Tri­umphant but poignant vic­tory

Sunday Sun - - Racing -

Donjuan Tri­umphant rid­den by James Doyle (left) wins the Marathon­bet Sports­book Bri­tish EBF Gil­lies Fil­lies’ Stakes race dur­ing Marathon­bet November Hand­i­cap Day at Don­caster DONJUAN Tri­umphant de­liv­ered a poignant vic­tory at Don­caster as Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha’s colours re­turned to the win­ner’s en­clo­sure for the first time since the Leicester City chair­man’s death.

Trainer Andrew Bald­ing spoke with ev­i­dent emo­tion, re­flect­ing on Donjuan Tri­umphant’s suc­cess in the Listed Marathon­bet Official Global Part­ner Of Manch­ester City Wentworth Stakes.

The five-year-old, hugely con­sis­tent at up to Group One level but with­out a pre­vi­ous win this sea­son, saved the best un­til last on this fi­nal day of the Flat turf cal­en­dar as he stayed on best un­der James Doyle.

The well-backed 2-1 favourite was only the third do­mes­tic run­ner for King Power Rac­ing since his owner’s death two weeks ago, af­ter the he­li­copter crash which claimed his life and those of four oth­ers as it left Leicester’s Premier League match at home to Burnley.

King Power’s Hero Hero had fin­ished sec­ond for Bald­ing on his de­but in a maiden race lit­tle more than an hour ear­lier – but Donjuan Tri­umphant made no mis­take, beat­ing Hey Jonesy by a head in the six fur­long con­test.

The trainer was solemn as he con­sid­ered the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing vic­tory.

“It puts horse rac­ing and the triv­i­al­ity of other things in life into per­spec­tive,” he said. “It was a huge loss not just to his fam­ily and fam­i­lies of other peo­ple in­volved in the crash, but to the whole King Power fam­ily.

Leicester City owner and mem­ber of King Power Rac­ing Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha was killed two weeks ago

“He was a tremen­dous guy, as has been well recorded and re­ported, and will be sadly missed.”

Bald­ing was full of praise for Donjuan Tri­umphant too. “He re­ally loves this (soft) ground,” he added. “The punters thought he had a re­ally good chance to­day, and he’s just so tough.”

Com­pany As­set had made it a home­com­ing to re­mem­ber for Kevin Ryan’s sta­ble with her em­phatic vic­tory in the Listed Marathon­bet Sports­book Bri­tish EBF Gil­lies Fil­lies’ Stakes.

The five-year-old was well on top at the fin­ish, scor­ing by two-and-a-quar­ter lengths at 16-1 un­der Kevin Stott, with Shenanigans back in sec­ond.

Adam Ryan, son of and as­sis­tant to the trainer, was all smiles as he re­flected on the good life back in York­shire af­ter trav­el­ling to the Breed­ers’ Cup last week­end to watch the sta­ble star East fin­ish run­ner-up to the bril­liant News­pa­p­er­ofrecord in the Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf.

“When I landed back here, it was ab­so­lutely pour­ing down – there’s not much dif­fer­ence re­ally, is there?” said Ryan, re­call­ing last week’s storms in Ken­tucky.

“It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence there, and the filly ran great. What more can you ask for?”

Com­pany As­set, with­out a win in four pre­vi­ous runs this year but a Listed run­ner-up at Saint-Cloud last Oc­to­ber, may be on her trav­els again soon af­ter this win.

“She’s trav­elled beau­ti­fully through the race, and quick­ened up lovely,” added Ryan. “On that ground at this time of year, she just seems to thrive. She did last year, and she’s done it again. She was dif­fer­ent class. She was placed in Listed com­pany in France last year. There’s one for her now – a Group Three in France.

There was a no­table suc­cess in the open­ing Marathon­bet Sup­ports Re­spon­si­ble Gam­bling Ap­pren­tice Hand­i­cap when 19-year-old Cieren Fal­lon, son of six-time cham­pion Kieren, struck on board Lady Freyja.

It was a fourth win from just 27 rides for the 19-year-old.

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