Features

Emphatic Caravaggio

The strapping colt, who beat the subsequent dual Group Two winner Mehmas (Acclamation) in the Coventry Stakes (Gr 2, 6f) at Royal Ascot on his previous start, was sent off the 1-8 favourite and always looked like landing the short odds.

Held up off the pace by replacement jockey Seamie Heffernan, with Ryan Moore sidelined through injury, Caravaggio eased into a challenging position around two furlongs from the finish.

Once asked to quicken, the response was immediate, and Caravaggio drew four lengths clear of his stablemate Courage Under Fire (War Front), with a further two and three quarter lengths back to Medicine Jack (Equiano) in third.

Caravaggio is now unbeaten in four starts and could possibly contest the Prix Morny (Gr 1, 1200m) at Deauville on 21 August before a tilt at the Middle Park Stakes (Gr 1, 6f) at Newmarket on 24 September.

Nations Alexander (2 f Dark Angel – Party Whip by Whipper) was a clearcut winner of the Sweet Solera Stakes (Gr 3, 7f) at Newmarket on Saturday.

The filly, who was a close third in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Gr 2, 6f) on her previous start, was sent straight into the lead by Pat Dobbs and was still travelling strongly as the field reached the two furlong marker.

She found plenty for pressure and galloped on resolutely to score by a length and a half from Grecian Light (Shamardal), with On Her Toes (Kodiac) a further neck away in third.

Richard Hannon’s filly could now travel to Ireland for the Debutante Stakes (Gr 2, 7f) at the Curragh on 21 August.

Capri (2 c ex Dialafara by Anabaa) took out the Canford Cliffs Stakes (Listed, 7.5f) at Tipperary on Friday to provide Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) with his 229th stakes winner.

Seamie Heffernan sent the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt into the lead after a furlong and set steady fractions through the middle part of the race.

He kicked on at the top of the straight and was never in any danger thereafter, beating Boyfriend Brian (Big Bad Bob) by two lengths with the Lloyd Williams-owned Intern (Rip Van Winkle) a further three and three quarter lengths behind in third.

The Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte-trained Spain Burg (2 f ex Spain Blues by Anabaa Blue) won the Criterium du Bequet (Listed, 1200m) at La Teste De Buch on Wednesday, in the process providing Sageburg (Johannesburg) with his third stakes winner.

Spain Burg beat the favourite Team Of Teams (Elusive Quality) by three quarters of a length, with Adele Star (Sageburg) a further length and a half adrift in third.

Three-year-olds

Andreas Wohler’s Serienholde (3 f Soldier Hollow – Saldenehre by Highest Honor) took out the Preis der Diana (German Oaks) (Gr 1, 2200m) at Dusseldorf on Sunday.

The result provided Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) winning trainer Wohler with his fourth win in the Preis der Diana, and Soldier Hollow (In The Wings) with his third Group One winner.

The filly was settled in midfield early on under Eduardo Pedroza, and the pair began to creep into contention around 600 metres from the finish.

Under strong pressure, Serienholde ran down Sarandia (Dansili) inside the last 100 metres to score by half a length, with a length and three quarters back to the short-priced favourite Architecture (Zoffany).

The John Gosden-trained Royal Artillery (3 c ex Masseuse by Dynaformer) landed the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (Gr 3, 1m2.5f) at Haydock on Saturday to provide War Front (Danzig) with his 48th stakes winner.

A US$450,000 purchase at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November Sale, the Coolmore-owned colt settled on the shoulder of the leader Scottish (Teofilo) in the hands of Colm O’Donoghue.

The front two began to draw clear inside the final furlong and, despite showing one or two signs of inexperience in the closing stages, Royal Artillery eventually asserted to win by a length and a quarter, with Arab Spring (Monsun), who was returning from 14 months off the track, just a nose behind Scottish in a fast-finishing third.

The progressive Stellar Mass (3 c Sea The Stars – Juno Marlowe by Danehill) won the Ballyroan Stakes (Gr 3, 1m4f) at Leopardstown on Thursday.

Jim Bolger’s colt, who ran third to Harzand (Sea The Stars) in the Irish Derby (Gr 1, 1m4f) in June, was pushed along in midfield entering the home straight but kept on strongly to beat Almela (Sea The Stars) by half a length, with the Lloyd Williams-part owned Bondi Beach (Galileo) a further length and a half behind in third.

Stellar Mass could now step up in class for the Great Voltigeur Stakes (Gr 2, 1m4f) at York on 17 August, while Bondi Beach remains on course for a return to Australia in the spring.

Ventura Storm (3 c Zoffany – Sarawati by Haafhd) ran away with the Prix de Reux (Gr 3, 2500m) at Deauville on Sunday.

The Richard Hannon-trained colt contested the lead throughout in the hands of Gregory Benoist, who committed for home approaching the home turn.

Ventura Storm quickly stretched clear and had the race is safe keeping with 300 metres to run, beating Moonshiner (Adlerflug) by three and a half lengths, with the favourite Big Blue (Galileo) a further head behind in third.

Aljazzi (3 f ex Nouriya by Danehill Dancer) got up close home to land the Dick Hern Fillies Stakes (Listed, 1m) at Haydock on Saturday to give Shamardal (Giant’s Causeway) his 99th stakes winner.

The filly, who was fitted with a hood for the first time by trainer Marco Botti, came with a strong late run to beat Mix And Mingle (Exceed And Excel) by a neck, with Pirouette (Pivotal) just a head further behind in third.

Older horses

The Francois Rohaut-trained Signs Of Blessing (5 g Invincible Spirit – Sun Bittern by Seeking The Gold) made all to land a dramatic running of the Prix Maurice de Gheest (Gr 1, 1300m) at Deauville on Sunday.

The race was delayed after Jimmy Two Times (Kendargent) broke through his gate during the loading process, but Signs Of Blessing showed blistering speed to tow the field along once the race got underway.

Several challengers loomed up to threaten Signs Of Blessing, but none could get past and he kept on strongly to beat Donjuan Triumphant (Dream Ahead) by a length and a quarter with Jimmy Two Times, despite his pre-race antics, finishing a neck further behind in third.

The race and a tragic post-script, however, as leading Hong Kong sprinter Gold-Fun (Le Vie Dei Colori) broke down around 100 metres from the finish and had to be euthanised.

Toscanini (4 g Shamardal – Tuzla by Panoramic) took out the Phoenix Sprint Stakes (Gr 3, 6f) at the Curragh on Sunday.

The Godolphin-owned gelding raced up with the pace throughout in the hands of James Doyle and stretched a length and a quarter clear of Eastern Impact (Bahamian Bounty) in the closing stages, with Lord Of The Land (Shamardal) a further two lengths adrift in third.

Aidan O’Brien’s three-time Group One winner Air Force Blue (War Front) was bitterly disappointing and came home a distant last of seven.