The day started with a fine performance from both Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori in the Long Distance Cup. With John Gosdens star stayer proving himself without doubt a top class stayer in winning all five of his races this season, and a great ride from Frankie sneaking up the rail as they turned for home. Fair play to connections for running him when they clearly had big fears with regard the ground and the horse once again delivered the goods. Our non-account advise Sir Erec ran well in 3rd and if kept in training next year could well be a force in the staying events, he ran very well for one so inexperienced.
The Champion Sprint was a strange one with an unusually slow early gallop which left the hold up horses with no chance. That said a fine front running performance from Sands of Mali. A result that perhaps sums up the sprint division this year, where we’ve had a different winner of pretty much all the top sprint races, good competitive racing without a standout sprinting star. Our interest in Tasleet and Librisa Breeze didn’t see much of a run having been help up off the slow pace, which was much the same for any of the hold up horses here.
The Fillies and Mares race was a cracker with Frankie and Lah Ti Dah sent off a short priced Fav and to their credit they ran very well, but weren’t able to match the finishing kick of Magical who having ran well in the Arc just 2 weeks ago backed that up with a really good performance. Our only winner on the day, but a nice price returning at 5/1, having been bigger when advised. A mentioned for Coronet also ran a fine race staying on into 2d past the Fav.
Roll on the QE2, although for us unfortunately Addeybb lost his race in the stalls beforehand, which is a pity as when you consider how easily he’d beaten Stormy Antarctic at Sandown who finished 4th here, then fortunes could well have been very different. But again a massive display from one of the John Gosden stars in Roaring Lion. Stepping back from 10 furlongs and on softer ground than he’d ever race on, he showed guts, determination and class to prevail in a close finish with I Can Fly and Century Dream. Ever since he didn’t quite get home in the Derby Roaring Lion has proven himself to be a top class colt with 4 group 1 victories on the bounce.
The Champion Stakes is very much well named this year as it was last year. Quite simply when encountering a soft surface Cracksman is a CHAMPION. His performance last year was scintillating and having had his doubters when not running up to scratch on quick ground this season, he well and truly showed his class again. An awesome display and turn of foot when asked to stretch in the home straight to win by 6 lengths and with Frankie saluting the crowd inside the final 100 yards or so. Breathtaking.
The Balmoral Handicap closing proceedings was a s ever a hugely competitive with perhaps a few hard luck stories as is the case with these big fields, but if he hadn’t got up Sharja Bridge could easily have been on of those, as he didn’t get the clearest of runs and did very well to finishing strongly and land the spoils close home. One of those that got away, as we’ve been with him for the majority of the season, but in this case just preferred the chances of Argentello who ran really well and may just have been inconvenienced by racing on the wide outside with no cover, along with Hathal who himself found loads of trouble in running and as a result couldn’t get involved.