CLASSY END TO CAMPAIGN
Ian Heitman with his final look at the 2016 crop of juveniles
record in Group One races at Doncaster to six from six (two St Leger wins also). Rivet gave the Dewhurst form a big boost with this win,he could manage only fifth at Newmarket, and showed a liking for a flat track (he also won the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster) and the French 2000 Guineas might be the better option rather than taking on Churchill again at Newmarket.
Earlier on the Racing Post Trophy card, apprentice jockey, Rob Hornby gained the biggest winner of his career when he rode ROSIE BRIAR to victory in the Listed Doncaster Stakes over 6f for Andrew Balding. Sent off a 20/1 chance, Rosie Briar was always close to the pace set by TOMILY and took the lead with a furlong and a half to go and kept on well to win by half a length with NUCLEAR POWER,who also raced prominently in third. COMEDY SCHOOL who went into the race having won his two previous starts was the disappointment of the race, slowly away from the stalls and never travelling with any fluency and well beaten tenth of 11. He is worth another chance to confirm the impression he had created at York in early October.
Newbury also staged a card on October 22nd which featured the Group Three Horris Hill Stakes as their main two-year-old race. The 13 runner field attracted a mix of lightly raced and exposed horses with EXECUTIVE FORCE from theWilliam Haggas yard the 11/4 favourite having finished second in Listed company at Dundalk on his previous start. He had every chance racing up with the pace but weakened out of contention a furlong and a half from the finish and finished 12th. PLEASELETMEWIN who had raced keenly on his previous start at Newmarket over a mile, raced up with the speed throughout and took the lead a furlong and half from the finish and kept on well to beat KINGS GIFT (another to run at Newmarket on his previous start) by two and a quarter lengths with LAW AND ORDER running well to be third. Pleaseletmewin was the second two-year-old to win a pattern race in 2016 for Ralph Beckett and took his record in 2016 to three wins from seven starts.With a rating of 108 following this win, the European Free Handicap at Newmarket in the spring would be the ideal starting point for Pleaseletmewin in 2017.
Although the Haggas team were out of luck with Executive Force, they had the first and second favourites in the Listed Radley Stakes also over 7f later on the Newbury card with GLITTER GIRL going off the 6/4 favourite having finished second on her previous start in Group Three company and CRISTAL FIZZ at 4/1 who was making the jump up to Listed company having won a maiden on her previous start at Ascot. Glitter Girl travelled well in midfield and took the lead with a furlong and a half to go and looked as if she would win entering the final furlong but she couldn’t hold off Cristal Fizz who finished strongly from the rear to take the lead with 75 yards to go and maintain her unbeaten record winning by a neck.Cristal Fizz is certainly going to progress over the winter and should develop into a smart three-year-old.
The final two-year-old Group One races in Europe were held at Saint-Cloud in France on October 30th.The Criterium International over 7f saw nine face the starter with Aidan O’Brien’s PROMISE TO BE TRUE sent off the 15/8 favourite with SOUTH SEAS and THUNDER SNOW next best at 11/4 and 3/1 respectively. The Dewhurst form was given a further boost when Thunder Snow,fourth at Newmarket, ran out a very convincing five length winner from South Seas, sixth in the Dewhurst, readily drawing clear a furlong and a half from the finish and only having to be pushed out by Christophe Soumillon (who was having his first ride for Saeed bin Suroor since 2008) with Promise To Be True a further length and three quarters away in third. Thunder Snow has featured in plenty of the leading two-year-old races this year and run to a consistent level and whilst he has two and a quarter lengths to find with Churchill on the Dewhurst run he won’t be out of place in the 2000 Guineas for which he is a best priced 25/1 chance. The win of Thunder Snow was the first Group One two-year-old success for Saeed bin Suroor since 2010, a rather modest return given the quality of horses that the stable has at their disposal.
The Suroor/Soumillon combination were denied a second Group One win later on the card when BEST SOLUTION went down by a length to Andre Fabre’s WALDGEIST in the Criterium de SaintCloud over a mile and a quarter. Best Solution took the lead from a back to form DOUGLAS MACARTHUR with a furlong and a half to go but couldn’t hold off Waldgeist who took the lead with 100 yards to go. Favourite CAPRI stayed on to grab third from Douglas Macarthur close to the finish but never managed to close enough to challenge for the win.
The 2016 Breeders’ Cup meeting was held at Santa Anita in California on November 4th and 5th and with good European representation in the two turf races for two-year-olds there were high hopes of success. LANCASTER BOMBER was the latest horse to boost the Dewhurst form (second in that race)