Hot shortens for Guineas
Too Darn Hot put his uneaten record on the line in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday and though giving his supporters a few anxious moments in the seven-furlong contest, he ultimately came home an emphatic winner, his odds for next year’s 2,000 Guineas shortening to 7-4.
The son of Dubawi, appearing just three days after his yearling brother made 3,500,000 guineas at Tattersalls, looked in a spot of bother as Frankie Dettori asked for extra with two furlongs to run but he soon hit top gear and quickened away from his field, coming home two and three quarter lengths clear of Advertise, with Anthony Van Dyck a further length and a quarter away in third.
Too Darn Hot’s victory for owner-breeders Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber (Watership Down Stud) gave Dar Re Mi her first Group 1 success as a broodmare and will also please Qatar Racing, now owner of a full brother to a top-level winner.
Andre Fabre’s runners at Newmarket should never be ignored and the master French trainer hit the bullseye when Persian King got the better of Magna Grecia in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes (1m).
Sent off the 6-5f, Persian King travelled beautifully through the race but was made to work hard by the runner-up, with only a neck separating the pair at the line.
This was the third victory in a row for the son of Kingman, who could come back to HQ for the Guineas in May.
Aidan O’Brien may have been out of luck in the main juvenile contests but he enjoyed a good start to the day when Norway (Galileo-Love Me True) – a full brother to Derby hero Ruler Of The World – recorded a decisive success in the Listed Zetland Stakes (1m2f).
The closing Group 3 Darley Stakes (1m1f) fell to Fastnet Rock’s son Euginio, who was produced with a late charge by Hayley Turner to collar Forest Ranger near the line.
Atzeni at the double
British-trained runners enjoyed a superb afternoon at Woodbine in Canada on Saturday when dominating both Grade 1 events on the card.
It paid to be held up in the Canadian International (1m4f, turf) as former UK-based jockey Adam Beschizza set quick fractions on the ex-Dermot Weld-trained Bandua.
David Menuisier’s stable star Thundering Blue, partnered by Fran Berry, made stealthy headway to make his challenge in the straight but on his outside, Desert Encounter and Andrea Atzeni were also making headway.
As the race developed into a duel, it was Desert Encounter (Halling) who proved too strong to score by a length for the David Simcock stable.
Atzeni made it a Grade 1 double when pouncing late on the Roger Varian-trained Sheikha Reika in the EP Taylor Stakes (1m2f, turf) for fillies and mares.
The daughter of Shamardal clearly enjoys decent ground and the ten-furlong trip, as she showed when running away with the Listed John Musker Fillies’ Stakes at Yarmouth last month, and had enough in the tank to repel Golden Legend by three quarters of a length.
Mark Johnston sent Nyaleti over to Keeneland for the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup for three-year-old fillies (1m1f, turf) and the daughter of Arch acquitted herself well to finish third, while being no match for winner Rushing Fall.
The Chad Brown-trained Rushing Fall, a daughter of More Than Ready, took the Juvenile Fillies Turf at last year’s Breeders Cup at Del Mar and will no doubt be bound for this year’s Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs after a ready success under Javier Castellano.
The Autumn Sun’s rapid ascent towards superstardom continued at Caulfield on Saturday when the son of Redoute’s Choice captured the Caulfield Guineas (1m) to go alongside last month’s success in the Golden Rose Stakes.
His victory came just a few days after John Messara of Arrowfield Stud moved to secure a 50% stake in the colt, securing him to stand alongside his sire when his racing career is over.
Posted three wide for the majority of the race, The Autumn Sun was guided to take the lead from Native Soldier under jockey James McDonald before finding another gear to win by an impressive four and a half lengths from 100-1 outsider Vassilator and Oohood.
The three-year-old now has three Group 1 wins from six starts. For McDonald, this was a first Group 1 victory since returning from an 18-month disqualification for a betting offence in 2015.
Benbatl warmed up for a meeting with Winx in the Cox Plate by registering a short-head victory in the Ladbrokes Stakes for Saeed Bin Suroor and Pat Cosgrave.
In a thrilling finish to the contest, Benbatl repelled the challenge of the Charlie Appleby-trained Blair House and James Doyle – the first two both owned by Godolphin – to register a third Group 1 triumph.
Darren Weir was responsible for taking out the other two Group 1s on the Caulfield card on Saturday, and it was Amphitrite who got the ball rolling when flying home late on to win the Thousand Guineas (1m).
The daughter of Sebring has gone from winning a Sale maiden to landing a top-level race in a matter of five weeks. She defeated Fundamentalist by a head with a further one and quarter lengths back to Seabrook in third.
Weir’s Group 1 double came when Land Of Plenty overcame a wide draw to become his fourth winner of the Toorak Handicap (1m).
Damian Lane was aboard the son of Stratum and he combined with Weir to record back-to-back victories in the contest having won with Japanese import Tosen Stardom in 2017.
Redzel conquers Everest (again)
Redzel made it back-to-back wins in The Everest (6f), the world’s richest turf race worth A$13 million, when making every yard of the running under Kerrin McEvoy.
Breaking well from the inside draw, the result never looked in doubt, with McEvoy controlling the race on the Snitzel gelding and keeping enough up his sleeve to record an easy success over Trapeze Artist for the training team of Peter and Paul Snowden.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained US Navy Flag broke slowly under Ryan Moore and could never mount a serious challenge, eventually finishing ninth of the 12 runners in a contest with a first prize of £3.78 million.
Almond Eye a new superstar
Japan has a new superstar filly to celebrate after Almond Eye completed the Japanese Fillies Triple Crown, using her trademark acceleration to take the Shuka Sho at Kyoto on Sunday.
That success added to her earlier victories in the Japanese 1,000 Guineas (Oka Sho) and the Oaks (Yushun Himba), in the process becoming the fifth filly to complete the JRA Triple Crown and the first since Gentildonna in 2012.