Posts

Dakota Gold completes hat-trick with Wentworth Stakes romp

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.

Your first 30 days for just £1

“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.”

Chamade (second right) and Richard Kingscote on their way to victory in the Betfair Exchange British EBF Gillies Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster
Chamade (second right) and Richard Kingscote on their way to victory in the Betfair Exchange British EBF Gillies Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster (Tim Goode/PA)

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.”

Dakota completes quickfire double with Rous strike

Dakota Gold claimed his second big-race success in the space of five days with a dominant display in the rearranged Rous Stakes at Nottingham.

Winner of the five-furlong Listed contest at Ascot last season, the six-year-old was declared to defend his crown in Berkshire earlier this month, only for the meeting to be called off due to a waterlogged track.

As fate would have it, Ascot’s abandonment worked in Dakota Gold’s favour, as both the Rous Stakes and the Bengough Stakes were saved from the same fixture and the Michael Dods-trained sprinter has ended up winning both.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Having claimed a first win at Group Three level in the rescheduled Bengough at York last Saturday, the gelded son of Equiano was the 7-4 favourite to give weight and a beating to his rivals in Listed company.

Soon bowling in front under his regular partner Connor Beasley, Dakota Gold completely outclassed his rivals, coming home three and a half lengths clear of Aljady.

Dods said: “That soft ground helps him and five furlongs suits him, so he could really force it today. Over six furlongs, like at York the other day, you have to sort of steady him, but over five you just go.

“I thought he was quite impressive really. He’s a very tough horse and Connor gets on well with him.”

The Darlington-based trainer decided against a shot at Group One glory with his charge in the Prix de l’Abbaye earlier this month, but hopes he might be able to make his mark at the highest level in 2021.

He added: “He has his restrictions as my wife Carole has to load him, so it would have been a bit awkward to take him to France with all the travel restrictions and everything. That is what put us off, but he’s certainly not getting slower with age – he’s improving.

“I’m not sure if he’ll run again this year, I’ll have to discuss it with the owners. He’s had a great season, so even if we don’t run him again this year, we can look forward to next year with him.

“The ground is the key to him. He ran on faster ground earlier in the year and he’s just not the same horse, but his natural speed on soft ground just burns horses off, without actually being pushed to do it.”

Dakota Gold shines once again at York

Dakota Gold landed the first Group Three race of his career with a pillar-to-post success in the rearranged Coral Bengough Stakes at York.

Saved over from last weekend’s waterlogged Ascot card, Michael Dods’ consistent sprinter never saw another rival in registering a fifth win on the Knavesmire.

While the six-year-old has not been as prolific this year as last, when he won the Great St Wilfrid, two big handicaps and a Listed race at York as well as a Listed race at Ascot, he is back in great form again now.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Connor Beasley bounced him out of the stalls and he proved his versatility by seeing out the six-furlong trip in testing ground very stoutly.

James Fanshawe’s veteran The Tin Man had travelled noticeably strongly throughout, but briefly had nowhere to go when Dakota Gold quickened and when he eventually got in the clear it was too late, with a length and three-quarters the winning margin for the 13-8 favourite.

“It was a plus when Stormy Girl came out (non runner), that was the only front-runner I could see in the race. It meant that he could dictate, get a breather and go from there,” said Dods.

“Connor gave him a good ride and he just loves it here, I couldn’t tell you why. It’s a good flat track, the best track in the country. He’s never run a bad race here and Connor gets on well with him.

“It’s just played into our hands a bit, we had him in the two races at Ascot, went for the Rous (which he won last year) and it was abandoned. As soon as they moved the Group Three race to here then it was the obvious race to go for, especially with the conditions the way they are.”

There is also a chance Dakota Gold could be back out as quickly as Wednesday in the Rous Stakes, which will now be at Nottingham.

“I’m not ruling it out (running again), I’ll monitor it. There’s only the Listed race at Doncaster at the end of the season, coming into November, I think there’s a possibility we could go for next Wednesday and then call it a day for this season,” said Dods.