Tag Archive for: Emily Upjohn

Emily Upjohn does everything asked of her in Epsom spin

John Gosden expressed his satisfaction after seeing his red-hot Oaks favourite Emily Upjohn tackle the undulations of Epsom for the first time during the Cazoo Derby Gallops Morning.

The daughter of Sea The Stars is odds-on with some bookmakers for next week’s fillies’ Classic having won each of her three starts to date, with a novice win at Wolverhampton on her sole juvenile start followed by spectacular displays at Sandown and in the Musidora Stakes at York.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori in her Monday workout, Emily Upjohn quickened smartly to leave her lead horse trailing in her wake and Gosden, who trains in partnership with son Thady, was pleased with what he saw.

“Frankie felt for a filly who has had three races in her life it would be nice to come here and just have a look at the track and a feel of the track,” said the Clarehaven handler.

“She behaved great, moved very well, got her leads right coming down the hill and quickened up nicely.

“You can see by her size and frame that she’s filled out well, as you would expect from a good ‘doer’.

“She’s shown the ability to quicken in the Musidora and at Wolverhampton last year. I think she has a change of gear, for sure.”

Gosden, who will be bidding a fourth Oaks success following the previous triumphs of Taghrooda (2014), Enable (2017) and Anapurna (2019), is set to have a major second string to his bow in this year’s renewal in the form of Nashwa.

The Frankel filly has been seriously impressive in winning at Haydock and Newbury this spring and will bid to provide jockey Hollie Doyle with a first Classic.

Gosden added: “This filly (Emily Upjohn) is guaranteed to get the mile and a half, but that’s not the case with Nashwa – they are different types of filly.

John Gosden watches on at Epsom
John Gosden watches on at Epsom (Neil Morrice/PA)

“Emily Upjohn is in the Taghrooda league as she has the ability to travel and quicken over the trip. She picked up really well between the three and the two today, even though they were playing.

“She will be happy on good ground and can handle quick.”

The trainer has nothing but praise for Doyle, comparing her to American Hall of Famer Julie Krone.

He said: “I think Hollie is a superb jockey and she reminds me a lot of Julie Krone.

“From my point of view she’s the ultimate jockey type and she looks into every detail. We had a young lady win the American Open and everything like that is a real positive, particularly in a sport that’s had an image of being crusty and clubby.”

Emily Upjohn stakes Oaks claim with decisive Musidora verdict

Emily Upjohn was a runaway winner of the Group Three Tattersalls Musidora Stakes for Frankie Dettori and John and Thady Gosden.

The filly pulled hard in the first half of the race and was heavily restrained by Dettori until two furlongs from home, when she was allowed to go forward and pass the race leader.

The daughter of Sea The Stars then accelerated away from her four rivals, crossing the line five and a half lengths ahead of Life Of Dreams as the 4-7 favourite.

Prior to the race Emily Upjohn was a 7-2 chance for the Cazoo Oaks and was cut to 6-4 favourite following the success by Betfair.

Frankie Dettori debriefs John Gosden after Emily Upjohn's triumph
Frankie Dettori debriefs John Gosden after Emily Upjohn’s triumph (Tim Goode/PA)

Gosden said: “It’s interesting that Frankie said the ground was quite tiring after the little bit of rain they’ve had on it. A few of them were struggling four or five out.

“Frankie waited to go and she’s picked up well and looked like a mile and a half would be right up her alley. She couldn’t have done it any better really.

“She was saddled in the stables at Sandown and saddled in the stables at Wolverhampton, so it’s the first time she’s been saddled in front of a crowd today and she got a bit edgy. But I think she settled after a furlong and found a lovely rhythm, which is what it’s all about.”

While the Clarehaven handler is confident in Emily Upjohn’s ability to handle the undulations of Epsom, he plans to give her a pre-race visit to the track for the Cazoo Derby Gallops Morning on May 23.

He added: “She’s very well balanced, but there’s no reason we won’t get some sausage and bacon on the breakfast morning at Epsom. We can have a canter round the track there to see how she handles it.

“She’s a lovely filly and well balanced with a good stride and she’s learnt a lot today.”

Gosden compared the winner with 2012 Musidora winner The Fugue
Gosden compared the winner with 2012 Musidora winner The Fugue (John Giles/PA)

Comparing Emily Upjohn to his 2012 Musidora winner The Fugue, Gosden added: “She’s in that class. The Fugue was extremely unlucky in the Oaks (finished third) as she got knocked over – the less said about that the better.

“I would say this filly is in that class. The Fugue was a mile-and-a-quarter filly, but this filly wants a mile and a half.

“We’ve been lucky to win the Oaks three times and she very much deserves to be in that league.”

Frankie Dettori ranks Emily Upjohn highly
Frankie Dettori ranks Emily Upjohn highly (Tim Goode/PA)

Dettori said: “She was keen early on, but she’s in control and you want her like that.

“The ground is a lot deeper than you guys think. Everybody was struggling from four furlongs out and I kept her together and from two-and-a-half to the winning post, I didn’t see another horse.

“She won in good style by five and a half lengths – what more do you want?

“We never had any worries about staying a mile and a half.”

Dettori ranks Emily Upjohn favourably among his previous Oaks winners, adding: “She’s getting there. Enable won at Chester and at this stage she was probably on the same par.

“With every race this filly is improving, we’ve liked her since day one and I’m delighted – we can sleep nicely tonight!”

Life Of Dreams (blue) had to settle for minor honours behind Emily Upjohn (red)
Life Of Dreams (blue) had to settle for minor honours behind Emily Upjohn (red) (Tim Goode/PA)

Alex Merriam, Charlie Appleby’s assistant, trainer of the runner-up, said: “We were pleased, that was only her second run and I think she’s run into a very nice horse.

“We’ll see how she is and hope things go to plan. The Oaks might still be a possibility but I haven’t spoken to Charlie yet.

“She’d either run there or the Ribblesdale, I’d let Charlie speak to His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) and we’ll see how we go.”

David Simcock, trainer of the third, Ching Shih, said: “Obviously the winner is pretty smart, it doesn’t take a genius to work that out.

“I said before the race they were just five novice winners and they were all in the same boat.

“The winner looks exceptional but our filly has acquitted herself well. She was the only one out of the first four not to have had a run and she’ll come forward for it.

“I think when she gets her mother’s (Madame Chiang) ground (soft) she’ll improve for it as it will actually make her quicker, if that doesn’t sound stupid.

“I don’t know where she will go but it won’t be Epsom – unless the winner scares everything off.”

Emily Upjohn tests Classic credentials in Musidora prize

Emily Upjohn puts her unbeaten record and tall reputation on the line in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York on Wednesday.

A narrow winner on her racecourse debut at Wolverhampton in November, the daughter of Sea The Stars made a spectacular return to action at Sandown last month to leave jockey Frankie Dettori purring.

He said afterwards: “I rode her the other morning and I thought, ‘wow’! Not many horses take my breath away and you like to see them do it in the afternoon.”

That nine-and-a-half-length victory saw Emily Upjohn shoot to towards the top of the market for next month’s Cazoo Oaks and she will be a warm order to cement her Epsom claims with victory in a race trainer John Gosden has already won on six occasions.

Gosden, who now trains in partnership with his son Thady, said: “She is a big, rangy filly. She’s won her maiden and novice and done it nicely. But now she’s moving up to a completely different grade, taking on other smart winners.

“We’ll learn an awful lot more about her. She’s one of those fillies who will get better with age because she certainly has the scope and frame to do it.”

The biggest threat to Emily Upjohn appears to be the Charlie Appleby-trained Life Of Dreams, who justified cramped odds with an impressive display on her first start at Newbury three weeks ago.

Life Of Dreams after winning at Newbury
Life Of Dreams after winning at Newbury (Neil Morrice/PA)

“We were pleased with Life Of Dreams on her debut at Newbury, when she won comfortably,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“You would expect some progression from her first to second start, which will hopefully make her competitive at this level.”

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore team up with The Algarve, who makes her first appearance since opening her account at the third attempt at Galway in the autumn.

Moore told Betfair: “I haven’t ridden her in a race yet but she signed off last season with a comprehensive, improved win in deep ground at Galway in October, so that progressive profile at two augurs well.

“She comes from a very good family that includes the likes of her brother Van Gogh, as well as Horatio Nelson to name another high-level performer from a long list of other talented siblings.

“She clearly has to take a significant step forward to trouble the form horses here – Emily Upjohn was particularly impressive at Sandown, and Life Of Dreams was good at Newbury, both races that I rode in – but we are here to find out if she can. Emily Upjohn looks the one to beat.”

David Simcock saddles Newbury scorer Ching Shih, a daughter of Madame Chiang, who won the Musidora Stakes in 2014 for the same connections.

Simcock said: “Her mother won the Musidora and went on to win a Group One that year. Is Ching Shih similar? Probably the biggest similarity is she’s going to be better when she gets softer ground.

“She is a relentless galloper. She doesn’t look anything like her mother but she will probably be campaigned down a similar line.

“She’s ready for a run. We don’t quite know where we are with her. It’s a tight field, a lovely race to go for and we’re looking forward to running her.”

Ralph Beckett’s Luna Dorada, who won on her racecourse introduction at York in October, completes the five-strong field.

Fellowes mounts dual assault on Duke Of York prize

Charlie Fellowes will saddle both Vadream and Ejtilaab in Wednesday’s 1895 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes.

Vadream won the Group Three Bengough Stakes at Ascot last season and rounded off her campaign by finishing fifth, beaten just three lengths, in the British Champions Sprint a fortnight later.

Fellowes expects his four-year-old to improve for her comeback run in the Group Two feature on the opening day of York’s Dante Festival, but is nevertheless anticipating a bold showing.

He said: “Vadream had a really hard year in 2021, so she had a well-earned break over the winter.

“She looks a picture. Although this is not the end-goal, she is ready to rock and roll and I would be really disappointed if we don’t get a good performance.

“I just hope that she’s able to jump out of the gates sharp and get a nice position, because at York I don’t think you want to get too far back. But we’ve got Danny Tudhope on board who’s very lucky for me and I’m looking forward to seeing Vadream back on a racetrack.”

A lack of race fitness will not be a problem for Ejtilaab, who spent the winter in Dubai before making a successful return to Britain at Kempton in March.

He was last seen finishing a close-up fifth when favourite for the Sprint on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle.

“Ejtilaab has been running over the winter, is race-fit and in great nick,” Fellowes added.

“We were pleased with his run at Newcastle on a track that I don’t think suits his running style. He likes to go forward, which will suit at York. I think he’ll run a big race.”

Other leading contenders for the Duke of York include the Owen Burrows-trained Minzaal, Roger Varian’s new recruit Dragon Symbol and Richard Hannon’s high-class filly Happy Romance.

Emily Upjohn and Frankie Dettori at Sandown
Emily Upjohn and Frankie Dettori at Sandown (John Walton/PA)

A small but select field of five runners are set to go to post for the following Tattersalls Musidora Stakes – a key trial for next month’s Cazoo Oaks at Epsom.

The top two in the market are Emily Upjohn, who was a brilliant winner on her reappearance at Sandown for John and Thady Gosden, and Charlie Appleby’s Newbury debut winner Life Of Dreams.

Aidan O’Brien’s Irish raider The Algarve, Ralph Beckett’s course winner Luna Dorada and Ching Shih – a daughter of 2014 Musidora winner Madame Chiang for David Simcock – complete the line-up.

Gosden duo headline eight in the mix for Musidora prize

Emily Upjohn and Nashwa give John and Thady Gosden a strong hand in the Tattersalla Musidora Stakes.

The York feature on Wednesday has attracted eight entries – and both of the Gosden runners are prominent in the Cazoo Oaks market.

Emily Upjohn is behind only Tuesday in the Epsom betting, having made a most impressive reappearance at Sandown last month.

Her stablemate looked equally good in powering home at Haydock under Hollie Doyle in the colours of Imad Al Sagar.

Remarkably the Musidora is a race Aidan O’Brien has won just once, with that victory coming through Snowfall 12 months ago. His representative on the Knavesmire this year is set to be The Algarve, who won a Gowran Park maiden on her final start at two.

Luna Dorada was a possible for the Lingfield Oaks Trial this weekend, but connections of the Ralph Beckett-trained filly look to have opted for York, where she won a novice event on her only juvenile outing.

The all-conquering Charlie Appleby and William Buick are set to team up with Newbury scorer Life Of Dreams, another in single figures for Epsom.

David Simcock has given the engagement to Ching Shih, with Mukaddamah (Roger Varian) and Ottilien (David Menuisier) completing the possibles.

Dragon Symbol (blue cap) in action at Royal Ascot against Campanelle
Dragon Symbol (blue cap) in action at Royal Ascot against Campanelle (David Davies/PA)

A total of 17 have been left in the 1895 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, including Dragon Symbol.

The Cable Bay colt was involved in all the top sprints last year, finishing first in the Commonwealth Cup only to be demoted to second behind Campanelle following a stewards’ inquiry. He was also the runner-up in the July Cup and was third in the Nunthorpe.

He has since left Archie Watson and will be having his first run for Roger Varian.

Minzaal would be a fascinating contender for Owen Burrows in the Shadwell colours. A top-notch two-year-old, he was off the track until October when returning at Ascot, where the second of two runs saw him finish a fine third in the British Champions Sprint.

Minzaal looked the real deal winning the Gimcrack at two
Minzaal looked the real deal winning the Gimcrack at two (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

He is no stranger to York, as his finest hour in his first season came with an eyecatching success in the Gimcrack Stakes, and Burrows has high hopes for the year ahead.

“I don’t want to get too excited, but I think he could be a real flag-bearer for us this year,” he said:

“We felt it would be good to get back to York and it sets us up nicely then for Ascot, which then hopefully sets you up nicely for the July Cup.”

Globetrotting filly Happy Romance is in contention for Richard Hannon, with recent Newmarket winner Umm Kulthum carrying the hopes of Richard Fahey.