International round up

Southern Speed urged to Caulfield Cup success

December Draw's efforts to become the most remarkable horse to have raced at the now defunct Great Leighs track were in tatters after he trailed in last of the 18 runners in the BMW Caulfield Cup in Australia.

December Draw had been a short priced favourite for the Caulfield Cup and hopes had been high that it would be the stepping-stone to success in the Melbourne Cup. Trainer Mark Kavanagh said that December Draw returned from race with a very high heart rate and might have swallowed a clod of dirt. He said that a clearer picture of what went wrong would emerge after a thorough vet check, but that regardless of what this showed up, the horse would now have a break and would not be taking part in the Melbourne Cup.

Winner of the race, Southern Speed, was providing veteran trainer Leon Macdonald with the biggest success of his 36 year career. "It's sensational, it's the one we wanted," he said. "When you go into a race with a good chance and things work right, it's a fantastic feeling."

The Luca Cumani trained Manighar finished best of the British entries, three lengths down in fourth place, while stablemate Drunken Sailor finished seventh in a run that jockey Dwayne Dunn said would set him up nicely for the Melbourne Cup.

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Christophe Soumillon was quick to put the disappointment of the ban and the loss of £50,000 prize money at Ascot behind him by riding Sarah Lynx to victory in yesterday's Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine. The filly, trained in France by John Hammond, came home four lengths clear of last year's winner, Marco Botti's Joshua Tree, becoming the first filly or mare to win the race since Infamy in 1988.

The stats clearly didn’t point to a win, and it came as something of a surprise to Soumillon as well. "The great thing is that she has a good turn of foot. She is really relaxed in the race. This is the third time she's had blinkers on because before she was a bit lazy. So with those on, I saw she was not pulling at all in the race. She got a chance today to do something great, but I didn't suppose her to win this race."


Meanwhile, Campanologist gained the fourth Group 1 success of his career by taking the Gran Premio Jockey Club Italiano in San Siro yesterday. Ridden as he often is by Frankie Dettori, the Godolphin owned six-year-old was following up last month's Group 1 success in Germany. The odds-on favourite won the mile and a half contest by a length or so from German challenger Arrigo with Lord Chaparral in the third.

On the same card was the five furlong Group 3 Premio Omenoni in which Britain was represented by Humidor and Above Limits. George Baker's Humidor has improved steadily through the season, and following a career-best win in a Doncaster listed race last month he was expected to do well. However, neither he nor the David Simcox colt were able to get into the frame as the race went to Stefano Botti’s Dagda Mor for the third successive year.


Just a week ago in Australia all the interest was in Black Caviar as she set out to extend her unbeaten record to 14 races. Victory in the Schillaci Stakes was no surprise. Jockey Luke Nolan brought her through halfway through the five furlong race, and said, "She travelled well was in control race a long way from home."

Trainer Peter Moody said, "It's pure relief to have her back in great shape," whilst at the same time acknowledging the race had been no more than “a leisurely stroll at the end of the day.” Moody confirmed that Black Caviar would have further three races in the current Australian spring before being prepared for a trip to Royal Ascot next year.

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