Sunday Star shines
Sunday Star made up for her narrow Goodwood defeat last time by seeing off Maqsad in the first division of what is normally an informative Newmarket contest for the Blandford Bloodstock Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Division I).
The homebred daughter of Kodiac is improving with every start and, while her trainer isn’t getting too excited at this stage, he does think she has potential for next year, especially as she goes up in trip.
Winning trainer Ed Walker said: “If she’s working the house down in the spring we’ll maybe look at a trial but we’re in no rush to make any major plans.”
He added: “We were a bit gutted to get beat last time but she was a bit keen, she’s out of a Montjeu mare, and Gerald [Mosse] gave her a real easy time in defeat at Goodwood.
“She learnt a lot there and has behaved a lot better here. It still took her a while to settle but I don’t think they went too quick up front. She’s got a good turn of foot and she quickened up well down the hill. She was probably dossing in front.
“She was one of those fillies who was small but not forward, she was small and backward. She has taken time to strengthen up but she’s doing really well now.
“She’s a first foal out of the mare, the first foal David Ward has bred, and the objective was to get a win into her, so we are delighted to have achieved that.
“We’ll probably leave her alone now and see how she does in the spring but she is a decent filly and she’s got stamina on the dam’s side of her pedigree, so I think she’ll get further than a mile. She certainly wasn’t stopping there.
“This is probably a decent maiden and I think the first three might be nice horses.”
The William Haggas-trained Maqsad would appear to hold a bright future following her length-and-a-quarter defeat by Sunday Star.
The daughter of Siyouni, who cost 775,000 euros as a foal, may have one more run this term after a debut full of promise.
Maureen Haggas, representing her husband, said: “She ran well but she was a little green. She is a sweet filly, a lovely filly.
“We will stick at this trip for now and hopefully we’ll give her another run before the end of the year and try and win her maiden as a two-year-old, then put her away for next year.
“She looks nice, she’s nicely-bred and she’s a nice little filly.”
Her jockey, Jim Crowley, added: “It was her first time, so she will improve plenty for the experience. She is hopefully a filly with a nice future.”
Imperial Charm had the benefit of experience, having finished third in a novice event over a similar trip on the July Course.
However, she was was well held, a further two-and-a-half lengths back in third under Andrea Atzeni.
Her trainer, Simon Crisford, admitted: “Basically, she didn’t really handle The Dip and the ground was a little bit lively for her. It was just a bit too quick. There are no plans for her.”
Qabala strikes on the Rowley Mile
Roger Varian got off the mark at the Cambridgeshire meeting when newcomer Qabala justified market support to land the second division of the fillies’ maiden.
The $300,000 daughter of Scat Daddy had to dig quite deep to get the better of long-time leader Desirous but she’s clearly a talented filly who can be filed in the ‘could be anything’ category at this early stage of her career.
The Newmarket trainer had been frustrated by narrow defeats for Barsanti and Zabeel Prince on Friday but he now has a filly with which to look forward to next season.
Varian said: “She’s taken a while to come to herself, she went through a growing stage in the summer but she’s going the right way now, although Silvestre [De Sousa] said she still felt a bit weak so she probably wants another winter and hopefully we’ll see something more like the finished article next year.
“I’ve always liked her, she works nicely at home.
“I would be wary of running her on soft ground, she’s a good moving filly.”
Connections of the runner-up, a daughter of Kingman having her third run for Ralph Beckett, are keen to win a maiden before the end of the season, following her luckless effort.
Teddy Beckett, representing owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “She has done all the hard work and just got chinned out of it. She has run a super race and the other horse (Qabala) came into her a bit. That’s going to happen in two-year-old races.
“I don’t see why we wouldn’t go again if she comes out of this well. She has run nicely.”
He added: “It is hard to tell how strong the race was, because she was making all, but they backed the winner into favouritism, so that says something. They obviously like the third (Rainbow Heart), and the fourth (Baba Ghanouj) was backed. Time will tell as far as form goes, but I think it was a solid race.”
Chaleur delivers instant compensation for Juddmonte and Beckett
Just 35 minutes earlier the Ralph Beckett/Richard Kingscote combination were chinned in the final strides but Chaleur made amends for the team by toughing it out up the hill.
It was a drop in class for Chaleur who had run with credit when third in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes (sponsored by bet365) at the July Festival and her trainer was surprised that the handicapper had allowed her to start life in nurseries off a mark of 89.
Beckett said: “The handicapper has been pretty kind to us given we finished third in a Group 2 last time, so I was hopeful coming into this.
“However, Richard [Kingscote] said she did everything wrong but still won. She’ll be better on a flat track but this is definitely her trip for now.
“She got her winter coat in August, which is most unusual, especially as it was so hot, but it’s not affected her too much and she’s clearly got plenty of ability.
“I think she can win at Listed level next year if she’s placed well.”
Stay Classy was a little unfortunate to have found interference on a couple of occasions as she succumbed by a length and a half to Chaleur in the British Stallion Studs EBF ‘Jersey Lily’ Fillies’ Nursery Handicap Stakes.
Jockey Martin Dwyer did well to get the Richard Spencer-trained daughter of Camacho as close as he did in the 7 furlong contest.
Dwyer said: “I didn’t get the clearest of runs and was hampered at the start.
“She has a good turn of foot and that’s what you need to have to win. I will have to watch it back to determine if she was an unlucky loser or whether the winner is better.
“In truth, the winner has had a comfortable passage and I’ve had a lot of work to do to get to the winner.”
Mark Johnston felt top weight I’ll Have Another, who won a German Listed race last weekend, ran a solid race in defeat under Silvestre de Sousa.
After she finished a further length back in third, Johnston said: “She has run well, giving weight to them and giving significant weight (7lb) to the winner, a horse that has been running in Pattern Company. The second horse was getting over a stone from us as well.
“She has run a very good race though and we will have to see if there is something else for her this season – it would have to be attractive.”
Muntadab lands finale
Things didn’t go Muntadab’s way when strongly fancied by connections for last week’s Ayr Gold Cup but he proved that form all wrong by dishing out a good beating to a quality field of handicappers under Cameron Noble.
North Yorkshire-based trainer Roger Fell wasn’t in attendance but a small team of enthusiastic owners cheered Mundab home as he made all the running to land the concluding race of the 2018 Cambridgeshire meeting, the Newmarket Journal Handicap.
Co-owner Tony Kelvin said: “He was so well fancied at Ayr but things just went all wrong for him.
“They went half a yard too quick for him and he doesn’t like it when he can’t lead. He has won on soft ground but that heavy ground was just too much for him.
“Roger [Fell] had no worries about this quicker ground and he absolutely loved it out in front. This is more his trip than the 6f at Ayr and he powered up the hill.
“He’s absolutely bouncing at the moment.”
Gilgamesh may not be one of the leading lights in the armoury of the Niarchos Family, but his trainer, George Scott, believes he has the potential to play a significant supporting role on big days next season.
After finding impressive Muntadab two-and-a-quarter lengths too good in the concluding 7 furlong Newmarket Journal Handicap under William Buick, Scott said: “We are very pleased with him. He has always threatened to be a nice horse and he’s got the ability to be one.
“The cheekpieces seemed to sharpen him up and hopefully we will keep him in training for next year, and perhaps one of those big pots will come his way.
“He is full of confidence at the moment, the horses are running well and, as a result, he has put in a good effort.
“I think we will keep an eye on the weather. He wants fast ground, but he has a very good record on the all-weather.
“He will have a couple more runs and come back for the big handicaps next year.
“Hopefully he will be the supporting cast for the nice horses the owners have – he has run on the same card as Alpha Centauri twice and those big days are what it is all about.”