Dakota Gold recorded a third successive victory with an explosive performance from the front in the Listed Betfair Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster.
Michael Dods’ gelding has enjoyed a stellar run of form, taking both the re-routed Group Three Bengough Stakes at York and the Listed Rous Stakes at Nottingham on his last two starts.
The six-year-old was last to enter the stalls and first to exit them as he shot to the head of the field to establish a lead he maintained throughout, holding off 20-1 shot Aberama Gold by three-quarters of a length – with Zim Baby a further length and a quarter back in third, at 40-1.
Paul Mulrennan took the ride from usual jockey Connor Beasley, who is otherwise engaged in Dubai, partnering Dakota Gold for the first time – with detailed instructions from his usual pilot.
“He’s a grand old horse – he’s been a real warrior this year,” Mulrennan said of the 4-1 winner.
“He wears his heart on his sleeve. Unfortunately for Connor Beasley, he’s away in Dubai, but it’s his ride.
“Connor sent me a message last night and gave me the instructions, told me how to ride him – and I’ve done exactly that.
“He’s very tough, he loves that ground. It’s a great performance, carrying that penalty, and obviously he’s done nothing but improve all year. He’s a lovely old horse.”
Dods praised Dakota Gold’s tenacity at the end of a busy and fruitful season.
“They were coming to him. But he’s dug deep, he’s dug very deep – and he’s done it well.”
“That’s it, he’s finished for the season now, so we’ll look forward to next year.
“He’s had a tough season. We nearly finished him after his last run but we decided to wait, because of the soft ground, for today.
“He’s getting better – I really think he’s improving. I think he’ll definitely be looking at more Group races next season.”
Ralph Beckett’s Chamade returned to form to take the Listed Betfair Exchange British EBF Gillies Fillies’ Stakes, under a front-running ride from Richard Kingscote.
The three-year-old outran odds of 12-1 to see off stablemate Trefoil (7-1) and William Haggas’ Ice Sprite (6-1) by three-quarters of a length and a head.
After a career-best victory in a Goodwood handicap two starts ago, Chamade employed the same tactics and made much of the running to return to the winner’s enclosure – having finished sixth at York last time out.
Kingscote explained he was following the trainer’s instructions.
“Mr Beckett just said be positive and make it from the front if you can,” he said.
“Both her decent wins now have come from the front, both here and Goodwood. She showed a very good attitude and deserves to win a nice race.
“She was in a lovely rhythm.
“I was pretty happy with the way she was going, and she didn’t stop – so it was a really tough performance in what aren’t easy conditions.
“It’s deep ground, but you wouldn’t expect anything else at this time of year. She’s done her job.”