RACENEWS BRITISH RACING REVIEW CHAMPIONS DAY NEWMARKET SAT:17.10.2009
BRITISH CHAMPIONS’ DAY NEWMARKET SATURDAY OCTOBER 17 2009
WALLIS HAPPY WITH CROWD SIZE ON GREAT DAY FOR LEGENDARY TRAINERS
Newmarket’s managing director Stephen Wallis said he was happy with a crowd of 12,500 for Champions’ Day.
Wallis said: "That number is similar to last year, and bearing in mind we are down on hospitality numbers for obvious reasons connected to the economy, we are very happy with the figure.
"It has been a great day’s racing, and it was wonderful to see the reception given to Henry Cecil following Twice Over’s victory in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, and to John Dunlop after Akmal won the closing Jockey Club Cup to become his 250th winner at Newmarket.
"Champions’ Day has really lived up to its name."
MYSTERY PUNTER SCOOPS A NEAR MILLION-POUND PAYOUT THANKS TO NEWMARKET WINNER
Last week's winner of the totescoop6 added to his fortune by taking the Bonus Fund as well this afternoon.
The punter, who was the only person to scoop the Win Fund of £671,136 last Saturday, chose the 9/2 favourite Darley Sun in the totesport.com Cesarewitch at Newmarket and watched as the horse won what looked an typically tough renewal of this famous handicap with consummate ease to land another £287,630 from the Bonus Fund.
The winner, a regular totescoop6 player on Betfair, has today taken his total haul to a massive £958,766 - and almost became a member of the prestigious totescoop6 millionaires club.
David Craven, Managing Director of Totepool, said: "To pick six winners in one day is one thing, but to then add the winner of a fiercely competitive 32-runner handicap is a great achievement and our congratulations go out to the mystery punter for scooping nearly £1 million.
"I am sure he could not believe his eyes at the ease in which this horse netted him another great windfall of nearly £300,000."
A total of £200,006 was bet into Saturday’s pool but there were no winners, so the win fund rollover for next Saturday is £70,030, with a further £30,012 in the bonus fund.
There were 46 winners of the place fund, each of whom picked up £869.90.
Win Fund rollover £70,030
Bonus Fund rollover £30,012
A SEASON OF STARS AT NEWMARKET
From the daffodil days of spring to the first frosts of autumn it has been a season of stars at Newmarket’s two racecourses - a Sea The Stars season.
In early May, just a few weeks after Mon Mome had become a rare 100-1 winner of the John Smith’s Grand National, Flat racing needed a class act to wrest the limelight from its jumping counterpart. It sought a star and found one, the great Sea The Stars, who lined up for Newmarket’s stanjames.com 2000 Guineas as a colt of promise, but comfortably conquered his peers and teed up one of one of racing’s great journeys.
His one-a-month romp through some of Europe’s most famous contests started with that Rowley Mile rout of Delegator and Gan Amhras, was followed by a day to remember at the Vodafone Derby, included memorable beatings of ten-furlong specialists and finally the hammering of all-comers in Europe’s richest race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. It surely won’t be long before his sons and daughters come to Newmarket to follow in his famous footsteps.
In mid-April Sea The Stars was still limbering up at John Oxx’s Curragh stables, and Fantasia was the talk of the town following her win in Newmarket’s Leslie Harrison Memorial Nell Gwyn Stakes. Victory by seven lengths in a leading trial slaked the thirst of Flat devotees, and when Delegator took the banshahousestables.com Craven Stakes it was game on for the Guineas - in hindsight, finishing second to Sea The Stars was a fine effort.
Ghanaati, a twice-raced filly from Barry Hills’ Lambourn stable, beat Cuis Ghaire and Super Sleuth in the stanjames.com 1000 Guineas and later won Royal Ascot’s Coronation Stakes, while an early test of the country’s leading sprinters saw Amour Propre win the stanjames.com Palace House Stakes.
Back in third was Fleeting Spirit, who became the darling of the July course when racing switched from the Rowley Mile. Lining up in the Darley July Cup, the Jeremy Noseda-trained Fleeting Spirit jinked a little when bursting clear of the pack, but straightened for the line and won comfortably. Main Aim, who runs in today’s Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes, finished runner-up ahead of South African representative JJ The Jet Plane. Australian star Scenic Blast, who had been so impressive when winning Royal Ascot’s King’s Stand Stakes, could do no better than tenth.
This was not the only top-class performer in action at the July meeting, for Goldikova’s Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes victory bore the hallmark of a brilliant filly, while Arcano’s TNT July Stakes win and Silver Grecian’s success in the Meydan Superlative Stakes stamped them as leading juveniles. Arcano’s subsequent victory in the Darley Prix Morny was narrowly gaineds but boosted when Rowley Mile action resumed at the Cambridgeshire meeting.
Special Duty, who had been second to Arcano in France, took the Electrolux Cheveley Park Stakes in the manner of a filly who will take some stopping in next year’s Guineas, while Awzaan’s Shadwell Middle Park Stakes win was his fourth in succession and suggests he will be back at Newmarket on the first weekend in May.
FOND MEMORIES OF A FABULOUS YEAR
Champions’ Day marks the culmination of another year at Newmarket involving memorable races on the Rowley Mile and joyous occasions on the July Course.
Managing director Stephen Wallis describes his role as a "privilege and pleasure" and adds: "It’s made inspiring by the horses and the people who work here. The staff at Newmarket are a fantastic team and they make my job so much easier."
Asked about his personal highlights from the 2009 season, Wallis says: "Sea The Stars and Ghanaati, the winners of our classic races, must top the list, and Goldikova’s victory on the July Course was very special, but one thing I’ve learned in my second year as MD is how good the two-year-old racing is at Newmarket.
"Two Godolphin juveniles, Poet’s Voice and Alzeer, who won Saturday afternoon maiden races on the July Course, and Treble Jig, who did the same for Sir Michael Stoute’s stable, stand out - they are the sort of horses to sustain you through the winter."
For clerk of the course Michael Prosser, ‘green shoots of recovery’ refer to grass growth not the economy. He says: "It’s been an unusual year in terms of the weather. We watered for the Craven Meeting, then right through the spring and even the first meetings on the July Course, yet we had no need to irrigate for the July Festival - which is rare - nor for the first six of eight days on that track in August. That was a bizarre and unusual scenario, and then we had a very dry September.
"I’ve been clerk here for nine seasons and there have been two years that were particularly tough due to climatic conditions. In 2003 it was dry throughout, but in some respects that was easier than this year, because all the weather forecasts were accurate - there was no rain coming so we just watered.
"This year there have never been any easy decisions to make, but fortunately we have an excellent team who can respond to the conditions that present themselves. In the last eight seasons we have spent a lot of money upgrading machinery, on staff training and the irrigation system, which is now the best in the country. A succession plan means that if any member of staff is sick or off work someone else is trained to step into their shoes."
As the Newmarket season nears its conclusion - there is one more two-day meeting at the end of October - Prosser’s work load shows no sign of abating. He says: "It’s been a fascinating week because I have received more phone calls about the ground and weather than for the previous 34 race meetings. It’s been hectic and pressurised, which I admit I enjoy, and the staff have done a marvellous job with the ground."
Asked for a racing highlight to savour, Prosser says: "If you look at the horses Sea The Stars beat this year’s Guineas was a vintage. The Darley July Cup fills me with joy because we have worked very hard to become involved in the Global Sprint Challenge - we have international aspirations and we attracted Scenic Blast and Takeover Target from Australia, JJ The Jet Plane from South Africa and a fine winner in Fleeting Spirit.
"The two-year-old races on the July Course were very strong - Arcano, Silver Grecian and Misheer will take high-rank in the juvenile ratings - while the Cheveley and Middle Park Stakes were top-class, and in the same year that is rare.
"One horse that particularly caught my eye was Al Zir, who won a maiden for unraced two-year-olds in early August. In nine seasons the only horse I’ve seen win a maiden with that ease was Motivator." Praise indeed.
HILLS PEAKS AT HIS HOME COURSE
Before racing today
As the season draws to a close in Newmarket with just one meeting still to be run on 30 and 31 October, Richard Hills is way out in front in the race for leading jockey honours at his home course. His 11 wins on the Rowley Mile have included the stanjames.com 1000 Guineas with Ghanaati and the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes on Awzaan, both for his long-term patron Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
"I think I’ve been leading jockey here a couple of times before but to start the year with an extremely good Craven Meeting and then a Guineas success was wonderful," said Hills. "The course is only three minutes from my house, this is my home town where I was born and it’s the HQ of racing so it’s pretty special to me."
Today Hills teams up with Ghanaati’s half-brother Mawatheeq in a bid to land the Emirates Champion Stakes for the third time. His prior wins were also for Sheikh Hamdan, aboard Nayef and Haafhd, both now stallions at Shadwell’s Nunnery Stud in Norfolk.
Hills said: "Mawatheeq is a really nice horse and he’s been improving all year. Obviously it’s a big step up for him today but we wouldn’t have supplemented him if we didn’t think he was capable of winning so I’m expecting a big run."
Hills shared the honours with fellow Newmarket-based jockey Ted Durcan for the most number of winners at the July Course this summer, with both riders recording 11 victories. Close behind them was Ryan Moore on 10 and he will be chasing Hills hard at the Rowley Mile, where he has ridden seven winners so far this season. Last season’s Champion jockey, Moore is in pole position again in the overall table with 139 winners during the flat turf season. Hills is behind him in third on 87, with Richard Hughes dividing the pair with 106 winners. With such an exceptional card on offer today at Newmarket, it’s no surprise that all three of this season’s leading jockeys will be seen in action on the Rowley Mile today. Hills is booked for six rides while Hughes and Moore have five each.
After a highly successful raid on Shadwell Day at the Cambridgeshire Meeting, it’s no surprise that Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum is the leading owner at Newmarket this year with 19 winners spread across the Rowley Mile and July Course. Aside from Mawatheeq in the Champion Stakes, he is also represented by Ouqba in today’s opener, the Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes, and by last-time-out Newmarket winner Tabassum, who advertised her Classic potential with victory in the Sakhee Oh So Sharp Stakes just over a fortnight ago and is set to line-up today in the Lotus Evora Rockfel Stakes.
"Sheikh Hamdan really does support Newmarket now - we’ve got well over 200 horses in training here. That number has increased through the last few years and it’s paying dividends now," added Hills.
John Gosden, who sends out four runners from his Clarehaven Stables today, leads the way for the trainers with 17 wins from the two courses. His closest rival is Richard Hannon, who had a winner and two seconds at HQ yesterday to give him a total of 14 wins for the season.
Race 1 - Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes
GLEAM WELL UP TO THE CHALLENGE
Champions’ Day 2009 began with a local success on the Rowley Mile when Arabian Gleam, trained by Jeremy Noseda, recorded a game victory in the seven-furlong Group Two Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes.
Having seen off the challenges from Godolphin’s Donativum and Ashram, the five-year-old held on from the fast-finishing Ouqba to register a neck verdict. He was a 7/1 chance.
Jeremy Noseda said: "That was very good. He has now won a Group Two race in each of the last three years and is a tough, honest horse who always tries his best.
"The good ground today really helped him. When the ground is really fast, he just feels it a bit but when it is genuinely good ground with a bit of ease, he is a good, solid performer.
"I will have a word with the owner (Saeed Suhail) and Bruce (Raymond, racing manager to the owner) but I would think that’s it for this season. He could go out to Dubai over the winter - I think the new Tapeta surface out there should suit him.
"He got jarred when he ran at Royal Ascot and then the ground was fast all summer. We sent him to Doncaster (where Arabian Gleam was attempting to win the Group Two Park Stakes for the third year in a row) and even though the ground wasn’t really right for him, he still ran well and was a shade unlucky.
"Credit must also go to Johnny Murtagh. He makes a big difference to this horse as he really gets a tune out of him. It is a always an advantage to have him on board."
Johnny Murtagh added: "Champions’ Day has started well! I thought that I had some good rides coming here today and this is the first one. Fair dues to Jeremy, who said that he was in good shape and he was today - he has done it well.
"He always runs well at this time of year. Doncaster is usually his place but he missed last out last time and thankfully he was able to make up for it today.
"It’s beautiful ground. There is a nice covering of grass. I am looking forward to the rest of the day - I thought that I would come here and ride a good few winners. The first one has gone in so hopefully I can do the same with the rest."
First race - The Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes
SHADWELL TEAM DISAPPOINTED AS OUQBA JUST MISSES OUT
Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and Richard Hills are leading owner and jockey respectively at Newmarket this season but 5/1 shot Ouqba could not add to their excellent record despite finishing very strongly to be second to Arabian Gleam by a neck.
Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan, indicated that Ouqba is very likely to remain in training next year and said: "I’m disappointed for the horse because he deserved to win and he should have won it but Richard (Hills) held his hands up and said he should have picked up earlier."
Gold added: "But he finished off very well and he’s a cracking little horse."
Ted Durcan, who rode third-placed Donativum for the Godolphin team, said: "He’s run a solid race - he went to win it but levelled out."
Frankie Dettori, rider of beaten 7/2 favourite Ashram, said: "He needs to get his own way and he didn’t get it today."
GOING AFTER THE FIRST RACE
Johnny Murtagh on the 7/1 winner Arabian Gleam, said: "It is beautiful ground with a nice covering of grass."
Richard Hills, jockey of the neck second Ouqba, said: "Nice ground."
Ted Durcan, on the third Donativum, said: "It is lovely quick ground."
Ryan Moore, rider of the fourth Main Aim, reported: "Fast ground."
Richard Hughes, jockey of Asset, described the ground as "Better than yesterday, it is close to perfect."
Frankie Dettori, jockey of Ashram, said: "It is perfect good to firm ground."
Kevin Manning, jockey of Cuis Ghaire, described the ground as "Good fast ground."
Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes
BEETHOVEN BEST AS BALLYDOYLE BOSSES DEWHURST
Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien ran four horses in the Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes, Europe’s top race for two-year-old colts, and saddled the first, second, fourth and 14th.
Beethoven, a rare Ballydoyle booking for champion jockey Ryan Moore, scored by a neck at 33-1 from his 20-1 stablemate Fencing Master - both horses are from the first crop of Coolmore Stud stallion Oratorio who was trained at Ballydoyle. O’Brien, who also had the 4/1 chance Steinbeck who finished fourth under stable jockey Johnny Murtagh, said Beethoven’s next outing will be at Santa Anita’s Breeders’ Cup meeting, where he could run in the Juvenile on Pro-Ride or the Juvenile Turf.
Moore said: "He travelled very well, picked up nicely and was going away at the end. It’s a bit of a surprise.
"To be fair to the horse it was his first time in a visor. He picked up nicely, stayed on and fought hard at the end.
"He was always travelling really well. I had him in behind Kevin Manning's horse and he quickened up really well at the end.
"It shows the strength they have at Ballydoyle in the two-year-old department and how tough it was for Johnny - in horse races anything can happen."
O’Brien said of Beethoven, who was wearing a first-time visor on his tenth run of the season: "He’s very tough this fellow and he’s progressing all the time. He’s been getting better with every run, even though his form figures don’t suggest it - he’s like his dad [first-season sire Oratorio] who was progressive, progressive, progressive.
"During the week Joseph [O’Brien’s son] was riding him and said there’s loads in there, put a visor on him and maybe sharpen him up a bit. Ryan gave him a marvellous ride - we booked him during the week."
Of once-raced Fencing Master, O’Brien said: "He’s a smart horse. We thought he could run a big race and he’s been working well.
"I’m delighted with Steinbeck [who made the early running] - Johnny said in an ideal world he would have liked a lead, but he jumped [from the stalls] and the natural quickness got him there. He got a little tired but you have to be over the moon."
Ballydoyle’s strong hand in the juvenile colts’ division includes another Breeders’ Cup candidate, Alfred Nobel, plus St Nicholas Abbey, who is a possible for the Racing Post Trophy and Jameer.
Beethoven was quoted at 20-1 for next year’s 2000 Guineas by Paddy Power and 25-1 by Skybet.
Moore picks up suspensions
Champion jockey Ryan Moore picked up a two-day whip ban following his victory on Beethoven in the Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes.
The stewards found the rider had used his whip with excessive frequency and without allowing his mount time to respond. They suspended him on Saturday, 31 October and Sunday, 1 November.
Race 2 - Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes - Placed Quotes
XTENSION "HAS A PART TO PLAY" NEXT YEAR
Trainer Clive Cox came agonisingly close to landing the biggest win of his career when Xtension finished third, beaten a neck and a nose, in the Group One Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes.
However, Cox was still thrilled with Xtension, his first horse placed in Group One company, and has his eye firmly set on 2010 for the Xaar colt.
Cox said: "Obviously we would like to have won, but he has run a great race in defeat and I am very happy.
"He has always given the impression that he stays well, and so it has been proved today.
"He just takes a while to warm up in his races and he will be better the further he goes. He has not had a rigorous campaign and fills me with excitement for next year.
"Next year he will be targeted at the Guineas and I think he may even get further in time. He has a part to play.
"He has a wonderful temperament and is a joy to deal with. It is just great for the team at home."
Third race - The Emirates Airline Champion Stakes
CECIL GIVES NEWMARKET FAITHFUL CAUSE FOR CHEER
There could be no more popular winner on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile than one trained by Henry Cecil and particularly when that success comes in the feature race of the day, the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes. The Khalid Abdulla-owned Twice Over rose to the occasion in admirable fashion and sparked a rousing reception as he returned to the winner’s enclosure having provided Cecil with his third Champion Stakes victory and the first since Bosra Sham in 1996. He is now the joint most successful current trainer in the Group One contest along with Barry Hills. Twice Over finished second to New Approach in last year’s Emirates Airline Champion Stakes.
"He needed that and I was a bit worried about the ground today as he likes it a bit softer," said the winning trainer. "It’s lovely for Prince Khalid Abdulla - he’s a very supportive man and he’s been very loyal to me. Jane, my wife, is not here today but if I didn’t have Jane I wouldn’t be here.
"It doesn’t matter how good (horses) are, if they are not enjoying themselves mentally they won’t do it," Cecil added. "I think he’s a better horse than last year, he’s improved with age. He has confidence now and he’s been working really well."
Reacting to the announcement of an objection lodged by the rider of the runner-up, Richard Hills, Cecil said: "I’m not worried. I wouldn’t have objected to that, I’m a sportsman."
Jockey Tom Queally has enjoyed a tremendous season with Group One winners for Michael Bell (Art Connoisseur) and Jeremy Noseda (Fleeting Spirit) but he was particularly thrilled to land the Champion Stakes for his boss Cecil.
"This is something special riding a big winner for Henry - I could hear the cheers as I was coming in," said Queally. "Twice Over hasn’t got home very well in some of his races but we can’t doubt what he’s done in the last furlong there.
"This horse deserves it - he has had so many near misses. Thankfully, the race went well and I got a nice run through. We got his confidence right back up with the last couple of runs and it paid off today.
"Henry could see it in his work in the mornings and he was bullish coming into to the race, even though he was a big price. There were better fancied horses today but Henry obviously saw something that nobody else did
"I just hope next year can be as good again. You need a lot of luck but I’ve had a lot of support from all the team at Warren Place and Henry has stood by me. He’s given me every chance. I got a good kick out of winning this. It’s reward for all those early mornings, watching your weight and long hours in the car. This is what it’s all about, those five seconds after you cross the line. It’s all about confidence and it’s great to be holding my own. As the year’s gone on I’ve been riding better horses. I just want to keep working away."
ONE-DAY BAN FOR QUEALLY
Tom Queally picked up a one-day ban (Saturday, October 31) following his winning ride on Twice Over in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes.
Following an objection by Richard Hills, who finished second on Mawatheeq, the stewards held that Queally had allowed his mount to drift right when not sufficiently clear and cause interference, due to careless riding on his part. However, the stewards also held that Queally’s actions had not improved his position so they did not alter the result.
Emirates Airline Champion Stakes
FAME BUT NOT GLORY FOR IRISH DERBY WINNER
Fame And Glory, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Johnny Murtagh, started favourite for the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, but could do no better than sixth as victory went to Twice Over.
Irish Derby winner Fame And Glory, who later chased home Sea The Stars in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, had his pace-setting stablemate Set Sail in sight during the early stages of the contest, but could not quicken in the final furlong.
Murtagh said: "He got a bit tired, but it’s been a long season. Maybe he might need a little more ease in the ground when racing over a mile and a quarter.
"A half a mile down I was niggling along and I thought maybe he would keep going. He did, but it was only at the one speed."
Fourth race - The totesport Cesarewitch
PIPE DEPUTISES AT FLAT RACING’S HQ AS MAMLOOK GIVES TEAM ANOTHER GOOD DAY OUT
Martin Pipe and Peter Deal are more familiar with the winner’s enclosure at Cheltenham but they were delighted to be filling the runner-up spot at Newmarket courtesy of the tough Mamlook, who attempted to reel in the runaway winner Darley Sun.
"That was fantastic, he did really well. We’re all pleased. Richard (Hughes) gave him a good ride and he stayed on really well," said Martin Pipe, representing his son David.
"He’ll go jumping now but David hasn’t given me my instructions," he joked. "We’ve had some great days out with him. The boss is at Cheltenham so he sent me here."
Pipe, who has won the totesport.com Cesarewitch twice with Heros Fatal and Miss Fara, also saddled Royale Rationale and Raslan, who finished 17th and 27th respectively.
Barney Curley, who trains just a stone’s throw from the Rowley Mile on Newmarket’s Hamilton Road, was responsible for third horse home, the 16/1 shot Sereth.
"I’m very happy with him, he ran well. It was a good effort and I’ve no complaints," said Curley.
Race 3 - Emirates Airline Champion Stakes - Placed Quotes
TREGONING A FRACTION DISAPPOINTED, SARISKA WILL BE BACK NEXT YEAR, GOSDEN DUO RUN OUT OF STAMINA
Mawatheeq went close to giving the combination of owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, trainer Marcus Tregoning and jockey Richard Hills a second Emirates Airline Champion Stakes victory, but although the Danzig colt finished well, he was unable to peg back Twice Over and went down by half a length. Richard Hills lodged an objection, on the basis that Twice Over’s rider Tom Queally had taken his ground, but this was overruled by the stewards.
Trainer Marcus Tregoning, who saddled Nayef to victory in 2001, said: "I am a fraction disappointed as I thought we would win.
"Having said that he has run a cracking race. He just got a bit outpaced and maybe wasn’t suited by the undulating course. I think he may be better over 12 furlongs.
"He was finishing best of all, but the winner had flown by then. He stays in training next year."
Back in third, beaten a further length, was Sariska, winner of both the Epsom and Irish Oaks, and her trainer Michael Bell was happy enough.
The master of Fitzroy House said: "I am chuffed to bits as today wasn’t her trip or her ground.
"She is best with some give in the ground and over 12 furlongs as her victory in the Irish Oaks showed. Conditions have just not been in her favour this autumn.
"I think next year when she races back over 12 furlongs on her ground, she will be hard to beat in any race and we will look at races like the Coronation Cup and King George.
"I am very proud of her."
John Gosden saddled both the fourth Pipedreamer and Virtual, who came home eighth.
He said: "Pipedreamer ran a blinder as 10 furlongs is just a shade too far for him. He won the Cambridgeshire here over nine furlongs and that is his perfect trip. His stamina just ran out today.
"Virtual also ran well. It was an end to end gallop today and his stamina is just stretched over 10 furlongs as well. He was the last horse off the bridle but just doesn’t quite see out the trip."
Race 4 - totesport.com Cesarewitch - Winning Quotes
THE ‘GOOD THING’ COMES GOOD
Darley Sun was the proverbial ‘good thing’ in the £160,000 totesport.com Cesarewitch and unlike many before him, he lived up that billing with an impressive five-length victory to reward those who had supported the 9/2 favourite.
The first three-year-old to score since Spirit Of Love in 1998, Darley Sun came into the race on the back of a second place in the Group Two Doncaster Cup and carrying just 8st 9lb today, minus apprentice Andrea Atzeni’s 3lb allowance, was always travelling well and came with a strong run to overhaul Sereth, while Mamlook stayed on late to take second place.
Successful trainer David Simcock said: "He stays extremely well, that is his greatest asset, and when he saw daylight today he stayed on really well.
"We knew all the positives in our favour today. He has travelled well today and is a good-actioned horse. That was a nice way to finish the season. All I have been thinking about in the last five days is the things that can go wrong.
"While he is not a big or robust horse, he has good wind and will fill out over the winter. He is a very straightforward horse to train.
"Next season he will be aimed at the Cup races with the Ascot Gold Cup as his ultimate target. He will go into those race unpenalised. He stays well, but just has that bit of toe as well. He lengthened today and was not stopping. We have always known that he wants extremes of distance.
"He is a typical young stayer and has progressed with racing and experience. He is a very confident horse now. It is nice to have something to look forward to next year. You need that.
"The jockey is very good - I wanted a jockey who could do the weight. It is massively important. It is our sixth year - the first three years were very quiet and we have progressed in the last three years - we need a high-profile winner like this. We have some horses and hopefully this will take us another step further."
Andrea Atzeni added: "He gave me such a confident feeling all the way today and is such a strong horse. He will be a lovely horse for next year.
"I tried to switch him to the left, but he didn’t want to go, so we went right instead and it has all worked out."
totesport.com Cesarewitch (Heritage Handicap)
PEARCE EYES CESAREWITCH 2010 FOR GAME MARE DAYIA
Newmarket trainer Jeff Pearce has a long-term plan for Dayia, who finished fourth in today’s totesport.com Cesarewitch - the 2010 version.
Pearce said: "I’m absolutely delighted and if we had soft ground, or good to soft, we would have been very close. I doubt we would have beaten the winner [Darley Sun] - I think he’s a Group horse - but we would have been a good second.
"I can’t fault my mare and we’re all delighted. The Racing Post [Spotlight] form guide says she’s never run over two miles, but she’s won bumpers at Huntingdon and Sandown over that trip.
"She won’t go jumping, although we might keep that one up our sleeve. Her owner, Lady Green, will breed from her one day, but we’ll come back here next year and have another go at this race - and might win if it’s soft.
"I’ll look for another race for her this season - she had a long break during the summer because of firm ground."
Pearce has enjoyed a good year with 28 victories on turf and the all-weather, bettering his 2008 total by one, and he said: "We’d like to take Tamagin [a Goodwood Listed winner this season and also second in the Group 2 Diadem Stakes] to Hong Kong for the big sprint if he gets an invitation."
Lotus Evora Rockfel Stakes
LATE SHOW PROVES TOO MUCH FOR ROCKFEL RIVALS
Music Show, a 25-1 outsider ridden by Kieren Fallon, powered through late to capture the Lotus Evora Rockfel Stakes, a performance that was in sharp contrast to an unplaced effort at Ayr last month.
The Mick Channon-trained daughter of Noverre was drawn on the unfancied side on that occasion, but her trainer admitted he could give no specific reason for the defeat. Today’s effort was much sharper, and followed up two earlier victories at Bath.
Channon said: "I don’t know what happened at Ayr but she never ran her race. I don’t know what went wrong.
"It was a worry that she might do the same again, but we never lost faith in her and Tony Culhane [who had ridden her in previous races] said she was a good filly. The point is you want them to do it on the track.
"After she won at Bath we were thinking of the [Electrolux] Cheveley Park Stakes, but that defeat made us take a step back. That might have been a good thing in hindsight, but we know what we’ve got now.
"It’s nice to get lucky for [owner] Jaber Abdullah again which is very pleasing, and while Tony Culhane did nothing wrong on the filly I know what Jaber wants, so we booked Kieren a couple of weeks ago to make sure we got him."
Music Show was given a quote of 20-1 by Paddy Power for next year’s 1000 Guineas.
Fifth race - The Lotus Evora Rockfel Stakes - Placed quotes
BOLGER HAPPY WITH ATASARI, GOLD LOOKING FORWARD TO TABASSUM NEXT YEAR
Jim Bolger looks to have another smart filly on his hands in Atasari, who showed plenty of battling qualities to take second in the Group Two Lotus Evora Rockfel Stakes, beaten a neck by Music Show.
The Irish handler said: "She is improving all the time.
"She wasn’t suited by a mile on heavy ground at the Curragh last time and preferred the ground here today.
"She is a lovely filly with a great temperament and her sire (Whipper) is doing well in his first season."
Angus Gold racing manager to Sheikh Hamdan, owner of 4/6 favourite and third-placed Tabassum, said: "She’s done absolutely nothing wrong at all this year and is a lovely filly to add to our team of Classic hopefuls for next season.
"She’s very small, very tough and all heart."
Manning picks up suspension
Jockey Kevin Manning was given a one-day ban by the stewards after he was found guilty of using his whip with excessive frequency when riding Atsari in the Lotus Evora Rockfel Stakes. Manning will be sidelined on Saturday, 31 October.
In this same race the stewards ordered the winner, Music Show, to be routine tested.
Sixth race - The Pride Stakes
DE ROYER DUPRE HAILS A ‘NEW STAR’ WORTHY OF THE RACE NAMED FOR PRIDE
Christophe Lemaire was still nursing the injured shoulder which forced him to miss the Arc meeting but that didn’t prevent him swooping late with Ashalanda to take the second running of the race named in honour of another top-class filly for whom he was the regular rider.
"I’m a bit sore but it’s not the fracture, it’s the muscles around it but we need to suffer and it was worth it for a filly like that," said Lemaire, who boasts an outstanding record at the Rowley Mile, which includes back-to-back victories in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes aboard Pride and Literato and a Classic win with Natagora in the stanjames.com 1000 Guineas last season.
"I really wanted to get back for the Champions’ meeting so I’m really happy to be here today, just a bit disappointed with Never On Sunday in the big race but the Prince’s (Aga Khan’s) filly was very genuine and I’m very glad to have won today.
"In addition, I’m very, very happy to have won Pride’s race."
Alain de Royer Dupre trained Pride for the race’s sponsors Mr and Mrs Sven Hansson and he also handles the career of Ashalanda for her breeder, the Aga Khan.
He said: "I didn’t want to miss this race because of Pride. Ashalanda has shown she can stay. She’s a long-distance horse and that’s why we came here. She’s very fresh because she’s only run three times - she’s a new star.
"She can run on all sorts of ground, softer ground is probably a bit better."
Pride Stakes - Placed Quotes
FIRST THEN SECOND FOR CAPELLA
Crystal Capella went very close to winning the Group Two Pride Stakes for the second year in succession.
The four-year-old Cape Cross filly looked to have the race in the bag before being worn down by Ashalanda in the final stride, going down by a short-head.
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute said of the 7/4 favourite: "That was a great run.
"She has had a messy year, after injuring herself in her box back in June. She will stay in training next year."
Saphira’s Fire, who was third last year for Willie Muir’s stable, had to be content with that spot once again when ridden for the first time by Hayley Turner - the filly’s regular rider, Martin Dwyer, is suspended.
Muir said: "She’s a Group 1 filly, but she’s been ill all year. Everybody keeps saying she’s an outsider and deserves to be 50/1, but go through her form last year. She won first time out, then took the Pretty Polly without breaking sweat, was injured in the Oaks and then finished third in this race.
"This season she’s been plagued by a virus that has affected all my horses - she’s had everything go wrong with her, including ringworm. She ran quite well in the Lancashire Oaks earlier this summer, and on the way here I said to Hayley, ‘This filly is not a 50/1 chance’. Hayley has just come in and said: "I should have won, and if I’d know the filly I would have done. I was sitting last in a slowly-run race and met every bit of traffic in the race". I said ‘Don’t blame yourself, at least we know we’re back to form’. We could go to Dubai next and we’ll keep the filly in training next year."
Race 7 - Jockey Club Cup - Winning Quotes
AKMAL BRINGS UP 250 AT NEWMARKET FOR JOHN DUNLOP
John Dunlop’s first training success came with Tamino in the 1966 Palace House Stakes and the long-standing Arundel handler celebrated his 250th success at the course when Akmal landed then two-mile Group Three Jockey Club Cup, the concluding event on Champions’ Day.
Partnered by Richard Hills, the 9/4 favourite ran his usual game race from the front and held on well to deny Nehaam by half a length. It was virtually a re-run of the Listed Directa Sign Noel Murless Stakes at Newmarket on October 1, when Akmal defeated Nehaam by three-quarters of a length.
Dunlop, who was greeted by many well-wishers in the winner’s enclosure, commented: "It’s wonderful to reach this landmark at Newmarket, where I trained my first-ever winner, Tamino in the 1966 Palace House Stakes.
"Akmal started humbly this season but loves firm ground, stays well and is very brave. Richard rides him superbly well.
"That is the end of him for this season but we will have to be ambitious with him next year and think about a Cup race."
John Gosden said of second placed, Nehaam, who also runs in the colours of owner Hamdan Al Maktoum: "It’s the Noel Murless Stakes all over again.
"The winner had an easy lead, we got to got him and he went on another half-length so it’s lovely for John (Dunlop) and his 250th winner.
"I am glad we had the 1-2. We were told by Sheikh Hamdan that one of us had to win no matter what so we’ve done that."
GOING FOR CHAMPIONS’ DAY IS GOOD, GOOD TO FIRM IN PLACES
After a dry night in Newmarket the going for Champions’ Day has changed to good, good to firm in places.
Clerk of the Course Michael Prosser said: "We’re racing on a fresh strip of ground today in the home straight, with the stalls set on the stands’ side.
"The going stick reading for that fresh ground in the home straight is 8.0 and on the Beacon Course (Cesarewitch, Jockey Club Cup and Pride Stakes), the reading is 8.3."
He added: "Thankfully, the stiff breeze we had yesterday has dropped and it should drop even more this afternoon. We could even have the odd sunny spell."
POSSIBLE CHAMPIONS’ DAY LANDMARKS
- Frenchman Christophe Lemaire and Richard Hills are the two joint most-successful riders in today’s Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, with two wins each. In today’s race, Lemaire partners Never On Sunday, with Hills taking the ride on Mawatheeq.
- Barry Hills has won the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes more than any other current trainer, registering three victories. He is unrepresented today but either Henry Cecil, who saddlles Twice Over of Sir Michael Stoute, who is represented by Doctor Fremantle, could join him on three winners if they were to train the winner.
- Surprisingly, neither Godolphin nor Aidan O’Brien’s mighty Ballydoyle stable have lifted the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes. Today Godolphin is represented by Campanologist, with O’Brien running Fame And Glory and Set Sail.
- Jim Bolger would become the winning-most current trainer in the Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes if either Chabal or Free Judgement were to succeed. The Irish trainer, who has won the last three renewals of Europe’s premier two-year-old contest, is currently tied on three winners with Andre Fabre and Barry Hills.
- Michael Hills has won the Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes on four previous occasions, making him the most successful current jockey. Today he partners Silver Grecian. Kevin Manning, who has ridden each of the last three winners trained by his father-in-law Jim Bolger, would join Hills on four winners if Chabal were to win.
- Trainer Mark Johnston runs Yes Mr President, Keenes Day and Alanbrooke in today’s totesport.com Cesarewitch. If any of that trio were to succeed, it would make Johnston the winning-most current trainer in the historic handicap following the victories of Spirit Of Love (1998) and Contact Dancer (2004). Currently Johnston is tied with Nicky Henderson on two successes.
- Sir Michael Stoute currently leads the trainers’ championship with earnings of £3,292,853 followed by Aidan O’Brien on £2,600,595, Mark Johnston on £2,515,782, Richard Hannon on £2,497,050 and Saeed bin Suroor on £2,424,158. All stables are represented at Newmarket today and with a record £1,206,000 on offer in prize money, Champions’ Day could well have a significant impact on final standings.
Race 1 - 1.50pm Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes
Main Aim - 11/2 from 13/2 (Coral)
Cuis Ghaire - 4/1 from 5/1 (Ladbrokes & Sky Bet), 4/1 from 11/2 (Coral), 7/2 from 11/2 (totesport)
Race 2 - 2.25pm Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes
Buzzword - 12/1 from 16/1 (totesport)
Dick Turpin - 14/1 from 16/1 (Ladbrokes)
Silver Grecian - 7/1 from 8/1 (Ladbrokes)
Steinbeck - 4/1 from 5/1 (Coral)
Xtension - 6/1 from 7/1 (Sky Bet), 11/2 from 13/2 (totesport)
Race 3 - 3.00pm Emirates Airline Champion Stakes
Doctor Fremantle - 10/1 from 11/1 (Sky Bet)
Barshiba - 33/1 from 66/1 (Sky Bet)
Race 4 - 3.40pm totesport.com Cesarewitch
Fair Along - 12/1 from 16/1 (totesport)
Royal Rationale - 12/1 from 16/1 (totesport)
Race 5 - 4.15pm Lotus Evora Rockfel Stakes
Champagnelifestyle - 7/1 from 9/1 (totesport & Sky Bet)
Distinctive - 9/2 from 5/1 (Coral)
Tabassum - 5/6 from 10/11 (Ladbrokes), 4/5 from 5/6 (Sky Bet)
Race 6 - 4.50pm Pride Stakes
Ave - 15/2 from 17/2 (Sky Bet)
High Heeled - 13/2 from 9/1 (totesport)