Tag Archive for: Futurity Trophy

Ancient Wisdom sparks Classic dreams with Futurity win

Ancient Wisdom showed an abundance of spirit and stamina to land the Kameko Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster.

Charlie Appleby’s charge made the running early on but was headed by Devil’s Point and Dancing Gemini when the pace quickened three furlongs out.

However, Ancient Wisdom got a second wind in the latter stages and galloped on strongly to outstay Devil’s Point by a length and three-quarters.

William Buick’s mount was sent off the 5-4 favourite, while God’s Window stayed on to finish a head behind Devil’s Point in third. Aidan O’Brien’s Diego Velazquez faded out of contention.

Ancient Wisdom, supplemented for the race on Monday, was cut to as short as 6-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power for next year’s Derby, while Coral offered 8-1 for him to win the Epsom Classic.

The start of the race was delayed by a nasty incident when Battle Cry reared up in the stalls and fell backwards, unseating jockey Ben Curtis in the process.

That forced the O’Brien-trained outsider to be withdrawn but both horse and jockey were thankfully able to walk away.

Buick, winning the race for the first time, said: “I’ve had a few goes at this and never been able to win it, so I’m delighted to win it this year.

Ancient Wisdom with winning connections
Ancient Wisdom with winning connections (Richard Sellers/PA)

“I was delighted it was on, the talk of it being abandoned earlier in the week wasn’t great, but they’ve done a great job. The ground is very soft, but we’re racing on it and this is a very important race for next year.

“I was delighted with Ancient Wisdom. He put in a big performance only two weeks ago at Newmarket and Charlie and the team were very happy to supplement him for today.

“The plan wasn’t necessarily to make the running, but it fell right, he pricked his ears and he’s just a horse who is very uncomplicated. That goes a long way in this ground.

“You go through the list of two-year-olds that have won this race and it bodes well for next year. I’m very much looking forward to him and delighted with what he did there.”

Alex Merriam, Appleby’s assistant, said: “Charlie purposely gave him a break through the summer to come back for the Autumn Stakes. He was very pleased with the way he came out of that and he showed he handled the soft ground so I think Charlie just thought why not give him a shot?

“I think we were probably expecting to follow the Aidan O’Brien horse (Battle Cry), so it was slightly Plan B to make the running, but Will gave him a great ride. They got racing a long way out, but Will didn’t panic, he said it took him a while to get through the gears but once he got rolling he saw it out well.

“It’s nice to have a horse to look forward to for next year.”

On Ancient Wisdom being the team’s first Group One winner in Britain since Modern Games landed the Lockinge at Newbury in May, Merriam added: “It’s been a bit bleak, but it’s nice to see we’ve got some nice two-year-olds for next season. We can go into the winter dreaming anyway.”

Looking towards next season Merriam said: “It was obviously very soft ground out there and he lengthened rather than quickened.

“It’s a long old winter so we’ll see where we are. It looks like there’ll be quite a good one to beat in the Guineas (City Of Troy)! We’ll leave that to Charlie and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to decide.”

O’Brien said: “There was a few incidents, wasn’t there? When horses get upset like that in the stalls, their heart can go through the roof and usually it goes out the window then.

Ancient Wisdom had them strung out
Ancient Wisdom had them strung out (Ricard Sellers/PA)

“He (Diego Velazquez) got upset after what happened to the other fellow. When that happens, their heart rate can go through the roof and they can only do that once.

“That’s the way it is. Take nothing away from the winner.”

David Menuisier said of Devil’s Point: “I’m delighted. He came to win the race and then he kind of flattened out and maybe stayed on a bit, but it’s a Group One and to finish second in a Group One is absolutely marvellous.

“He was travelling absolutely great on the ground. We’ll speak to Oisin (Murphy) and see what he thinks, but he’s pretty special really.”

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Doncaster given go-ahead following inspection

Doncaster’s Kameko Futurity Trophy meeting will go ahead as planned this afternoon.

While day one of the weekend fixture on Friday fell foul of waterlogging in places, hopes were reasonably high the card featuring the final Group One of the domestic season would survive after the movement of rails to avoid troublesome areas.

A precautionary inspection confirmed that view after a dry but misty night, meaning an intriguing main event will see a highly-anticipated clash between Charlie Appleby’s Arabian Crown and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Diego Velazquez.

No problems are reported over jumps at Cheltenham and Kelso, where Grand National winner Corach Rambler returns to action in the Edinburgh Gin Chase. At Cheltenham, the star attraction could be Flooring Porter, as the dual Stayers’ Hurdle hero goes over fences for the first time in the William Hill Lengthen Your Odds Novices’ Chase.

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