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Royal Ascot

Chris McGrath's Weekly Wrap

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Chris McGrath's Weekly Wrap

If your glass is half empty, you will only grieve the timing of his loss. If half full, on the other hand, you will instead celebrate the emergence, with fateful punctuality, of a potential successor. But everyone, regardless, can raise a toast to Scat Daddy for making Royal Ascot 2016 a vintage of such heady effervescence.

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Right Royal Revelry

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Right Royal Revelry

By contrast with the spotlight on New York’s Belmont racetrack on the weekend, where Creator (by Tapit) ensured that all three legs of the American Triple Crown would be won by a different horse, the European theatre has been half-lit since the Derby, while the stagehands shift the scenery from Epsom to Ascot.

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The Moore The Merrier

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The Moore The Merrier

By the conclusion of the Royal Ascot Festival, he had compiled a post-war record of 9 individual victories, eclipsing even the formidable likes of Lestor Piggot, Detorri himself, Pat Eddery and Johnny Murtagh, and prompting his new employers, Coolmore, to proclaim the reluctant star the best they've ever had.

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More is Moore

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More is Moore

There's simply no stopping Ryan "the greatest" Moore as he equalled the modern-day record of eight wins during Royal Ascot.

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How High Can He Fly?

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How High Can He Fly?

Free Eagle (High Chaparral) became the latest horse to advertise the considerable talents of trainer Dermot Weld when he won the Prince Of Wales's Stakes (Gr 1) at Royal Ascot yesterday.

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So Low, Mon Amie

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So Low, Mon Amie

In the much-vaunted clash between Able Friend and Solow, which kicked off the Royal meeting in the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr.1), it may have been worth giving some airtime to the other contenders, whose claim to being there had been virtually ignored in the media scrum that surrounded the two headliners. 

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It Takes One To Know One

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It Takes One To Know One

The trainer's giant hand clapped his star pupil on the neck as he crossed, as if to say, "My work is done, it's all up to you now." A little over 24 hours later, Frankel completed his 14th straight victory and bade farewell to his adoring fans in a blaze of publicity on Ascot's Champions Day. Make that Champion's Day, for there was only one that day.

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Oh Hell, It Wasn't About The Jogging After All

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Oh Hell, It Wasn't About The Jogging After All

We've said it before, but its worth recalling that the Royal meeting at Ascot, was the idea 304 years ago, of Queen Anne. It is without peer the best sporting idea the English ever had, and while the Aussies rightfully claim that the Melbourne Cup is "the race that stops the nation", this week at Ascot "stops the world".

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TELESCOPE ROMPS TO HARDWICKE STAKES WIN

Telescope produced a scintillating performance to land the Gr.2 Hardwicke Stakes by seven lengths at Royal Ascot Saturday. The four-year-old son of Galileo gave trainer Sir Michael Stoute and jockey Ryan Moore their second winner of the day following Arab Spring’s success in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap and Moore believes both the trip and the ground were the key to Telescope’s victory today.

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MDK'S ROYAL ASCOT HIGHS AND LOWS

“Better luck next time, we’ll come back and try again!” That’s really all that stables beaten at the world’s most exclusive race meeting can say when coming away also-rans, but there’s nothing but honour in defeat at Royal Ascot. The privilege of competing there over-rides disappointing results.

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SOFT FALLING RAIN & SHEA SHEA SET FOR ROYAL ASCOT SHOWDOWNS

Soft Falling Rain (SAF) (National Assembly) and Shea Shea (SAF) (National Emblem) will represent South Africa on Tuesday, 17 June, the opening day of this year’s Royal Ascot, UK. Mike de Kock will be hoping for a Group 1 double from his stable stars in the Queen Anne Stakes and the King’s Stand Stakes.

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IRON HORSE TECHNOLOGY

Await The Dawn
Await The Dawn

Await The Dawn

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

Excerpt from the forthcoming Summerhill Sires Brochure 2013/2014.

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mick goss
mick goss

Mick Goss

Summerhill CEOThere are moments in racing you never forget. Like Secretariat’s Belmont, like Frankel’s Queen Elizabeth, Horse Chestnut’s J&B Met. Two years ago, Ireland’s Kilternan Stakes was the scene for a piece of thoroughbred theatre. It was the Group race debut of a leggy, pimple-faced colt whose biological third birthday was still in front of him. The grapevine in racing is notoriously short around good horses, especially in Ireland, where the papal injunction has guaranteed big families, and there are many mouths to feed. The word from Ballydoyle was so strong, it had penetrated every pub and fairy fort worth reaching, from Thomastown to Tipperary.

Await The Dawn did not disappoint. By the time the gates opened, he was deep in the red, and he made the bookmakers pay. Easing down by nine. Never again till his illness at York, would punters see better than odds-on. The turf’s accountants know a good thing when they see it, and here was a very good thing.

Urbanization and its attendant congestion, has changed the face of horseracing wherever the sport is celebrated. We all know though, that England’s fans are sticklers for tradition, and the one thing they’ve preserved at the Chester racing festival, is the daily parade of the combatants through the city streets. The racecourse is one of those idiosyncrasies of British life, a throwback to Roman times, when it served as a harbour for slave-driven galleys. Its tight turns are more like a chariot track than a racecourse, more a coliseum than a park.

Chester’s Huxley Stakes is the setting for Await The Dawn’s next encounter and this time, the “bookies” take no chances. This fellow is “box office”. The demolition that follows is reminiscent of the naval battles that brought the Romans to these shores in the first place. As they turn, he delivers a withering sprint: with fully a furlong to run, the chequered flag comes out. It’s like the moment the big stranger steps through the saloon doors and the plinky-plunk piano dies. The new sheriff looms in the rush. Now it’s flying fists, smashed whisky bottles, and the stranger crashes through the plate glass window. This movie obviously hasn’t reached its final reel. We aren’t the only ones that see it this way. Await The Dawn “is clearly ready for Group One company now”, says Timeform.

Now for Ascot. The “Royal” version, that is. The best sporting idea the English ever had. Older than all the football clubs in Europe; older than Ashes cricket; older, for that matter, than the nation of South Africa. The Aussies call theirs “the race that stops the nation,” which is right enough, because the Melbourne Cup has been known to suspend the federal parliament. But Royal Ascot, the brainchild in 1711 of Queen Anne, stops the world for a week. True-blue racing people the world over, want to be seen among the toffs at Royal Ascot; better still, they want to be winning at Royal Ascot. Best polish up the sliver-tipped cane, and dust off the spats.

With a history dating to 1879, the Hardwicke Stakes is the dress rehearsal for Britain’s greatest weight-for-age contest, The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. You should know, if you’re up for the Hardwicke, you’re stepping into big shoes: Rock Sand, Sceptre, Ormonde, Tristan, Oscar Schindler, Stanerra, Jeune, Doyen, Scorpion, the list is endless. Just the year before, the hero was Harbinger, the world’s highest rated racehorse, bar none. For any steed with so few miles on his clock, it will take a “Tom Cruise” performance to make this mission possible. Clearly, the public think Await The Dawn is Tom Cruise; they hammer him down to odds-on again. By the time the bugle calls them to post, there is money in the air, big money, and a small share in the horse is traded at a big price. As you might expect, the field is lousy with class. In the parade, there are three Group One winners, and some of the finest blood money can buy. To own this field, you need to own a bank.

Among the picnics in the car park, you know there is something big brewing: that combination of bliss and despair that makes racing so memorable. Hendricks and tonic in the veins, a whiff of revolution in the air. They go off respectably enough, but within a furlong, you can see our man isn’t handling the heavy track, though he isn’t short of desire either. On the far outside, he’s never been on “slop” before, and he makes the first turn badly; for a moment, he’s like a semi-trailer in a sideways skid. This is where jockeyship counts. Lesser men might’ve been distracted or given to self-pity, but Ryan Moore is proof of Noel Coward’s observation that the secret of success is the ability to overcome adversity. He steadies the ship.

Reassured by his pilot, Await The Dawn is wide, but now he’s in cruise mode, back in the field but comfortable. Perfectly poised up front is the trio of Group One foes, unaware of the lurking danger. The first to move is Campanologist, who’s tasted the glory three times before. Here, you need to be smarter than your lunch, otherwise you are the lunch: Ryan Moore is playing the predator. Everyone can see what he’s going to do to Ted Durcan’s horse. Campanologist is kind, Await The Dawn is a killer. Ears pricked, he breaks his adversary’s spirit in the straight. Quickly, clinically. The rest are broken-hearted.

We were beginning to think this could be the best middle distance horse in the world. It’s clear the European’s thought so too: they backed him down to thirteen to eight for his first assignment at the highest level. The destination was York, the outcome was dull. Yes, he was third, but he was desperately sick. “His illness was life-threatening. When he recaptures his best form, he will surely win a Group One”. Strong words from Europe’s most respected rating agency. Truth is, they’d seen all they ever needed to see.

He is never the same again, but it doesn’t matter. We’ve also seen all we needed to see. Await The Dawn is a product of the best blood of two of the best stud farms in the world. His father was nicknamed the “Iron Horse”. His son has shown he could run with the best on a brick road, into a headwind, with a tailwind, in a weight-for-age and at the top of a handicap. Now he’s shown he can break hearts on a bog track. This is “Iron Horse” technology. Test him whenever you want, whatever the weather.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

Enquiries :

Linda Norval 27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email linda@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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DAWN APPROACH CLAIMS ST JAMES'S PALACE STAKES

Dawn Approach wins the St james's Palace Stakes
Dawn Approach wins the St james's Palace Stakes

Watch Dawn Approach winning the St James’s Palace Stakes

(Image : RTE - Footage : At The Races UK)

ST JAMES’S PALACE STAKES (Group 1)

Ascot, Turf, 1609m

18 June 2013

Just 17 days since his blow-out in the G1 Epsom Derby, Godolphin’s Dawn Approach (Ire) (New Approach) paid the ultimate tribute to the informed guile of his intuitive trainer Jim Bolger when winning the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. After a pulsating war of attrition with the rival who should have been his main threat in the G1 2000 Guineas, Toronado (Ire) (High Chaparral), placed himself back on the mantle that his breeder and conditioner had placed him as early as his G2 Coventry Stakes victory here 12 months ago.

Dawn Approach’s career has been against the grain for most of the way so far, including a surprise debut win for a colt with his pedigree in the opening five-furlong maiden at The Curragh last March followed by his defeat of more precociously-bred rivals in the Coventry at this meeting. While the route was more predictable afterwards as he took the G1 National Stakes at The Curragh and Newmarket’s G1 Dewhurst Stakes and 2000 Guineas, a tilt at the Derby was another diversion from the obvious. Due to his ability to successfully adapt to whatever test he sent to contest, the majority believed that the blue riband was a dream within reach and the answer remains in the ether after he wrecked his opportunity just yards from the start of this one.

Having said he would not be going to Ascot, the Irish maverick u-turned as he had with the colt’s sire ahead of the Derby five years ago, and it was up to the flashy chestnut to provide the justification for that choice and deflect the critique that was certain to come Bolger’s way if failure was the outcome.

For much of the first half of this contest, the tension rose for connections as he teetered on the edge under Kevin Manning once again, but with Leitir Mor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor) setting the honest sprinter-miler fractions he needs, the extravagance was successfully contained. Following the move of Magician (Ire) (Galileo) as they turned for home, he was the victim of scrimmaging as Glory Awaits (Ire) (Choisir) jinked into the Ballydoyle raider, causing interference to both the winner and patiently-ridden runner-up at the quarter pole. Undeterred, the dominant duo set down for the duel to the line and, although Toronado held a slight edge for a few yards inside the final furlong, it was Dawn Approach who had that extra ounce of reserve.

“The Derby was a big blow to everybody and so disappointing, so to come back and do that is fantastic,” said winning jockey Kevin Manning. “He took a bit of a bite and lit up again, but I arrived there full of running and thought I was going to do it well only for the horse on the inside to come out and catch me in the girth. Once I got my head in front, he was always holding the runner-up. He’s very gutsy and determined and a real battler. He was very impressive in Newmarket and it was a shock at Epsom - I still can’t make head nor tail of it, so have drawn a line through it and moved on. I always felt he was a horse who would go beyond a mile, but we tried it and it didn’t work.”

“The biggest risk is not taking the risk,” commented Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in reference to the Bolger’s late decision to run. “Jim bred the horse and knows the horse very well, so when he decided to run, we all supported him. That proved to me that he’s the best miler in the world.”

Jim Bolger added, “The nature of the sport is that you take chances and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but Sheikh Mohammed was a very willing risk-taker. He’s very tough and hardy and was fortunate to survive that knock. I knew he wouldn’t let me down.”

Extract from Thoroughhbred Daily News

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STOP THE WORLD: I WANT TO GET ON

Royal Ascot
Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot

(Photo : FS)

ROYAL ASCOT

Tuesday 18th - Saturday 22nd June 2013

The Aussies have dubbed theirs “the race that stops the nation”, and they’re right. The Melbourne Cup has been known to suspend even the federal parliament, and it’s a phenomenon all of its own.

Today heralds the start of a racing festival that stops the world, not for a day, but for a week. Our sport is fortunate in having a long and colourful history, much longer than cricket and rugby, and it is decorated by epic events in every country in which it’s celebrated. Yet nothing eclipses Royal Ascot, which dates to the summer of 1711, when Queen Anne first set land aside in the vicinity of the Windsor Forest, and called for a week of sports. While out riding, she came upon a vast space of open heath, not far from Windsor Castle, the ideal place for “horses to gallop at full stretch”. That June, Charles, Duke of Somerset instructed Sir William Wyndham, Master of the Royal Buckhounds, to have the heath cleared of scrub and gorse bush, in preparation for the first race meeting. Thus it was on the 11th August 1711, that the first meeting took place, with Her Majesty’s Plate, worth 100 guineas to the winner (open to any horse, mare or gelding over the age of 6) the central event. Each horse carried 12 stone and seven runners lined up.

The centrepiece of a growing festival was the Gold Cup (for three-year-olds and upwards), over 2½ miles. Introduced in 1807, it was won its in first year by a three-year-old, and while this was some achievement even by today’s standards, given that in those days horses were not bred to be precocious, it was all the more remarkable. In 1813, Ascot’s future was secured by the Act of Enclosure, ensuring Ascot Heath, while the property of the Crown, would be set aside for public use as a racecourse. Simultaneously, the future employment prospects of the Master of the Buck Hounds was entrenched, as his office was handed the permanent responsibility of managing and conducting the races. If all else fails, remember, there’s a future in dogs.

Things were moving quickly, and by 1822, King George IV commissioned a two-tier stand to be built on a surrounding lawn. Access was by invitation of the King only, and this was the beginning of the pomp for which Royal Ascot is now famous. The King’s greatest legacy was the Royal procession, introduced in 1825. The King’s coach led four others carrying members of the Royal party up the Straight Mile in front of the crowds. A diarist of the day commented “the whole thing looked very splendid”. In 1862, as an act of affection, Queen Victoria named the Prince Of Wales Stakes (still contested at Group One level over 2000 metres to this day) after her much-loved consort, Prince Albert.

Today kicks off with a helluva programme, with three Group Ones including the Queen Anne Stakes over a mile (featuring among many other quality horses, the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup hero, Animal Kingdom in Barry Irwin’sTeam Valor silks), the St James Palace Stakes (also known as the “Summer Guineas”, which generally attracts the English, the Irish and French Guineas winners,) and the King’s Stand Stakes, a 5 furlong dash including some of the best sprinters in the the world, and especially South Africa’s champion, Shea Shea. (Tune into Channel 239 - 14:30 our time onwards).

www.ascot.co.uk

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ROYAL ASCOT WITH BARRY IRWIN

Barry Irwin - Royal Ascot
Barry Irwin - Royal Ascot

Barry Irwin

(Photo : Supplied)

THE QUEEN ANNE STAKES (Group 1)

Courtesy of Thoroughbred Daily News

The build up to Animal Kingdom’s appearance tomorrow in the opening race of the 2013 Royal Ascot meeting has been remarkable to watch unfold, as the racecourse has generated an unbelievable amount of interest in the challenge undertaken by our horse.

The media has been all over our horse and his unusual story, everybody jumping on the circumstance of AK being the first Kentucky Derby winner since 1935 hero Omaha to race at Royal Ascot. If you don’t believe me, Google it! The Depression Era Derby hero has replaced Omaha Steaks as the most searched item in all of Nebraska! The British are nothing if not worldly; after all, they tried to run the world for a long, long time. So they know a sporting challenge worthy of the name when they see one.

The international aspect of the various connections has really intrigued them, what with a home-grown English lad as the trainer, a legendary Puerto Rican as the jockey, a Kentucky horseman as the breeder, an Australian stud master as the majority owner and the ruler of Dubai as a racing and breeding partner. Toss in the international nature of a Brazilian sire and a German dam and the global profile is complete.

I spent the first part of the day doing the mundane, making sure I had enough clean clothes to last the rest of the week and picking up my Morning Suit from Moss Brothers on Regent Street (Ano, I don’t want to try it on again to make sure it fits!). Joe Drape and I were the only diners at an Indian restaurant down the block from the Corus Hotel, where last summer my wife Kathleen and I stayed when we attended the track and field portion of the Olympic Games.

This evening, Asprey’s (which makes trophies for such diverse and iconic sporting events as Wimbledon and the Dubai World Cup), hosted many Ascot connections at a cocktail party at their store on Bond Street, right across the street from Ralph Lauren’s shop, where polo shirts for men can be had at a mere 50% more than they cost in Manhattan. People keep asking me if I am nervous, or if I am getting excited yet, and what does it feel like? I usually only get nervous when I am anxious.

Anxiety is fear of the unknown. I experience it when I do not have a good feeling about how a horse will do. God knows that Animal Kingdom is facing plenty of unknowns tomorrow: running for the first time in a straight course, racing on an undulating course for the first time, racing in England for the first time and dropping from 10 furlongs on a Tapeta track to turf, on which he will try to win his first race at a distance as short as a mile.

I was apprehensive about the straight course before arriving in England, but I must tell you that after watching him work twice on an uphill straight, I am buoyed with confidence and I don’t expect to be nervous tomorrow. What I do think will happen, is about a minute or two before the race kicks off, I will experience a tiny electric shock beneath my tongue that has occurred countless times, beginning when I used to participate in track in high school. It is the anticipation of competition. Competition is why we brought Animal Kingdom to Ascot.

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MICHAEL OWEN : GOAL PREDATOR IN TEARS

Michael Owen and Brown Panther
Michael Owen and Brown Panther

Michael Owen’s Brown Panther wins King George V Stakes (G2)

(Photo : The Guardian)

KING GEORGE V STAKES

Michael Owen has never cried on a football pitch, not when scoring a hat-trick against Germany nor at the other end of the emotional scale when losing in the World Cup.

But the Manchester United and England striker pretty much bawled his eyes out recently when Brown Panther, a horse he bred as well as owns, won the King George V Stakes at a canter. A wet end to a wet Ladies Day.

The heavy rain had stopped by the time the tears began to flow. That’s how passionate Owen is about his racing, a business in which he has invested millions, of course, but also a part of life very close to his heart.

“No, I have never cried scoring a goal,” he said. “But racing is my passion. I am so keen, it is one thing to buy a horse at the sales and see it win. It is a different thing entirely to win with a horse bred from an 11 year old mare who is pretty much a family pet.”

“The kids pat her every morning and love her so much. And then to win with her son, in my own colours, and at Royal Ascot. It is just amazing. You have to have done it to know the feeling. I have lost my voice shouting the horse one.”

Brown Panther is an entry for the German Derby, which takes place in Hamburg on July 3rd, the day before Manchester United start pre-season training. “I might have to ask the manager for an extra day off.”

You have to think Owen had been overtaken by his excitement; not able to see clearly through his moist eyes. Sir Alex Ferguson may be a fellow owner and enthusiast, but players require a better excuse than that to miss the resumption of training. It might have been helped if Fergie had been given a betting steer like many of Owen’s United team-mates. “I told any of the players who texted to get on.” It is not known whether the manger would have heard the jungle drums.

Extract from The Sunday Times

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FAME AND GLORY SECURES GOLD CUP FOR BALLYDOYLE

Famd and Glory wins Ascot Gold Cup
Famd and Glory wins Ascot Gold Cup

Click above to watch Fame and Glory winning the Gold Cup (Gr1)

(Image : Telegraph - Footage : Racing UK)

GOLD CUP (Group 1)

Royal Ascot, 4000m

16 June 2011

Royal Ascot witnessed one of the great gambles yesterday when Fame and Glory (GB) (Montjeu) gave a passable impression of Yeats (Ire) to annex a fifth G1 Gold Cup in six years for Ballydoyle at a rain-soaked Royal Ascot.

Settled against the rail early under jockey Jamie Spencer in the spot the his illustrious predecessor used to enjoy in his four forays here, the bay was lolling off the moderate pace which was upped a notch after a mile by the veteran Geordieland (Fr) (Johann Quatz). Still cruising with a half mile remaining, Jamie Spencer waited for racing room to appear on his outside, and asked Fame and Glory to go through the gears at the top of the stretch. The confidence in his 11-8 favoritism proved infectious and the bay was carried by the wave of the crowd’s will as he swooped to the lead approaching the final furlong. Rolling by Duncan (GB) (Dalakhani), he received a smack with the whip there and a few after as Opinion Poll (IRE) (Halling) arrived and kept grinding way in the final yardsGodolphin had overturned So You Think (NZ) on Wednesday and it looked momentarily as if a case of de ja vu was about to strike with Opinion Poll coming out wide. But the Derrick Smith silks stayed ahead this time and, at the line, it was three lengths back to the royal blue.

“We didn’t go very fast early and I was delighted when I saw Geordieland go round the field and inject some pace,” Spencer said. “He wasn’t keen, but because he has so much class and is used to going a different pace he wanted that to make it more comfortable for him. It was a very easy, push-button ride and I’m just privileged to be allowed to ride him. Everyone was doubting him for the last few weeks, but we never had any doubts as those first two races were just to bring him along. It’s a great training performance.”

“Very few mile-and-a-quarter Group 1 winners get to run in a Gold Cup, but class makes them stay,” Aidan O’Brien said of the 5-year-old, who capped a successful venture for Dr Jim and Fitri Hay into joint-ownership with Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor. “He’s been a Group 1 winner every year since he was a 2-year-old, and we never knew until we tried, but we believed he would definitely get two miles. We are privileged to have him and Jamie was very confident and gave him an unbelievable ride.”

Another tilt at the October 2 G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is on the cards for Fame and Glory after his luckless runs in that Longchamp showpiece in 2009 and 2010. “The plan after today was to give him a break and train him for the Arc again, with a run beforehand,” O’Brien added.

GOLD CUP (Gr1)

Final Result

#

Horse

Sire

Jockey

Trainer

1

FAME AND GLORY (GB)

Montjeu

J Spencer

Aidan O’Brien

2

OPINION POLL (IRE)

Halling

M Barzalona

Mahmood Al Zarooni

3

BRIGANTIN (USA)

Cozzene

PC Boudat

Andre Fabre

4

MANIGHAR (FR)

Linamix

K Fallon

Luca Cumani

5

ASKAR TAU (FR)

Montjeu

G Baker

Marcus Tregoning

6

DUNCAN (GB)

Dalakhani

W Buick

John Gosden

7

KASBAH BLISS (FR)

Kahyasi

T Thulliez

Francois Doumen

8

AAIM TO PROSPER (IRE)

Val Royal

R Moore

Brian Meehan

9

MOTRICE (GB)

Motivator

S Sanders

Sir Mark Prescott Bt

10

BLUE BAJAN (IRE)

Montjeu

D Tudhope

David O’Meara

11

THE BETCHWORTH KID (GB)

Tobougg

H Turner

Alan King

12

FICTIONAL ACCOUNT (IRE)

Stravinsky

F Berry

Vincent Ward

13

HOLBERG (UAE)

Halling

F Dettori

Saeed bin Suroor

14

TASTAHIL (IRE)

Singspiel

R Hills

Barry Hills

15

GEORDIELAND (IRE)

Johann Quatz

R Hughes

Jamie Osborne

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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REWILDING POWERS TO PRINCE OF WALES'S STAKES WIN

Rewilding wins Prince Of Wales's Stakes
Rewilding wins Prince Of Wales's Stakes

Click above to watch Rewilding winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Gr1)

(Image : SMH - Footage : EuroSport)

PRINCE OF WALES’S STAKES (Group 1)

Royal Ascot, 2000m

15 June 2011

For most of yesterday’s G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes, it appeared all was going perfectly to plan for So You Think (NZ) (High Chaparral), but, in the closing stages, it was Rewilding (GB) (Tiger Hill) who prevailed under a power-packed Frankie Dettori drive.

While all the pre-race emphasis centred around the ex-Australian superstar, Godolphin’s G1 Dubai Sheema Classic hero was under the radar and started at 17-2, opposed to the 4-11 on offer for Ballydoyle’s favorite.

Held on to early as Frankie watched the race unfold in front, he raced enthusiastically while the initially languid Jan Vermeer (Ire) (Montjeu) took up the pacesetting duties after the first quarter. So You Think raced past his stable companion on the final bend and, although he had first run on Rewilding, his early move cost him as the royal blue train steadily usurped the purple where it mattered.

“They were two great horses and it was a sheer joy to be in the race,” Dettori said. “It was a tremendous battle and the second never gave up, but I’m delighted for Rewilding, as he is a good horse and doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.”

“If you win these races, it is a great thing, and the preparation and training was perfect,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum commented. Conditioner Mahmood Al Zarooni gave the credit to his boss. “I have to be honest, it’s not me, it’s His Highness - he always gives us direction with the horses,” Al Zarooni noted. “He has been around a long time and has a lot of experience, while we are still learning. The G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, at Ascot July 23, is next.”

So You Think’s trainer Aidan O’Brien blamed himself his charge’s defeat. “I would take total responsibility for this, as he won his first two starts very easily, and I was letting him come along very gently and not training him very hard,” O’Brien explained. “I didn’t like to get stuck into him and, while this was a big step up from his other races, he was a little fresh and tanked for the first two furlongs, and then went to win and got tired. Frankie gave his horse a beautiful ride and his horse stays a mile and a half well, so he just got him in the final yards. It was trainer’s error for not getting him fit enough for this kind of race, as I didn’t want to chase him too much. We must remember that he would never have had this strong and competitive a race in this atmosphere before, and it was my fault, as he had a big heavy blow after. All I can say is sorry, and we will go on from here and see what happens next time. I would expect plenty of improvement, and the G1 Eclipse at Sandown July 2 is a definite possible, but he has a lot of options, so we’ll go home and discuss it.”

Rewilding’s dam, Darara, a Group 1 winner for breeder The Aga Khan, had produced just one black-type performer by the time she went through the ring as an 11-year-old at Goffs in 1994. Secured by agent Charlie Gordon-Watson on behalf of Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber for a sale-topping Ir470,000gns, the bay mare proved a bargain at the price. Her first two foals for Watership Down, Kilimanjaro (Shirley Heights) and Rhagaas (Sadler’s Wells), each brought 500,000gns - from Demi O’Byrne and Godolphin, respectively - as yearlings at Tattersalls. Her 1999 Sadler’s Wells colt established a British record when selling for 3.4-million guineas in 2000; originally named Diaghilev, he developed into a Group 1 winner in Hong Kong under the moniker River Dancer. Dar Re Mi was retained to race under pink-and-grey silks, and bankrolled £2,698,880 for the Lloyd-Webbers. John Ferguson secured Rewilding for 500,000gns at Tattersalls in 2008, and the bay colt has repaid that several times over. Darara was pensioned after producing Rewilding.

PRINCE OF WALES’S STAKES (Gr1)

Final Result

#

Horse

Sire

Jockey

Trainer

1

REWILDING (GB)

Tiger Hill

F Dettori

Mahmood Al Zarooni

2

SO YOU THINK (NZ)

High Chaparral

R Moore

Aidan O’Brien

3

SRI PUTRA (GB)

Oasis Dream

N Callan

Roger Varian

4

PLANTEUR (IRE)

Danehill Dancer

C Soumillon

Elie Lellouche

5

TWICE OVER (GB)

Observatory

T Queally

Sir Henry Cecil

6

JAN VERMEER (IRE)

Montjeu

J O’Brien

Aidan O’Brien

7

DEBUSSY (IRE)

Diesis

A Ajtebi

Mahmood Al Zarooni

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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ROYAL ASCOT DAY 1 : A GOOD DAY AT THE OFFICE...

Prohibit wins the King's Stand Stakes
Prohibit wins the King's Stand Stakes

Click above to watch Prohibit winning the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr1)

(Image : Perth Now - Footage : At The Races UK)

“…and especially for South African Sprinter, Sweet Sanette.”

Bill Oppenheim
Bill Oppenheim

Bill Oppenheim

Thoroughbred Daily NewsThe Coolmore legions had good reason to be satisfied with the results from Ascot’s opening day yesterday: they had bought into Canford Cliffs (Tagula) at the end of last year, which looked a pretty smart move after he stopped the 6-year-old wonder mare Goldikova (Anabaa) from notching her 14th Group 1/Grade I win in the meet’s opening race - the G1 Queen Anne Stakes - run over Ascot’s straight mile. Then Frankel, by Coolmore’s world number one, Galileo, scraped home in the one mile G1 St James’s Palace Stakes, run on the round course, while Coolmore’s Zoffany, by the Juddmonte stallion Dansili, upgraded his stallion prospects by running a bang-up second. Then, to finish off the day, their investment in a second Juddmonte stallion paid off when Power (Oasis Dream) finished strongly to give Aidan O’Brien his sixth win in the G2 Coventry Stakes. All in all, a pretty satisfactory opening day; though the weight of expectation which Frankel carried yesterday is transferred today to Coolmore’s So You Think (High Chaparral), as short as 2-5 last night to win today’s G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

The G1 King’s Stand Stakes over 5 furlongs was nearly poached by the Highlands-bred South African filly Sweet Sanette (Jallad) despite her near scratching after an accident in the preliminaries. She led the best sprinters around a merry dance for every yard except the final twenty five, and you’d have to say this was some compliment to the quality of sprinters in this country.

Formerly owned by Wally Brits and trained by Roy Magner, Sweet Sanette was a very good, but by no means great, sprinter before she left South Africa for Hong Kong, and one can’t help wondering what J J The Jet Plane would have done to this field which included Australia’s second best sprinter, Star Witness.

Even Sweet Sanette’s most ardent supporters would not suggest she was in JJ’s league, and while JJ remains the highest rated male sprinter in the world right now, he can only aspire to the No.1 spot if he can cross swords with the current Australian star, Black Caviar.

It was also a good day for Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte operation. Frankel may only have scraped home in the St James’s Palace Stakes, but his record now reads seven wins from seven starts, and his master trainer - the newly knighted (and slightly embarrassed, as usual) Sir Henry Cecil - will now go off and think about what he wants to ask his colt to do next. Henry mentioned the G1 Juddmonte International (sponsored by the owner) over an extended 10 furlongs at York, even as the wise guys were again trying to talk him into shortening him up to six furlongs. There’s a reason he’s been champion trainer nine times, and it’s not because he listens to the riders in the stands. Besides the fact a runner by their own stallion, Dansili, gave Frankel an almighty scare, Juddmonte could also be pleased that their stallion Oasis Dream - arguably the number two sire in Europe now behind only Galileo - had two winners on opening day: Prohibit in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs; and Power in the G2 Coventry, always the first really important 2-year-old race of the year.

The racing, as always, was fiercely competitive, and there were a few noteworthy performances in defeat - none more so than Goldikova’s loss to Canford Cliffs in the Queen Anne Stakes. Like Zenyatta, she went down fighting, and has now won 16 races, with four seconds and two thirds in her 23 career starts - only once unplaced, in a bog in the G1 Prix d’Ispahan, in her first start of 2009. Prince Khalid’s Cityscape, now a 5-year-old and by Selkirk, ran a lifetime best, finishing third, less than two lengths behind Goldikova; and Godolphin’s 6-year-old Rio de la Plata (Rahy) also ran a good race, in fourth.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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