Communique back to his best as Masar flops
Trainer Johnston lands fifth Princess of Wales’ Last year’s Derby winner fades away into last place
Communique, an 11-1 shot, gave trainer Mark Johnston a fifth Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes on the opening day of Newmarket’s July Festival yesterday – but Masar, last year’s Derby winner, failed to live up to his star billing, finishing a disappointing last.
Things may have conspired against Masar in the six-runner field because there was not much pace and jockey James Doyle could get no cover, which meant his mount was still pulling well into the straight. But when he needed to pick up there was precious little on offer and there must now be a doubt about his racing future.
Communique, who had won a Group Two at Newmarket earlier in the season, had disappointed in the Coronation Stakes and finished last in the Hardwicke Stakes since but was back to his best here, sitting behind the eventual fourth Dashing Willoughby before passing him two furlongs out and going on to beat Mirage Dancer by 1¾ lengths.
“He was bowling along comfortably behind the leader and it didn’t matter that he wasn’t in front,” Johnston said. “He’s had a couple of goes at Group Ones and come up short, but he’s in that class.”
Hoping that the race would give Masar a confidence-boosting win, trainer Charlie Appleby was as disappointed as anyone. “I hate making excuses,” he said. “But the gallop was not as strong as we’d have liked, he over-raced for half a mile and paid the price.
“What does the future hold? Obviously, we’ll have to discuss that with Sheikh Mohammed, but the work we saw last week was every bit as good as anything he did at three. He’s had two runs and there’s plenty of gas still in him, so maybe going 10 furlongs, so they go a stride quicker, might help him.”
Spanish Mission had been earmarked for the new £1 million race at Belmont on Sept 7 because his owners, Earle Mack and Team Valor, are American, but trainer David Simcock may have a rethink about the St Leger after the colt beat Nayef Road by four lengths in the Bahrain Trophy.
“I don’t think any horse was suited by one [Severance] going 20 lengths clear, but Jamie [Spencer] waited as long as possible on the bridle and he found for him up the hill,” Simcock said.
Ryan Moore’s biggest problem this season is being spoiled for choice and he must wonder what he has to do to get on the right horse when Ballydoyle has more than one runner in a race.
Yesterday, picking the wrong one was perhaps understandable, in a two-year-old race in which they appeared closely matched on paper. Not for the first time this year, Wayne Lordan was the happy recipient of the Moore discard, this time the 11-1 shot Royal Lytham in the Tattersalls July Stakes.
“He had one ear pricked crossing the line,” Lordan said. “That’s a nice way: race lazy, find plenty. I don’t think much bothers him.”
A feature of this summer has been the great form of the William Haggas stable, and he has a strong hand in today’s Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes, with One Master and Beshaayir. When they met at the Curragh it was Beshaayir who came out on top by 2½ lengths, although Haggas pointed out she was the fitter of the pair and was getting 3lb.
One Master has since finished a good third to Lord Glitters in the Queen Anne, while Beshaayir’s powder has been kept dry and the market is probably right in making One Master the favourite. Qabala has not done much wrong at Newmarket, so she could also figure.
The Duchess of Cambridge Stakes boasts two Ascot winners, Daahyeh and Raffle Prize. Daahyeh looked a class act and should be on the mark again.
Class act: Silvestre De Sousa rides Communique (left) to victory in the Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket