Tag Archive for: bahrain trophy

Fergie time in Bahrain as Spirit Dancer storms home

Spirit Dancer quickened up impressively to give owner and breeder Sir Alex Ferguson a famous victory in the Bahrain International Trophy.

The former Manchester United manager already had a special place in his affections for the Richard Fahey-trained six-year-old, having sent the unraced dam Queen’s Dream to Frankel.

While he has taken time to reach his full potential, this summer saw him win three in a row, including the Group Three Strensall Stakes at York, which booked his ticket for this contest, worth £500,000 to the winner.

Spirit Dancer was not among the favourites due to the class of the opposition, which included Charlie Appleby’s Grade One winner Nations Pride, Saeed bin Suroor’s 2022 Queen Anne runner-up Real World, Israr for the Gosdens and Aidan O’Brien’s Point Lonsdale.

All the main protagonists had their chance but none had an answer to Spirit Dancer, who when Oisin Orr unleashed him down the outside put the race to bed in a matter of strides.

Ferguson was understandably delighted, telling Racing TV: “That is the best ever, without doubt. Against all the pedigrees and form of all the other horses – that’s fantastic, I couldn’t believe it.

“Richard said to leave it to the jockey, he’ll be all right.

“I was terrified looking at all the other people involved in this race. Godolphin had five horses in it. That was great, I’m so proud.

“I said to the jockey ‘remember, he’s a Frankel’.”

Orr said: “I got a lovely sit the whole race and I always felt I had plenty of horse underneath me. I couldn’t believe how well he quickened in the straight, he’s won well.

“He had good form coming here, maybe he just needed his last run a little but he’s come back to his best today.”

Sir Alex Ferguson is presented with the Bahrain International Trophy
Sir Alex Ferguson is presented with the Bahrain International Trophy (Bahrain Turf Club)

A delighted Fahey said: “This race has been the plan for some time, but to win it is a lovely surprise considering the quality of the opposition.

“Our stay in Bahrain has been brilliant, both Sir Alex (Ferguson) and Ged (Mason) have been incredibly well looked after and we have enjoyed every minute.

“Realistically we didn’t think we would win, but Spirit Dancer and Oisin pulled it out of the fire and in the end he won well.”

Castle Way firmly in Leger picture following Newmarket victory

Castle Way emerged as a serious St Leger prospect as he held off the late lunge of odds-on favourite Tower Of London to land the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket.

Not seen since winning a Listed race over 10 furlongs at the Guineas meeting, Palace Pier’s half-brother was stepping up markedly in trip to a mile and five furlongs.

William Buick sat in second on the Charlie Appleby-trained inner, as rank outsider Think First set a sedate gallop under Neil Callan, meaning several in behind were very keen.

Tower Of London was particularly not one of those, but while it did look like he wanted to go a little quicker, Ryan Moore was still sat close enough to the pace if good enough.

As the race began in earnest Saint George moved up on his outside which allowed Castle Way to steal a march.

When Think First dropped away Tower Of London was in the clear with plenty of time to catch the 9-2 scorer, but Moore lost his stick over a furlong from home, which will not have helped.

The favourite was gaining with every stride, but went down by a head with Saint George not far away in third.

Castle Way was cut to 7-1 from 25s by Paddy Power for the Leger, and Doncaster will be on the agenda, according to Appleby.

Appleby said: “We’re delighted. He’s a horse who hasn’t done a lot wrong in his career, really. His only real blip was at Epsom on soft ground.

“We came in here today confident this step up in trip would suit him. There was a question mark, as there always is when you are going beyond that mile -and-a-half category.

“It was a great ride by William. We went out there to ride him as though the trip wasn’t an issue and as William said, for a trip just short of a mile and six, we went very steady. It did turn turn into a bit of a sprint. At one stage I thought, ‘oh, we’ve committed now and you’ll have to find again’, but to be fair to the horse, he dug deep.”

Asked if he was thinking of the Leger in the long term, Appleby added: “Most definitely. We will probably go down the natural route there to the Voltigeur and then hopefully that will springboard us into being a St Leger contender, anyway.

“We haven’t had a run since May. For no other reason that I dodged Ascot for King Of Steel to be perfectly honest – I couldn’t see us beating him – and then the next target was here.

“We kept an eye on the Grand Prix de Paris, but we would have to ship there and he hasn’t done that before, and it is a small but competitive race. On our doorstep, we thought we would come here and test our stamina before we go travelling.”

2022 Newmarket July Festival Trends – Day One, Thursday 7th July

The three-day 2022 Newmarket July Meeting gets started on Thursday (7th July) and runs till Saturday (9th July) - with LIVE ITV races each day we’ve got everything covered from a trends and stats angle. As always, we are on hand to take you through each of the LIVE races from a trends angle – use these to narrow down the runners and pinpoint the best profiles of past winners of the race.

Newmarket July Meeting - Day One, Thursday 7th July 2022


1.50 - Bahrain Trophy (Group 3) Cl1 1m5f ITV

20/20 – Had 2 or more previous runs that season
17/20 – Failed to win last time out
16/20 – Never run on the Newmarket July Course before
12/20 – Ran at Royal Ascot last time out
12/20 – Had won over 1m2f (or further) before
12/20 – Favourites placed in the top three
12/20 – Won at 3/1 or shorter
10/20 – Finished fifth or worse in their previous race
6/20 – Winning favourites
4/20 – Trained by John Gosden (inc 4 of last 11 runnings)
3/20 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori
2/20 – Ridden by William Buick
2/20 – Winners that came from stall 1


2.25 – Close Brothers July Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 6f ITV

19/20 – Had won over 5 or 6f previously
18/20 – Placed in their last run
17/20 – Had 2 or more previous career starts
15/20 – Won by either a Feb or March foal
12/20 – Won their last race
11/20 – Won at 9/2 or shorter
10/20 – Ran at Royal Ascot in their last race
10/20 – Unplaced favourites
7/20 – Trained by the Richard Hannon yard (9 wins in total)
6/20 – Winning favourites
2/20 – Ridden by Paul Hanagan
1/20 – Winners that came from stall 1
Frankie Dettori has ridden 5 winners in the race


3.00 – Bet Boost At Bet365 Handicap Cl2 6f ITV

16/16 – Had won no more than 3 times before
14/16 – Didn’t win last time out
14/16 – Raced in the last 4 weeks
14/16 – Had won over 6f before
13/16 – Returned 9/1 or bigger in the betting
13/16 – Carried 8-12 or less
13/16 – Winning distance – 1 length or less
12/16 – Had 3 or 4 previous runs that season
12/16 – Came from a double-figure stall
11/16 – Unplaced favourites
8/16 – Finished unplaced last time out
4/16 – Trained by Andrew Balding
4/16 – Ridden by David Probert
0/16 – Winning favourites


3.35 - Princess Of Wales´s Close Brothers Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 1m4f ITV

18/20 – Aged 4 or older (4 year-olds have won 11 of last 14)
18/20 – Previously won over at least 1m4f
16/20 – Had 2 or more runs that season
16/20 – Winners from stall 5 or lower
14/20 – Won at 8/1 or shorter in the betting
14/20 – Won a Group 1 or 2 race before
14/20 – Unplaced in their previous race
11/20 – Favourites that were placed
10/20 – Ran at Royal Ascot in their previous race
5/20 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute (won it 9 times in total)
5/20 – Won by trainer Mark Johnston
4/20 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
Godolphin have won 3 of the last 8 runnings