Features

Churchill Impresses In National Stakes

The strapping colt, who is now unbeaten in four starts since running third on his debut at the Curragh in May, was ridden patiently in rear by Ryan Moore and moved up to challenge approaching the final two furlongs.

The Richard Hannon-trained dual Group Two winner Mehmas (Acclamation) loomed up on Churchill’s outside under Frankie Dettori but could not match the finishing effort of the winner, who galloped on strongly to win comfortably by four and a quarter lengths, with the China Horse Club-owned Lockheed (Exceed And Excel) a neck behind Mehmas in third.

In winning on Sunday, Churchill became the fourth son of Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) to take out the National Stakes since 2006 and strengthened his position at the head of the betting for next year’s 2000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1m).

Intricately (2 f Fastnet Rock – Inner Realm by Galileo) caused an upset in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 7f) at the Curragh on Sunday as rookie trainer Joseph O’Brien saddled his first Group One winner at the expense of his father, Aidan.

Sent off a 25/1 chance, Intricately, who was ridden by Joseph’s brother Donnacha, was never far off the pace set by Hydrangea (Galileo) and, after a prolonged battle, she led in the last stride to win by a short-head.

Aidan O’Brien was also responsible for the third, last-start Debutante Stakes (Gr 2, 7f) winner Rhododendron (Galileo), who was a further length and three quarters behind in third.

The first three could clash again at Newmarket on 7 October in the Fillies’ Mile (Gr 1, 1m).

The William Haggas-trained Rivet (2 c Fastnet Rock – Starship by Galileo) was a narrow winner of the Champagne Stakes (Gr 2, 7f) at Doncaster on Saturday.

The son of Fastnet Rock (Danehill) opened his account in the valuable Convivial Maiden (7f) at York on 19 August and took the step up in class in his stride, running down Godolphin’s Vintage Stakes (Gr 2, 7f) runner-up Thunder Snow (Helmet) by a head, with D’Bai (Dubawi) a further five lengths adrift in third.

Rivet and Thunder Snow are likely to meet again next up in the Dewhurst Stakes (Gr 1, 7f) at Newmarket on 8 October.

Rich Legacy (2 f Holy Roman Emperor – Borghesa by Galileo) took out the May Hill Stakes (Gr 2, 1m) in determined fashion at Doncaster on Thursday.

The Ralph Beckett-trained and Qatar Racing-owned filly travelled strongly into the lead approaching the final two furlongs and, having briefly been headed by Godolphin’s Grecian Light (Shamardal) with 200 yards to run, she rallied bravely to win going away by three quarters of a length.

Urban Fox (Foxwedge) was a further two and a quarter lengths away in third, with Beckett mentioning the Prix Marcel Boussac (Gr 1, 1600m) at Chantilly on 2 October as a potential target for the winner.

The John Gosden-trained Ardad (2 c Kodiac – Good Clodora by Red Clubs) relished the return to five furlongs when landing the Flying Childers Stakes (Gr 2, 5f) at Doncaster on Friday.

The colt took out the Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed, 5f) at Royal Ascot in June but had finished well-beaten at his last two runs over six furlongs.

He travelled smoothly back down in trip under Frankie Dettori and showed a potent turn of foot to beat the stakes-winning pair The Last Lion (Choisir) and Legendary Lunch (Dragon Pulse), who dead-heated for second, by three quarters of a length.

Landfall (2 g Myboycharlie – Lana Girl by Arch) extended his unbeaten record to two when winning the Champions Juvenile Stakes (Gr 3, 1m) at Leopardstown on Saturday.

The gelding quickened up well at the top of the straight to beat Firey Speech (Street Cry) by two and a quarter lengths, with the odds-on favourite Douglas MacArthur (Galileo) a further head behind in third.

Akihiro (2 c ex Baahama by Anabaa) beat High Alpha (Fuisse) by a length in the Prix des Chenes (Gr 3, 1600m) at Chantilly on Thursday to give Deep Impact (Sunday Silence) his seventh European stakes winner.

Frankel’s (Galileo) excellent first season continued when Toulifaut (2 f ex Cassydora by Darshaan) won the Prix d’Aumale (Gr 3, 1600m) by a length from Normandel (Le Havre) also at Chantilly on Thursday, Frankel’s fourth stakes winner.

 

Three-year-olds
The Laura Mongan-trained Harbour Law (3 c Lawman – Abunai by Pivotal) ran out a shock winner of a dramatic renewal of the St Leger Stakes (Gr 1, 1m6.5f) at Doncaster on Saturday.

All eyes were on the Aidan O’Brien-trained odds-on favourite Idaho (Galileo), who had won the key trial, the Great Voltigeur Stakes (Gr 2, 1m4f), in good style at York on 17 August.

As the field turned into the straight, Idaho, who has settled nicely in midfield, took a false step and unseated Seamie Heffernan, throwing the contest wide open.

The Richard Hannon-trained Ventura Storm (Zoffany) and O’Brien’s Housesofparliament (Galileo) looked to have the race between them two furlongs out, but jockey George Baker summoned a strong late run out of Harbour Law who got up to beat Ventura Storm by three quarters of a length at odds of 22/1, with Housesofparliament a short-head behind in third.

The result provided Epsom trainer Mongan with her first Group winner and Ballylinch Stud stallion Lawman (Invincible Spirit) with his fifth Group One winner.

The Prix du Jockey Club (Gr 1, 2100m) winner Almanzor (3 c Wootton Bassett – Darkova by Maria’s Mon) secured his second Group One victory in the Irish Champion Stakes (Gr 1, 1m2f) at Leopardstown on Saturday.

The colt, who was bought by his trainer Jean-Claude Rouget for €100,000 from the draft of Haras D’Etreham at the Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale in 2014, was restrained in rear by Christophe Soumillon off a strong early gallop.

The six-time Group One-winning filly Minding (Galileo) weaved her way into a challenging position on the far rail under Ryan Moore but was soon passed by Almanzor and her stablemate Found (Galileo), who swept down the centre of the track approaching the final furlong.

Found ran on bravely, but Almanzor pulled out more in the final 100 yards to win by three quarters of a length, with Minding a further two and three quarter lengths behind in third.

Rouget suggested that Almanzor could tackle the Champion Stakes (Gr 1, 1m2f) next at Ascot on 15 October, while Found will head for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1, 2400m).

Alice Springs (3 f Galileo – Aleagueoftheirown by Danehill Dancer) won her second Group One in the Matron Stakes (Gr 1, 1m) at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly showcased a smart turn of foot when she took out the Falmouth Stakes (Gr 1, 1m) at Newmarket in July and again showed blistering speed at the weekend.

Settled near the rear of the field by Ryan Moore, she quickened impressively to run down Persuasive (Dark Angel) and win going away by three and a quarter lengths, with dual Group One winner Qemah (Danehill Dancer) a further length and a quarter behind in third.

Prix de Diane (Gr 1, 2100m) runner-up Left Hand (3 f Dubawi – Balladeuse by Singspiel) won the Prix Vermeille (Gr 1, 2400m) at Chantilly on Sunday, one of three major Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe trials to be run at the track at the weekend.

The filly was confidently ridden by Maxime Guyon in a steadily run race, but she had to battle to get past the front-running Endless Time (Sea The Stars) in the last 50 metres to win by half a length, with The Juliet Rose (Monsun) a further three quarters of a length behind in third.

Left Hand will now attempt to emulate Treve (Motivator), who completed the Prix Vermeille / Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe double in 2013.

The Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Makahiki (3 c Deep Impact – Wikiwiki by French Deputy) took out the Prix Niel (Gr 2, 2400m) in workmanlike fashion at Chantilly on Sunday.

The son of Deep Impact (Sunday Silence) travelled well in the hands of Christophe Lemaire, but, when he was asked to quicken, the result was not instantaneous and he had to work hard to overhaul Midterm (Galileo), the first foal out of multiple Group One winner Midday (Oasis Dream), by a neck, with Doha Dream (Shamardal) just a short-head further behind in third.

Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi will be hopeful that Makahiki has more improvement to come ahead of his bid to become the first Japanese-trained horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on 2 October.

Awtaad (3 c Cape Cross – Asheerah by Shamardal) was a decisive winner of the Boomerang Stakes (Gr 2, 1m) at Leopardstown on Saturday.

The Kevin Prendergast-trained colt had not tasted success since his impressive Irish 2000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1m) victory in May, but he showed a smart turn of foot to beat Custom Cut (Notnowcato) by a length and a half, with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Gr 1, 8f) winner Hit It A Bomb (War Front) a further half a length behind in third.

Dermot Weld’s Shamreen (3 f Dubawi – Shareen by Bahri) made all the running to land the Blandford Stakes (Gr 2, 1m2f) at the Curragh on Sunday.

The Aga Khan-owned and bred filly set a steady tempo under Pat Smullen and battled on gamely once challenged by Best In The World (Galileo) to win by half a length, with Santa Monica (Mastercraftsman) a further three and three quarter lengths adrift in third.

 

Older horses
There was a huge upset in the Irish St Leger Stakes (Gr 1, 1m6f) at the Curragh on Sunday as Wicklow Brave (7 g Beat Hollow – Moraine by Rainbow Quest), better known for his exploits over hurdles, lowering the colours of pre-post Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) favourite Order Of St George (Galileo).

The Willie Mullins-trained Wicklow Brave set steady fractions on the front-end under Frankie Dettori as Ryan Moore sat in rear aboard the 1/7 favourite.

Wicklow Brave caught Order Of St George flat-footed as he kicked at the entrance to the straight and held on well close home to score by half a length, with a break of 16 lengths back to Ed Dunlop’s Trip To Paris (Champs Elysees).

Wicklow Brave will go into quarantine this week ahead of a Melbourne Cup tilt, while Order Of St George remains likely to follow his rival to Australia, for all his reputation has been damaged.

Vadamos (5 h Monsun – Celebre Vadala by Peintre Celebre) received an excellent ride from Vincent Cheminaud when taking out the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Gr 1, 1600m) at Chantilly on Sunday.

The entire was restrained in midfield off a steady gallop but, at halfway, Cheminaud made a rapid move to take the lead.

It proved to be a race winning move as Vadamos galloped on strongly in the straight to secure a length and a quarter success from Spectre (Siyouni), with the same distance back to Zelzal (Sea The Stars) in third place.

Qatar Racing’s Simple Verse (4 f Duke Of Marmalade – Guantanamera by Sadler’s Wells) got up late to win the Park Hill Stakes (Gr 2, 1m6.5f) at Doncaster on Thursday.

A year on from her controversial victory in the St Leger Stakes over the same course and distance, the Ralph Beckett-trained filly overcame trouble in running to beat Aidan O’Brien’s Pretty Perfect (Galileo) by a neck, with a break of five lengths back to California (Azamour) in third.

Silverwave (4 c Silver Frost – Miss Bio by River Mist) showcased his Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe credentials in the Prix Foy (Gr 2, 2400m) at Chantilly on Sunday.

The last-start winner of the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Gr 1, 2400m) travelled smoothly throughout and got the better of the well-ridden Ito (Adlerflug) to win by a length, with Elliptique (New Approach) a further length and three quarters behind in third.

The Cheveley Park-owned and bred Spangled (4 f ex Zykina by Pivotal) Sceptre Stakes (Gr 3, 7f) at Doncaster on Friday.

Under a strong ride from Andrea Atzeni, the filly beat Godolphin’s Mise En Rose (War Front) by a neck with Lumiere (Shamardal) a further two and a quarter lengths behind in third, in the process giving Coolmore shuttler Starspangledbanner (Choisir) his seventh stakes winner.

The Dermot Weld-trained Zhukova (4 f Fastnet Rock – Nightime by Galileo) saw off Aidan O’Brien’s Derby (Gr 1, 1m4f) runner-up US Army Ranger (Galileo) by half a length to win the Enterprise Stakes (Gr 3, 1m4f) at Leopardstown on Saturday.

The Lloyd Williams-part owned Bondi Beach (Galileo) was back in third and looks likely to head to Australia for the Melbourne Cup.