Tag Archive for: Callum Shepherd

Shepherd sweet on Injazati after clear-cut Newbury verdict

Callum Shepherd predicted a bright future for Injazati having partnered Charlie Fellowes’ colt to a smooth success in the valuable Dubai Duty Free Handicap at Newbury.

Winning for the third time in succession, this victory came off a mark of 91 and was achieved with relatively little fuss by two lengths.

Always handy, Shepherd kicked on a good two furlongs from home but never looked in any danger of being caught.

Sam Cooke got closest, while the returning King Leonidas made a nice comeback in third, but they were two lengths away.

“I had no real orders other than to let him jump and find a pitch and I was happy to let him bowl along,” said Shepherd.

“This isn’t a straight he’s encountered before, what with the width of the track and the crowd and things, and he just started to drift towards the rail but he really stuck his neck out and tried.

“I was very impressed. It was my first time riding him and I wouldn’t mind riding him again.

“I think he’s going to be a very good four-year-old. He’s got size and scope and despite signs of rawness, he still finished to good effect.”

Roger Varian’s Dubai Poet ran away with the first division of the Sir David Sieff Novice Stakes.

Fourth on debut at the track last month, he was sent off the 5-6 favourite and pulled five and a half lengths clear.

Unibet introduced him at 40-1 for next year’s Guineas and 50-1 for the Derby.

Dubai Poet was an impressive winner for Roger Varian
Dubai Poet was an impressive winner for Roger Varian (Steve Paston/PA)

Andrea Atzeni was on board and said: “We’ve always thought quite a bit of him. His first run was solid when he finished fourth here and the race is starting to work out.

“He got away with seven furlongs but he probably wants a mile. It was straightforward, he came off the bridle early enough but the further he went, the better he felt. It wouldn’t surprise me if this could be it for him this year.”

The second division went the way of Andrew Balding’s Koy Koy (8-11 favourite) who scooted in by six and a half lengths under champion jockey Oisin Murphy.

Balding said: “He’d run well last time but is improving with racing, he was still a bit raw.

“He’ll be a nice horse next year. It’s probably it for this year now, but we’ll see how he is and see what races are around.”

Jockey coach John Reid was full of praise for 7lb apprentice Mohammed Tabti who looked very polished in guiding Paul and Oliver Cole’s Ivatheengine (15-2) to victory in the Heatherwold Stud Handicap.

“He came over from France, where he had about 50 rides, just over a year ago,” said Reid.

“He doesn’t speak much English, so if he wants to get more outside rides he’ll have to pick up the language, but he’s very tidy.

“I think he’s got a big future, this will do him the world of good, winning at Newbury on a big day.”

Save A Forest makes no mistake at Newmarket

Save A Forest took advantage of a sizeable drop in class to win the British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes at Newmarket.

Fourth behind Snowfall in the Oaks at Epsom, albeit beaten 19 lengths, Save A Forest was sent off at 13-2 in the Listed contest.

It looked a wide-open affair on paper with Derby winner Masar’s half-sister Sayyida and Frankel’s sister Chiasma in the field, as the Classic generation took on their elders.

Roger Varian had reached for first-time cheekpieces on Save A Forest and they clearly made a difference.

Sayyida and James Doyle hit the front a furlong out, taking over from Portfolio, but Callum Shepherd timed his challenge perfectly.

The pair drifted over to the fair rail, and Save A Forest dug in gamely to beat the 13-8 favourite by half a length. Portfolio stayed on again for third, a further neck away.

Tim Gredley, who owns the filly with his father, Bill, said: “We are kind of ready at the start now as we know she is sleepy and that is why we put the cheekpieces on.

“Callum knows how to ride her and she just keeps on going and going. I wasn’t worried as I was expecting her to be like that at the start.

“I said it the other day kind of flippantly, but she does remind of Big Orange as she has got that kind of gameness about her.

“She physically looks like him, but her running style is very different. She is just very hardy and relentless the way she gallops.

“She started on the all-weather and she was very weak back then, but we thought she would get better once we went on.”

An immediate return to Group One company could be on the cards for Save A Forest, who holds entries in both the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York on August 19 and the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster on September 11.

Gredley went on: “We like to swing the bat at big races, but will speak to Roger. However, she is not ground dependent.

“We will have a look at what is about. If anything she will be going up in trip as I think she needs a bit further to see her at her best.

“She will be around next season as well. She is here to race and we will enjoy her.

“Honestly I think she will be better next year once she has had a break and muscled up a bit. She is winning these races off guts and grit at the moment.”

As for runner-up Sayyida, her trainer Charlie Appleby is considering sending the daughter of Dubawi over to France on her next start.

He said: “It is her first time in a black0type race and she has gone and run a credible race.

“We know the winner is well thought of having finished fourth in an Oaks. Running up in second behind her we are pleased.

“It is a step in the right direction and she is now a black-type placed filly. I’d be confident she will be up to winning a race like this.

“James (Doyle) said she will be better with more juice in the ground so we will probably venture to France now and see if we can do some pot hunting there.”