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Bayside Boy floors hotpot Reach For The Moon at Doncaster

Bayside Boy just edged out hot favourite Reach For The Moon in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Reach For The Moon, who is owned by the Queen, was all the rage for the seven-furlong contest after winning the Solario Stakes last time out – but with just four runners it turned into something of a tactical affair.

Frankie Dettori set out to make all on the 8-13 market leader, with main rival Lusail settled on his heels and the eventual winner sitting last of four through the first four furlongs.

Reach For The Moon started winding up the pace with three furlongs to run, with Lusail soon beaten, leaving Twilight Jet and Bayside Boy to challenge on either side.

Bayside Boy (5-1) took a while to hit his top gear but he really got rolling in the final half-furlong, eventually prevailing by a head for trainer Roger Varian and jockey David Egan.

The winning rider said: “I thought when I hit the front at Newbury (last time when finishing second) he was inexperienced and had a look at the stands.

“I planned to follow Frankie and not go too soon. Mr Varian has been so good to me throughout my career and he’s an exciting horse going forward.”

Paddy Power make Bayside Boy a 7-2 chance from 6-1 for the Dewhurst and 14s from 33s for the Guineas, with Varian eyeing the Newmarket contest on October 9 for the New Bay colt.

Bayside Boy (left) leads from Reach For The Moon
Bayside Boy (left) leads from Reach For The Moon (Mike Egerton/PA)

Varian said: “He looked good when he won his novice at Newbury and probably showed his lack of experience when he was worried out of it back at Newbury in a Listed.

“I’m pleased with that today, he showed he’d learned from Newbury and really stuck his head out – he was tough when he needed to be.

“David said he handled the ground and should go on most grounds. Until we need the ground as an excuse we won’t use it!

“He’s quite a neat horse, he’s not a giant. He looks a miler and saw the trip out well today. He’ll be a miler next year.

“I’m delighted for connections, he showed that same turn of foot he did first time out.

“We’d like to run him again but it depends on how he comes out of this, he is in all the big races, though, and you’d have to be thinking of something like the Dewhurst.”

John Gosden felt conditions were against Reach For The Moon
John Gosden felt conditions were against Reach For The Moon (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

John Gosden, who trains Reach For The Moon in partnership with his son Thady, felt the conditions had gone against his charge.

He said: “The jockey said he wasn’t in love with the ground, he wasn’t travelling on it like he normally does.

“It’s gone a bit dead, it’s drying out after last night’s rain and trying to make all into a headwind was just a bit much.

“Better ground, better horse is all I can say.

“Frankie knew he was in trouble from a long way out because of the ground.

“He could run again, there are some nice races left at Newmarket and we’ll see what the ground is like.”

Reach For The Moon ready to test potential against Lusail

Reach For The Moon bids to confirm his top-level potential with victory in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Runner-up on his racecourse debut at Yarmouth in the spring, the Sea The Stars colt came close to providing the Queen with a Royal Ascot winner in June when pushing star Irish juvenile Point Lonsdale close in the Chesham Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s youngster has since impressed in winning a novice event at Newbury and the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown – and jockey Frankie Dettori is excited to see the colt test his powers at Group Two level on Saturday.

“In the last two races he hardly saw a horse, so this is the first big test,” said the Italian.

“We’re building him up, he’s getting more experience and he’s done nothing wrong so far.

“This horse is a work in progress at the moment. We’re keeping him busy. We feel the more experience he gets, the better he gets.

“Saturday will be another key point. I’ve got plenty of confidence in him. He’s exciting, and Her Majesty is our biggest asset in racing.”

The Queen looks on at Reach For The Moon after his run at Royal Ascot
The Queen looks on at Reach For The Moon after his run at Royal Ascot (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Reach For The Moon is already prominent in ante-post lists for next year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby, but Dettori is not looking that far ahead at this stage.

He added: “Everybody is thinking about next year – I’m thinking one race at a time. Let’s get Saturday out of the way, and then progress.

“All the boxes are ticked, and everything is going in the right direction.

“After the Solario, myself and John felt the experience of racing is doing him good – and that is why we are getting him out.

“To have a colt of this calibre for the Queen is exciting. She saw the horse at Ascot. She comes to the yard a couple of times a year, and we are so lucky to have the Queen support the sport.”

Thady Gosden is similarly keen to get this weekend’s assignment out of the way before considering a potential Classic campaign in 2022.

He said: “He’s progressed nicely. He ran a good race at Ascot, he progressed in a novice and he won well at Sandown in the Solario.

“He goes to Doncaster in good form. It’s a very competitive race – there’s Lusail in there, who has plenty of speed and won the Gimcrack.

“It’s a long way away from the Derby at the moment – but he’s heading in the right direction, so hopefully he progresses.”

The biggest threat to Reach For The Moon appears to be the Richard Hannon-trained Lusail, who has already enjoyed two big-race victories this summer – Newmarket’s July Stakes and the Gimcrack at York.

“It looks a very good race and it always is,” said Hannon.

“Because it’s towards the end of the year it’s the clash of giants. I’m very happy with my horse. He’s won a Gimcrack, won a July Stakes – you don’t do that unless you’re a very good horse.

“It would obviously be easier without a penalty, but he carried a penalty in the Gimcrack and dealt with that no problem. He’s a big, strong horse and he will carry a big weight.

“He’s not just a two-year-old. I’ve always known he’d get seven furlongs, and maybe further. He’s a Guineas horse for next year, and you might even see some improvement at seven.

“Reach For The Moon looked a very good horse when he won the Solario. Our horse has done it twice at Group Two level now. He probably is the one to beat, but it’s a good race and very competitive.”

Bayside Boy remains an exciting prospect
Bayside Boy remains an exciting prospect (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Roger Varian’s Bayside Boy looked a high-class juvenile when making a winning start to his career at Newbury, since when he has been narrowly beaten by Masekela in the Listed Denford Stakes at the Berkshire circuit.

Varian said: “It’s a strong race, but we’re keen to give it a go.

“He’s in good order and should run very well.

“I think there’s more improvement to come from him.”

The field is completed by Michael O’Callaghan’s Irish raider Twilight Jet.

Reach For The Moon on course for Champagne Stakes

Reach For The Moon headlines 11 contenders for the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Owned by the Queen and trained by John and Thady Gosden, Reach For The Moon narrowly failed to give Her Majesty a Royal Ascot victory when beaten just half a length by Point Lonsdale in the Chesham Stakes.

The Sea The Stars colt went on to land a Newbury maiden before registering a deeply impressive success in the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown last time out.

He faces another stiff test in Saturday’s Group Two heat, though, with the Richard Hannon-trained Lusail seeking a hat-trick at this level after lifting the July Stakes at Newmarket and then adding to his tally in the Gimcrack at York last month.

Dubawi Legend disappointed slightly on the Knavesmire when only third in the Acomb at the Ebor meeting, but he could be given another shot at Group race glory by Hugo Palmer in this seven-furlong contest.

Connections have Friday’s Cazoo Flying Scotsman Stakes as a potential alternative, however.

Palmer said: “I left him in the Champagne, and he’s in the Flying Scotsman as well, so we’ll just have to see.

“He appreciates fast ground and he’s a course-and-distance winner.

“The Champagne is a firm option, and so is the Listed race on the Friday.”

Native Trail is a leading contender for the Champagne Stakes
Native Trail is a leading contender for the Champagne Stakes (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Native Trail is unbeaten in two for Charlie Appleby – while Eldrickjones has been running with credit, if not successful as yet, in some competitive heats for Roger Fell.

Bayside Boy, Great Max, Maritime Wings, Masekela and Zechariah also remain in the mix – with Twilight Jet a supplementary entry for Michael O’Callaghan after finishing third in the Gimcrack.

Later on the card, Danyah could make his first start in Group Two company in the Cazoo Park Stakes.

Danyah may move up in class at Doncaster
Danyah may move up in class at Doncaster (Nigel French/PA)

Owen Burrows’ charge was due to contest the Hungerford at Newbury last month before being declared a non-runner, but he could now try to transition from handicap company after a fine effort in winning the International at Ascot.

Appleby is double-handed at this stage, with D’Bai and Glorious Journey, while Aidan O’Brien has both Horoscope and Khartoum among the nine possibles.

Richard Hannon’s popular eight-year-old Oh This Is Us, Laneqash, Rhoscolyn and Rhythm Master complete the potential line-up.