back straight.

The front pair remained unchanged, with Seeking Albert close up and a break to the rest.

Up front, Hawkbill continued to bowl along in front of constant neighbour Tiz A Slam.

The pair went clear on the top bend and turning for home, Hawkbill led but came under strong pressure.

But it was Johnny Bear and Luis Contreras, who took it up on the inside rail, late on, to land back to back runnings by about a length from ex-French Mekhtaal, with a close run thing for third.


Kitesurf goes through the gears to win the Prix Vermeille

Kitesurf beats Magic Wand in the Qatar Prix Vermeille
Image supplied by France Galop; copyright SCOOPDYGA – DYGA Laurent

Kitesurf came fast and late to land an unlikely victory in the Group One Qatar Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp.

Eight fillies and mares contested this prestigious 1 ½ mile race.

Bye Bye Baby took the field along with Son Macia and Worth Waiting.

As the field began to turn out of the back, the order remained unchanged, with Bye Bye Baby still leading.

Turning into the home straight, Bye Bye Baby led Son Macia and Worth Waiting, with Well Timed next.

Worth Waiting picked up against the inside rail, but Magic Wand and Wayne Lordan squeezed through to hit the front and looked the likely winner at the furlong pole.

However, Kitesurf, who had raced last and was being driven turning for home, found the turbos in the home straight.

Mickael Barzalona kept Kitesurf up to her work and the Andre Fabre filly flew down the outside, getting up in the dying strides to deny Magic Wand. Zarkamiya came home third.


Waldgeist swoops to Prix Foy victory

Waldgeist (nearside) won the Prix Foy
Image supplied by France Galop

Waldgeist got the better of his two stable mates and confirmed his Arc prospects are bright, with victory in the Group Two Qatar Prix Foy.

Six older horses assembled over the 1 ½ at ParisLongchamp, with Arc de Triomphe credentials on the line.

As the gates burst open, it was the Japanese runner Clincher who went on from Capri and Talismanic.

Clincher pressed on and moved into a two length lead from the grey Capri, with Cloth Of Stars sitting third and then Talismanic. Further back came Waldgeist and Way To Paris.

Clincher turned for home with a narrow lead and Capri bearing down on his, while Cloth Of Stars looked a little short of room.

Straightening up, Clincher found more for Yutake Take, but Cloth Of Stars and Talismanic quickened past him.

Talismanic went on and looked set for victory, but his stable mate Waldgeist, travelled smoothly under Pierre Charles-Boudot and hit the front late on for a cosy victory by two lengths, with Talismanic just holding off Cloth Of Stars in an Andre Fabre clean sweep.


Inexperienced Brundtland wins the Prix Niel


Inexperience proved no barrier as Brundtland showed a likeable attitude to fight back and beat Hunting Horn in the Group Two Qatar Prix Niel at ParisLongchamp.

Six three year old colts took part in another Arc trial, over the full course and distance of the great race, set to take place in three weeks’ time.

Brundtland went into the early lead from Hunting Horn and this pair took the field along at a fairly sedate pace.

The order was unchanged, with the front two ahead of Louis D’Or.

Into the home straight, the front two quickened up and went clear, with neither horse giving a quarter.

In a compelling finish, Brundtland and James Doyle, fought on tenaciously to just head Hunting Horn and preserve his unbeaten record.

Neufbosc just took third.

The Charlie Appleby trained Brundtland, is now three from three.

Tornibush on top in the Prix du Pin

Tornibush and Olivier Peslier winning
Image supplied by France Galop; copyright SCOOPDYGA

Tornibush completed a treble on the card for Olivier Peslier, as he landed the Group Three Qatar Prix du Pin.

Eleven lined-up for this trial for the Prix de la Foret, over seven furlongs.

Geniale and Yutake Take led early on with Zalamea to the outside.

Settling down, Zalamea went clear and turned for home with a two length lead over Tornibush and Geniale, with Rayon Vert next.

Zalamea was kept up to his work down the centre of the track by Tony Piccone, but Tornibush gradually overhauled the leader and held off Spaday and the fast-finishing Inns Of Court.

Tantheem runs away with the Prix du Petit Couvert

Tantheem romped to an impressive success in the Group Three Qatar Prix du Petit Couvert.

A field of thirteen took part in this five-furlong race, including dual winner Mirza.

As the gates opened, Mirza broke well, but it was Tantheem who went to the front from Fashion Queen – and quickly took the race by the scruff of the neck.

The filly under Aurelien Lemaitre, showed blinding speed and as Fashion Queen back-tracked, Tantheem edged further clear.

Inside the final furlong, Tantheem was a comfortable 1 ½ lengths clear of her rivals, with City Light just about taking second.


La Pelosa takes the Natalma Stakes for high-flying Charlie Appleby

La Pelosa

A superb day for Charlie Appleby, got even better, as La Pelosa beat her North American counterparts to land the Grade One Natalma Stakes at Woodbine.

A field of 14 juvenile fillies lined-up for this one mile event on firm ground, including two from Europe.

Eyeinthesky took the field along and set a good tempo, leading Artilena.

As the field reached the top of the back stretch, Eyeinthesky had her rivals well strung out and led by 3 ½ lengths from Artilena and Stillwater Cove.

Into the home stretch, Stillwater Cove took over, but La Pelosa, who had ignored the early pace, began to close under Jamie Spencer.

La Pelosa hit the front inside the final furlong and was kept up to her work by Spencer.

My Gal Betty kept the Godolphin filly honest, but La Pelosa kept on well to win by a length, with Bold Script taking third.

La Pelosa was crowning a fabulous day for trainer Charlie Appleby, who had won Group races in France and Ireland.


Fog Of War impresses in the Summer Stakes

Fog Of War made it two wins from as many starts, as he ran greenly, but won the Grade One Summer Stakes at Woodbine.

Twelve juveniles contested this one mile event.

At the break, War Of Will and Wallace were away well.

Settling down, Wallace led from War Of Will, with Tricky Magician and Fog Of War next.

Wallace moved two lengths clear at the top of the back stretch and edged further clear.

Turning for home, Wallace was joined by War Of Will and Tricky Magician.

War Of Will went on with a furlong to race and was challenged by Fog Of War, who raced greenly, but got on top by ¾ of a length from War Of Will, with Nashtrick coming home third.

Chad Brown’s son of War Front could be headed to the Breeders’ Cup after this victory.

My Sister Nat on top at ParisLongchamp

My Sister Nat was given a fine tactical ride to win the Group Three Prix Bertrand de Tarragon at ParisLongchamp.

Eight fillies lined-up for this nine-furlong race.

Hadith was soon to the fore and took the field along at a good clip from fellow Godolphin runner Expressiy and Adorable.

As the field turned for home, Hadith still had the call from Expressiy.

Straightening for home, the sprint was on and the leaders soon faded. My Sister Nat had the best turn of foot to pass Shahnaza, while Awesometank stayed on from the back.

But it was My Sister Nat, under a fine ride from Pierre-Charles Boudot, who got up, with Awesometank finishing to good effect to deny Shahnaza for second.

Ghaiyyath back with a bang

Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Ghaiyyath confirmed the promise of his juvenile career, as he made a successful belated reappearance, in the Group Three Prix du Prince D’Orange at ParisLongchamp.

Seven three year old colts contested this 1 ¼ mile event, with four of the field hailing from the UK.

As the race got underway, it was Ghaiyyath who was best into his stride, but soon passed by his Godolphin team mate Stage Magic.

Stage Magic moved four lengths clear of Ghaiyyath, with Willie John to the outside of Aviateur and then came Sacred Life, Chilean and Folamour.

Stage Magic continued to blaze a trail, but approaching the home turn, was closed down by Ghaiyyath, who travelled well.

Ghaiyyath went on under William Buick and quickly pulled clear, with only Sacred Life giving chase out of the pack.

But there was no stopping Ghaiyyath, who was about three lengths clear of Sacred Life, with a wide gap back to Folamour in third.

The Charlie Appleby trained Ghaiyyath, a son of Dubawi, had made a big impression when landing the Group Three Autumn Stakes, at Newmarket, last October. However, injury had kept him out of the Classics in 2018 and this was an impressive seasonal debut.

Hartnell rewards the faith with fourth Australian Group One win

The most successful horse in Godolphin’s Australian stable proved himself one of the best His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has raced in the country with a breathtaking win in Saturday’s Group One Epsom Handicap at Randwick.

Hartnell, an eight-year-old son of Authorized, has been a towering presence in his new home since arriving four years ago and his fourth Group One win took his racetrack earnings beyond A$5 million.

Given a perfectly-judged ride by Hugh Bowman, Hartnell produced a powerful, grinding finish to collar D’Argento in the last stride to win a by a nose in track record time for the 1,600m.

Hartnell’s trainer James Cummings described the win as a tribute to the horse and his team and a reward for the faith Sheikh Mohammed has shown in him.

“It was a bold move to run him in the Epsom when he could have run at weight-for-age, today, but he’s a super horse,” Cummings said.

“It doesn’t just happen, it’s a massive team effort.”

As well as winning nine races in Australia, Hartnell has been placed in two of the country’s best races, The Group One WS Cox Plate and the Group One Melbourne Cup.

Hartnell, who was also a Stakes winner in England, is one of Authorized’s five Group One winners, one of three in Australia, and is by far his sire’s greatest money-winner.


Discreet Lover lands the Jockey Club Gold Cup

Diversify’s aura was well and truly demolished as he burned out in a stunning Grade One Jockey Club Gold Cup, won by Discreet Lover, at Belmont Park.

Eight went to post for this ten-furlong contest on the dirt.

Mendelssohn was sent to the front by Ryan Moore, but Diversify took him on and went ahead after a quarter mile, with the two ten lengths clear of Thunder Snow.

Mendelssohn continued to harry Diversify and the two remained a long way clear as they reached the top of the stretch, with twelve lengtsh back to the rest.

Turning for home, Mendelssohn began to inch closer to Diversify and as they straightened for home, the two were caught by Thunder Snow who sensationally went on from Discreet Image and Mendelssohn, as Diversify gave way.

Discreet Lover began to wear down Thunder Snow in a dramatic and tiring final furlong and the two passed the post very close.

But it was Discreet Lover, who just denied the Godolphin colt, with Mendelssohn a gallant third and Diversify’s bubble was well and truly burst.

Earlier on the card, the Grade One Vosburgh Stakes went to Imperial Hint.

The five year old set a fast and furious pace and on the far turn, opened up.

Into the home straight, Imperial Hint was three lengths clear under Javier Castellano.

He cruised to an easy victory, heavily eased down to beat Mr. Crow by a couple of lengths.

The Grade One Joe Hirsch Turf Classic was won by Channel Maker.

Eight went to post for this 1 ½ mile race and from the gates it was Channel Maker who went into the lead, with British raider Teodoro, taking second, after a tardy start.

Racing down the back, Ryan Moore moved Teodoro up alongside Channel Maker and this pair were a couple of lengths clear of Carrick.

The front two moved 5 ½ lengths clear, with Robert Bruce chasing the leaders at the top of the stretch.

On the home bend, Teodoro quickly faded and Channel Maker was left clear, with Robert Bruce his only conceivable rival.

However, Channel Maker found more under Jose Ortiz and saw off Robert Bruce, pulling clear at the end. Sadler’s Joy and Highland Sky.