G3 honours for Best Solution and Nebo as Flat season concludes at Newbury
The 10th running of Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday brought the curtain down on the 2017 Flat season at Newbury Racecourse.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the raceday, all runners carrying the Number 10 wore specially designed number cloths for the eight-race card to mark the occasion. Newbury Racecourse welcomed current serving members of the Armed Forces and members of the Royal British Legion and also hosted the launch of the 2017 Poppy Appeal for Berkshire and Vale of White Horse with a crowd of 7,300 turning up for the occasion.
The official going for the eight-race card was Soft.
The feature event of the day, the £60,000 G3 Worthington’s “Indigo Leisure” Stakes (2.15pm), went the way ofBest Solution in the famous blue silks of Godolphin.
The 6/1 chance, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Pat Cosgrave, tracked the other Godolphin runner Frontiersman (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle, 9/2 Fav) and travelled well throughout the mile and a half contest. The three-year-old Kodiac colt went into the lead wellover a furlong from home as Frontiersman began to fade and never looked in any serious danger as he drew steadily clear.
Raheen House (Brian Meehan/Jamie Spencer, 5/1) stayed on to take second, a length and three-quarters behind the winner with Danehill Kodiac (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey, 11/1) taking third, another length and a half in arrears. The winning time was 2m 40.68s.
Tommy Burns, travelling manager for Godolphin, said: “Best Solution is a solid Group race performer.
“He didn’t like the ground when he ran in the Derby earlier in the season and the ground also went against him last time in Germany.
“The soft ground today is what he likes. That will be it in Europe for him I would imagine and he will be going out to Dubai for the winter.”
Winning jockey Pat Cosgrave added: “Best Solution won a Derby trial earlier in the season (the Listed Lingfield Derby Trial) and then ran in the Derby. The Derby is obviously always a very tough race and the ground went against him, it was too quick.
“He has been campaigned at a high level this season and is a grand horse to have around. The ground is the key to him – he loved the conditions today.”
The second G3 contest on Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday was the £40,000 Bathwick Tyres Stakes (2.50pm), staged over seven furlongs for two-year-olds. This contest went to 4/1 chance Nebo, who gained a deserved success after four placings in G2 company during 2017.
Partnered by Frankie Dettori, the Kodiac colt was delivered to challenge entering the final furlong and passed the long-time leader Mythical Magic (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle, 2/1 Fav) and then Tangled (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey, 15/2) to go on and win by half a length in 1m 27.87s.
Winning trainer Charlie Hills said: “He handles this ground and I thought it was a masterclass ride from Frankie. He got a good lead from the Godolphin (Mythical Magic) and Richard Hannon (Tangled) horses.
“He has been placed in four G2 races this year and has been so consistent. He will have a break now and we will look at bringing him back in the Greenham and then go down the Commonwealth Cup route.”
Julie Martin, who owns Nebo along with her husband David, added: “I think he is going to be amazing next year. He was well-bought by Jill Lamb and after lots of seconds this year, it is fantastic to have won a nice race with him.”
Rest of the card
1.10pm Conundrum EBF Fillies’ Novice Race (Division 1) 1m
The opening contest, division one of the Conundrum EBF Fillies’ Novice Race, went the way of 6/1 chance Red Starlight, who stepped up on her second outing to score in authoritative fashion.
The two-year-old Pivotal filly, racing in the colours of Cheveley Park Stud, travelled well under jockey Sean Levey and went into the lead entering the final quarter mile. She faced a challenge from 2/1 favourite Expensive Liaison (Hugo Palmer/James Doyle) but was always doing enough and scored by a length.
Winning trainer Richard Hannon said: “That was a very nice performance and she is a lovely filly. She was big and weak earlier in the year and has taken time. Being by Pivotal, she enjoyed the ground today.
“I will have to speak to Chris Richardson (managing director of Cheveley Park Stud) about the future as she is catalogued for the sales on Tuesday.
“She has done it well today and when you when a maiden at Newbury, you are going the right way.”
1.40pm Sir Gerald Whent Memorial Nursery 6f
Airshow finally got off the mark when taking the Sir Gerald Whent Memorial nursery in the hands of Kieran O’Neill.
The two-year-old son of Showcasing stayed on well to overhaul leader Prestbury Park (Mark Johnston/James Doyle, 7/2 jt Fav) inside the final half-furlong and stayed on well to hold offthe late challenge of Mr Top Hat (David Evans/Adam Kirby, 9/2) to score by a length and a half. The winner was returned at 11/1 and was making his eighth start.
A delighted Rod Millman, the winning trainer, said: “I never thought he would take this long to break his maiden as he was an early type who we considered running in the Brocklesbury.
“Everything went right for him today. He got a good ride and was well-handicapped.
“It is a nice way to finish the season and he will have a break now. We will give him a flu jab next week and then he will have a couple of weeks in the paddock. We will look at bringing him back in the new year on the All-Weather.
“It’s been a good year – I think that’s our 33rd winner of the last 12 months and I would say I have my best group of horses in the 29 years I have trained.
“I have great staff and am lucky to be in a job I enjoy doing. There are some nice horses to look forward to next year.”
3.20pm Worthington’s Alzheimer’s Society Handicap 1m 2f
Century Dream handed Frankie Dettori a 13/1 double when taking the Worthington’s Alzheimer’s Society Handicap in impressive fashion.
The three-year-old Cape Cross colt, returned the 13/8 favourite, was held up at the rear of the field before making stealthy progress two furlongs out. He took the lead entering the final half-furlong and stayed on strongly to pass the post a length and a quarter to the good over Abdon (Sir Michael Stoute/Georgia Cox, 12/1).
Winning trainer Simon Crisford said: “I am very pleased, that is the fourth win of the year for Century Dream. He has run with credit all year and we were keen to try 10 furlongs today. We know now he gets the trip and that opens up options for the future.
“I don’t have any idea yet as to what we will do with him next year. We will see how he develops over the winter. Hopefully, he should develop physically and come back a stronger horse next year to have a fruitful four-year-old career.”
3.55pm Bathwick Tyres Stakes (Listed Race) 7f
Two-year-old filly Hikmaa may have only cost 10,000 guineas earlier this year at the breeze-up sales but has done connections proud and gained a first Listed success in the £30,000 Bathwick Tyres Stakes over seven furlongs.
Partnered by Adam Beschizza, the daughter of Roderic O’Connor took up the running entering the final furlong and stayed on gamely to see off Shepherd Market (Clive Cox//Adam Kirby, 10/1) by three-quarters of a length.
Winning trainer Ed Vaughan said: “I am absolutely delighted. She is not the biggest but is very game and gutsy.
“She only cost 10 thousand, was fourth in the Rockfel and has now won a Listed race. Being not very big, you could not be totally sure she will train on and so we could look and see if there is anything in France for her before the end of the year.
“She only has small feet so you would think she wants top of the ground but she handles anything.
“Next year, we would have to look at starting her off in the Nell Gwynn or Fred Darling and there is also the All-Weather Championships to look at.”
4.30pm Conundrum EBF Fillies’ Novice Race 1m
Frankie Dettori ended the day with a 33.5/1 treble when two-year-old filly Highgarden, returned the 13/8 favourite, landed the second division of the mile Conundrum EBF Fillies’ Novice Race.
Trained by John Gosden, the Nathaniel filly was making her debut. Sent to the front, she took command and scored by a decisive two and a quarter lengths from Spirit Of Appin (Brian Meehan/Jamie Spencer, 16/1).
Hugo Lascelles, whose wife Joanna part owns Highgarden, said: “That was a very nice debut. She is a nice looking filly from a good family and John has been pleased with her work at home.
“She is one from one and we will now put her away and look forward to next year.”
5.05pm Worthington’s “Victoria Club” Lady Jockeys’ Handicap 1m 4f
The final race of Newbury’s Flat season, the Worthington’s “Victoria Club” Lady Jockeys’ Handicap, went to the Qatar Racing-ownedBybrook, who scored by half-a-length in the hands of Emily Easterby for trainer David Simcock. She was returned at 5/1.
Jump racing returns to Newbury on Thursday, November 9, with the highlight of Newbury’s Jump season, the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival, following on Friday and Saturday, December 1 and 2.