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Golden Horde retired as injury curtails racing career

Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde has been retired because of injury.

Trained by Clive Cox, the three-year-old followed up his Royal Ascot success with placed efforts in the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup – as well as being beaten little over a length in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.

He was also a Group Two-winning juvenile in the Richmond Stakes, and finished second in the Middle Park at Newmarket.

“He suffered a tendon issue that proved to be longer term than first realised, so rather than miss a complete season it was with reluctance that it was decided to retire him to stud,” said Cox, in a statement to the PA news agency.

“He was the best horse owned so far by HH Sheikh Sultan Al Deen bin Mohammed bin Salman Al Khalifa, who has been deeply involved with all decisions regarding what is best for the horse.

“We had hoped to finish this season on a high in the Champions Sprint at Ascot last Saturday, but it wasn’t possible.”

Cox had high hopes with him for next year too, until injury intervened.

He added: “It was a premature close to his racing career, and everyone was looking forward to his four-year-old season.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to train some top-class sprinters, most recently Harry Angel, but Golden Horde had all the physical attributes to maintain his progress – plus a wonderful temperament.

“He danced every dance, no matter what the course or ground, and was a model of consistency at the highest level.

“We will all miss having him around, and I hope he will be of interest for the next chapter in his life but greatly look forward to handling his progeny.”

A decision on where he will stand at stud has still to be made.

Cox retains full faith in Nando Parrado

Clive Cox remains optimistic Nando Parrado can develop into 2000 Guineas contender next spring, despite his defeat in Paris on Sunday.

A shock 150-1 winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, the Kodiac colt went on to prove that effort was no fluke when runner-up to American challenger Campanelle in the Prix Morny at Deauville.

Nando Parrado was an odds-on favourite to claim Group One honours as he stepped up to seven furlongs for last weekend’s Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, but was beaten eight lengths into second place by Sealiway, in a race run in very testing ground.

Nando Parrado shot to prominence at Royal Ascot
Nando Parrado shot to prominence at Royal Ascot (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

Cox said: “Nando has come back from France well.

“It was very extreme conditions that we ran in. The winner obviously relished it and it was softer than we’d ever encountered before, but he’s come back fine and we still know we’ve got a proper horse to look forward to next year.

“We’ll put him away now and I very much hope that (2000 Guineas) will be the target.

“It was his first try over seven furlongs the other day and it was a little bit inconclusive with underfoot conditions as bad as they were and I’m sure he’ll stay a bit further next year.”

The Lambourn handler has enjoyed another excellent season with his two-year-olds, with the star of the show being Supremacy following his top-level win in last month’s Middle Park Stakes.

Cox added: “Supremacy has finished for the season, but we couldn’t be more pleased with his efforts and results this year.

“He’s put in some seriously top-class performances and it was great for him to sign off with a Group One.”

Isabella Giles may return to Newmarket for Fillies’ Mile

Rockfel Stakes winner Isabella Giles is among 16 two-year-old fillies left in at the confirmation stage for the Group One bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

Clive Cox’s talented youngster took the Group Two Rockfel in good style by two lengths from Nazuna, following a seven-length romp in the Group Three Prestige Stakes at Goodwood on her first try at seven furlongs.

John Gosden has left in Indigo Girl, who took her unbeaten record to two with an emphatic victory in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster. The Newmarket trainer also has Newmarket novice scorer Monsoon Moon in the mix on Friday.

Shale, winner of the Moyglare Stud Stakes, has stood her ground. Donnacha O’Brien’s charge has won two of her three meetings with his brother Joseph’s Pretty Gorgeous. She also remains but is declared for the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Their father Aidan has Divinely, High Heels, Monday, Mother Earth, Santa Barbara and Snowfall.

David Loughnane has supplemented Tranchee in the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes, for which there were 16 acceptors following the confirmation stage.

The four-year-old gelding would be taking a hike up in grade, after winning a handicap at Doncaster on his latest start.

Limato could bid to win the Group Two for a third time after being successful in 2017 and 2018. Henry Candy’s evergreen eight-year-old was runner-up 12months ago.

Other possibles include D’bai, Duke Of Hazzard, Glorious Journey, Molatham, Foxtrot Lady and Daahyeh.

Nando expected to relish Parisian mud

Clive Cox reports Nando Parrado in fine form as he heads to the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp.

The Kodiac colt was a shock 150-1 winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, and his Lambourn trainer is full of hope for a big run with the ground in his favour on Sunday.

“I’m very pleased, because he is in excellent form, and it gives me confidence knowing that he will handle the conditions – that is a great plus, given the weather forecast,” said Cox.

“He has enjoyed a tremendous season already, with winning the Coventry and being second in the Morny. This a race that we are pleased to be stepping up to seven furlongs in.”

Mick Channon’s Cairn Gorm, who was eighth in the Morny, is the other British raider in a six-strong field.

“I was very pleased with him in the Morny, because it was very testing ground,” said Channon.

“He ran a nice race, but was clearly doing his best work in the closing stages – which is why we are stepping up to the seven on Sunday.

“I think his pedigree would suggest this will bring more out of him, especially on the dam’s side. He has had a good time between his races.“

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Fev Rover carries plenty of confidence in the Prix Marcel Boussac.

A Group Two winner at Deauville on her latest start, the Richard Fahey-trained filly is owned by Nick Bradley Racing 43 And Partner.

Bradley said: “She’s in serious form at home.

“I spoke to Richard (Fahey) on Friday morning, and she’s a lot more professional than when Ben (Curtis) last rode her at Sandown.

“We are drawn eight – which looks a good draw, bearing in mind (likely favourite) Pretty Gorgeous is drawn 14.”

Jean-Claude Rouget admits being surprised by Tawkeel, who bids to take her perfect record to six out of six in the Prix de l’Opera.

“She doesn’t share that characteristic that has bedevilled other members of the same family that I’ve trained, in the sense that they’ve made flying starts to their career – which they haven’t backed up,” he said.

“She, on the contrary, has done nothing but progress – and each time, she has astonished me. In the Opera, we will be seeking to maintain her unbeaten record.”

James Fanshawe’s Audarya caused an upset in the Group One Prix Jean Romanet on soft ground, but her trainer cannot be sure she will handle conditions at the weekend.

“It was very holding ground when she won the Romanet at Deauville,” said Fanshawe.

“I don’t think anyone can really judge how a horse is going to go on this ground until they get on it, though – because heavy ground at different courses always varies.

“She’s in good form. She obviously goes well on soft ground – whether she goes on what it will be, we’ll see on Sunday.”

John Quinn has no concerns about the ground for Safe Voyage in the Prix de la Foret.

The seven-year-old is the oldest horse in the field, but arrives in Paris on the back of winning a pair of Group Two contests.

“He is in great form,” said Quinn.

“Jason (Hart) knows him and rides him very well, so we are hoping he’ll run well and hope he can win.

“Soft ground is fine for him.”

Safe Voyage was fourth 12 months ago to the William Haggas-trained One Master, who goes for a third win in the race, while Andre Fabre’s Earthlight is among the strong opposition.

Nando Parrado all set for Lagardere

Clive Cox will aim to continue an excellent season with his juveniles when Nando Parrado runs in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp.

Cox had been considering a run in the Dewhurst with the shock Coventry Stakes winner, but the prospect of soft ground in Paris on Sunday has helped to make the decision for him.

As well as the Coventry Stakes, Cox has won the Middle Park and Richmond with Supremacy this season and the Rockfel with Isabella Giles.

“With the (wet) forecast, he’s actually going to travel to France on Sunday for the Lagardere,” Cox told Sky Sports Racing.

“He did a really good job winning the Coventry, and at that stage we were intent on looking further with him, and he then finished second in the Morny.

“The prospect of easy ground has lured us that way – and I’m very much looking forward to it, because he’s in excellent form.”

Cox was encouraged by Nando Parrado’s performance at Deauville last month.

“He was drawn next to a filly (Campanelle, the winner) in the Morny and was in the stalls a long time,” he added.

“Christophe Soumillon rode him and wanted to keep on the rail – quite rightly, he’s a world-class jockey and knew where he wanted to go – (and) it was a very pleasing run.

“The extra furlong will be really interesting, and I’m convinced it will be well up his street. We think and awful lot of him. He’s got a lot of class.

“We’ve got an amazing group of two-year-olds, one to dream about. I was very concerned at the beginning of the season when we weren’t sure when we’d resume – so I’m so pleased it’s all worked out.”

Supremacy too good for Middle Park rivals

Supremacy led his rivals a merry dance and held off Lucky Vega to win the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Clive Cox’s youngster had impressed in the Richmond Stakes last time out, but the quality of the race was so deep that Supremacy was sent off a 13-2 chance.

Given a strong wind at the track, Adam Kirby employed the same prominent tactics as he had done when winning the Rockfel Stakes on stablemate Isabella Giles 24 hours earlier and Supremacy was never really headed.

His task was made slightly easier by halfway when Frankie Dettori’s saddle slipped on the keen-going Method and he had to call it a day before the race began in earnest.

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Shane Foley was eager not to give the leader too much rope on favourite Lucky Vega, but Minzaal was dropped right out at the back and ended up making up plenty of ground into third.

Supremacy was not for catching, though, prevailing by half a length, with Minzaal beaten a further two and a quarter lengths.

“It was superb. I’m overjoyed. He has been amazing really. From the Richmond, I think he has continued developing and strengthening all the time,” said Cox.

“He is a complete speedball and likes to get on with it. Adam has ridden him beautifully and got the fractions right. I’m just delighted the way he has finished off.

“I’m really excited about him next year, as he has got more development and strengthening to do over the winter. He is just pure class.

“I don’t think we will be stretching beyond six. I don’t think we need to when he shows gears like that. That is precisely what we will be concentrating on and polishing what we have got.

“(This year’s Commonwealth Cup winner) Golden Horde had a little bit more size and scope at this stage of his career and was second in this race. He is another very good horse, but most importantly they are both talented.

“He has got that speed and that is what he likes to get on and do. We realised at Goodwood it was certainly not the wrong way to ride him. I’m just very happy how it has all panned out.

“I wouldn’t have thought he was overlooked, but some people obviously thought it – people have short memories.

“We’ve had a tremendous season, especially with the two-year-old crop as they have been amazing.

“Any winner is special, but that feeling of standing on that stand, even though there wasn’t a huge crowd around us, it was still extremely satisfying.

“We had a wonderful Royal Ascot as well and it has been a wonderful year for us, in spite of the shenanigans.”

Isabella Giles is emphatic Rockfel winner

Isabella Giles continued her progression with a decisive victory in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

Successful on her first two starts at Leicester and Newbury respectively, Clive Cox’s filly came up a little short when bidding to complete the hat-trick – finishing fourth in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot.

However, a step up to seven furlongs for the first time saw her claim Group Three honours in impressive style in last month’s Prestige Stakes at Goodwood – and she was an 11-5 chance stepping up to Group Two level on the Rowley Mile.

Aidan O’Brien’s even-money favourite Monday was sent to the front from the off by Ryan Moore, but it was clear from the halfway stage that she was struggling – and Isabella Giles took over the lead with relative ease in the hands of Adam Kirby.

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The result was scarcely in doubt from that point, with the daughter of Belardo finishing strongly to prevail by two lengths from Nazuna.

Cox said: “It was on better ground today, and more rain wouldn’t have been a concern.

“She put up a very classy performance and has got a wonderful temperament. She settles into a lovely rhythm and she can find her own way in a race.

“She doesn’t have to lead, but she is so relaxed that finding a rhythm and setting your own fractions worked perfectly. Adam got his fractions right, and she made a good job of it.

“I think she is definitely a filly to get a mile next year, which is really exciting. I’m delighted for Clare and Paul Rooney to have such an exciting possibility as a Classic contender. I’m over the moon.”

Isabella Giles after her latest victory
Isabella Giles after her latest victory (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The Lambourn-based trainer confirmed a return to Newmarket for the Fillies’ Mile as an option.

He added: “She is very well balanced. She has won at the track. She is a filly that has a little bit of scope, that is well balanced and has got a wonderful mind and clearly a big level of ability.

“She is in the Fillies’ Mile, but she has done pretty good this year. She wouldn’t have blown a candle out there, but we will see how she comes back.

“It was a ‘win and you’re in’ race for the Breeders’ Cup, but I’m not sure. Next year beckons over a mile, and I think we will be looking that way.”

Roger Varian was delighted with the performance of the runner-up Nazuna.

He said: “She is a lovely filly, and we were not here just to make up the numbers. I really like this filly and I’m delighted she has run up to our expectations.

“Andrea (Atzeni) thinks she will stay a mile, and there are lots of nice options – there’s the Oh So Sharp Stakes back here in a couple of weeks or there is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf, which is a race we were second in with Daahyeh last year after winning this.”

Cobh on upward curve for Royal Lodge bid

Clive Cox is encouraged by Cobh’s progress on and off the track as the improving juvenile moves up to Group company for the first time in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket.

Cobh has twice run in Listed company so far, finishing second in the Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot to Richard Hannon’s Chindit before taking Salisbury’s Stonehenge Stakes.

He takes a significant step up in class in Saturday’s Group Two, over a mile.

Cox said: “He was an impressive winner of the Stonehenge at Salisbury, clearly getting the mile well.

“He’s a big, scopey individual who has continued to physically develop with his progression on the race track.

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“We’re really looking forward to him stepping up to Group Two level.”

Among the opposition is Ralph Beckett’s New Mandate, who heads to the Rowley Mile off the back of two successive wins.

The gelded son of New Bay shed his maiden tag at Sandown, before going on to win the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster two weeks ago.

“Both New Mandate and the jockey (Frankie Dettori) were impressive at Doncaster to go through a tight gap and win the Flying Scotsman,” said Beckett.

“He was the only horse to come up that far rail and win all meeting.”

New Mandate is set to run over a mile for the first time, having so far been campaigned over seven furlongs, but Beckett has no doubts about the suitability of the trip.

“I’m really looking forward to the Royal Lodge, and the mile will be no problem,” he said.

“He is out of an Authorized mare and is by New Bay, so he should handle some juice in the ground.

“He was a nightmare early on – that is why we gelded him back in January. He is a good work horse, and that is why we took the jump into Listed class on a mark of 89 last time.”

Mark Johnston’s Acomb Stakes winner Gear Up is also in the line-up, having won his first two starts.

Aidan O’Brien is represented by Ontario, the only runner with existing Group Two form having been beaten a length when third in the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh last month.

Roger Charlton’s Pleasant Man makes up the field of five in what will be just his second racecourse appearance, after winning on his debut at Haydock at the start of this month.

Giles aiming to graduate to Group Two level in Rockfel date

Clive Cox is looking for Isabella Giles to continue on an upward curve in the Group Two Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

The two-year-old was last seen winning the Group Three Prestige Stakes at Goodwood, where she finished seven lengths ahead of Charlie Hills’ Prado in testing conditions.

That was a third win in four starts for the daughter of Belardo, having also prevailed in her first two racecourse appearances at Leicester and Newbury.

“She was a very impressive winner in the Prestige,” Cox said.

“I was happy to see that Newmarket got some decent rainfall last night.

“She’s in excellent form and we very much hope that she can continue her progression, all being well.”

Prior to Goodwood, Isabella Giles was fourth in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot, suffering her only defeat to date when beaten a length and a half by David Loughnane’s Santosha.

The two fillies clash again on Friday, with Santosha also declared for the Rockfel and Thomas Greatrex due to take the ride.

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Loughnane is hoping his charge can bounce back from a disappointing effort when a distant eighth behind Miss Amulet in the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York.

“We’re always hopeful for a big run, she’s a lovely filly,” he said.

“I think the race has probably come about four or five days too soon – in an ideal world I’d prefer it if it was later.

“She’s had a nice little freshen up after the Lowther, she looks great and she’s done really well after a little break. We’ll roll the dice and take our chance.”

Loughnane has no reservations about the step up in distance, with the filly tackling the seven-furlong trip for the first time after being campaigned exclusively over six furlongs so far.

“We’ve always felt she was going to be a stronger filly over seven,” he said.

“That was always the plan throughout the year – we’ve been working up to seven all season.”

Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista sets the standard in the Group Three Princess Royal Muhaarar Stakes.

An impressive winner of the Upavon Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury on her penultimate start, the daughter of Frankel was last seen beating all bar the brilliant Love in the Yorkshire Oaks, having since missed the Park Hill at Doncaster.

Alpinista is one of four three-year-olds in a six-strong line-up, along with the John Gosden-trained Franconia, Sir Michael Stoute’s Katara and Queen Daenerys from Roger Varian’s yard.

The two older fillies in contention are the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Faith – winner of a Listed race in France last week – and Ralph Beckett’s Antonia De Vega, who has not been seen in competitive action since landing a Listed prize at Pontefract in June.

A 17-strong field go to post for the Listed Tasleet British EBF Rosemary Stakes.

Leading contenders include the long-absent Ummalnar from the Haggas yard, Andrew Balding’s Bounce The Blues and Richard Hannon’s Cloak Of Spirits.

The latter kicked off the campaign with a runner-up finish behind Love in the 1000 Guineas, but has failed to better that performance in four subsequent outings.

“Cloak Of Spirits is in good form. She was a little bit disappointing at Doncaster last time out (fifth in Sceptre Stakes), but I think this race will be nice for her as it is a drop down to Listed level,” said Hannon.

“She has been second in a Guineas and placed two other times at Group-race level – she has run good races.

“It is a little bit disappointing she hasn’t won yet this year, so it would be good if she could take advantage in a Listed race like this.

“It gives you a little bit more confidence that she has run well here before as well.”

Listed honours are also up for grabs in the Eqtidaar Godolphin Stakes, which features a trio of Godolphin runners in Charlie Appleby’s pair of Loxley and Walton Street and Saeed bin Suroor’s Volcanic Sky.

Laafy (Stoute), Aloe Vera (Beckett) and Golden Pass (Hugo Palmer) are the other hopefuls.

Minzaal and Supremacy poised for Middle Park clash

Minzaal and Supremacy are on course for a mouthwatering clash in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Since finishing a promising fourth on his Ascot debut in late July, the Owen Burrows-trained Minzaal has shed his maiden tag at Salisbury and run out a thoroughly impressive winner of the Gimcrack Stakes at York.

Connections are looking forward to testing his powers at Group One level this weekend.

Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said on Monday morning: “That (Middle Park) is the plan for Minzaal.

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“Owen has been very happy with him since York. I’m sure he has another bit of work to do later in the week, but provided that goes well, hopefully we’ll see him on Saturday.”

Clive Cox has confirmed both Supremacy and Nando Parrado for the six-furlong contest.

Supremacy was last seen dominating his rivals in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, while Nando Parrado proved his 150-1 victory in the Coventry at Royal Ascot was no fluke by filling the runner-up spot in the Prix Morny at Deauville last month.

Supremacy is set to represent Clive Cox
Supremacy is set to represent Clive Cox (Mark Cranham/PA)

With ground conditions on the Rowley Mile on the quick side of good, Cox is favouring running Supremacy this weekend, with Nando Parrado potentially waiting for the seven-furlong Dewhurst Stakes next month.

Speaking on Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast, Cox said: “Nando Parrado would appreciate a drop of rain. We’re very keen at some stage to step him up to seven furlongs, but we’ll be keep the option open – if the ground did ease significantly, then we’ve got that base covered.

“We’ve left him in, but he probably won’t be declared if it doesn’t rain. He’s going to stay another furlong and probably even a mile next year – he’s a very exciting prospect.

“Supremacy is a proven horse on top of the ground. He was a very impressive winner of the Richmond, he’s in good form and he would be our chosen runner on Saturday, all being well.

Method adds further strength in depth
Method adds further strength in depth (Francesca Altoft/PA)

“We did think about the Gimcrack (at York last month), but he didn’t scope perfectly. It was a minor issue – everything is fine now. He’s a lovely horse with a lot of speed.”

Martyn Meade’s unbeaten colt Method is also among the 10 colts confirmed, as are Michael Bell’s Norfolk Stakes winner The Lir Jet and the Queen’s Windsor Castle and and July Stakes victor Tactical, trained by Andrew Balding.

Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Lipizzaner and St Mark’s Basilica, Jessica Harrington’s Lucky Vega and John Murphy’s Charterhouse are possible challengers from Ireland.