Tag Archive for: George Boughey

Boughey hoping Doncaster proves home from home for Baradar

George Boughey’s Baradar bids to start his season on the right note when he lines up at his favourite track for the William Hill Cammidge Trophy Stakes.

The six-year-old was twice a winner last term, taking a Doncaster handicap over a slightly longer trip at the peak of his form in the autumn.

His Town Moor form in general is impressive, and he was a good third on heavy ground in the Lincoln at this meeting last year.

Now dropping back in trip to six furlongs, Boughey is hopeful he will relish a return to his favoured course at Listed level.

“Baradar was good back at six and a half furlongs at Doncaster in the autumn, before probably just finding it one too many runs at Ascot at the end of last year,” he said.

Baradar at Ascot last year
Baradar at Ascot last year (Adam Davy/PA)

“I’m really looking forward to seeing him at six (furlongs) for the first time. He loves it at Doncaster, he’s done lots of work and is very straight. He’s in a super shape, he’s an absolute legend.

“In four runs at Doncaster he’s won twice, been 1-3 in the Lincoln in-running and placed in the Futurity Trophy.

“It’s his first run in stakes company for a long time and he goes there with a good chance.”

Nick Bradley Racing have three chances in the race, chief among them being the Karl Burke-trained Marshman.

Second in the Gimcrack as a two-year-old, the bay started his season well when winning the Prix Sigy on debut last year and was then fifth in the Duke of York when beaten three lengths.

He was subsequently a close third in the Prix du Gros-Chene, before finishing unplaced in both the King’s Stand and the Coral Charge.

The latter three runs were over five furlongs, and the talented colt will now step back up to six as he wears a tongue tie for the first time.

Burke said: “He’s a nice horse, I’m not sure he wants the ground as testing as it’s going to be but he’s in good form.

“It’s his first run of the year obviously and he’ll come on for it, but hopefully he’ll run very well.”

Bradley added: “He came back from Sandown with a pelvic injury last year but he’d started the season off well when winning the Prix Sigy.

“If we were selecting what ground we’d want we’d choose good ground, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he were a little bit fresh.

“As a two-year-old he wasn’t a tearaway but he wasn’t far off, we’re excited to get him back on the track.

“We’ve got three in the race and we hope to come home in the first three.”

Bradley’s other two chances are both trained by Grant Tuer, the four-year-old fillies Sophia’s Starlight and Glorious Angel.

William Haggas will saddle Montassib, a six-year-old who was fifth in the Ayr Gold Cup last term before winning the Coral Sprint Trophy at York.

“He was a bit unfortunate at Ayr, he had been running over seven furlongs for a while and I dropped him back in trip for the Ayr Gold Cup and they went fast and he came home well,” said the trainer.

“He finished well at York when he won as well.

“I think this is his trip and I think he likes the cut in the ground and he will be as fit as we can have him.

“Most of the Exceed And Excels we have had have wanted fast ground, but we think he definitely doesn’t. Maybe it’s because he has got hold and prefers a bit of dig in the ground, but he definitely wants cut.

“He always runs a good race, but he has never run off 108 before. Handicaps are now a bit out for him and it’s races like this and the Abernant Stakes and see where we are.”

Charlie Hills’ Orazio and Rod Millman’s Adaay In Devon complete the field of seven.

French Guineas goal for Chic Colombine

George Boughey is working back from the French 1000 Guineas with Chic Colombine following her spectacular reappearance at Saint-Cloud last weekend.

The daughter of Seahenge enjoyed an excellent juvenile campaign last season, winning four successive races in the space of three months before signing off with fourth place in the Group Three Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket in October.

Sent across the Channel for a Listed race on her three-year-old debut, Chic Colombine ran out an impressive six-length winner in the hands of Billy Loughnane and Boughey is excited to see what the rest of the season has in store.

“She was good, I think the fashion of her win was a bit surprising but it didn’t surprise me that she won,” said the Newmarket handler.

“She’s done as well as anything over the winter, she was a frame of a horse last year and she’s going to go back to France for the French 1000 Guineas trial – the Prix de la Grotte at ParisLongchamp.

“She’s come out of her race really good, she’s eligible for French premiums and I didn’t put her in the English Guineas intentionally as we’re working back for the French Guineas.”

George Boughey has high hopes for Chic Colombine
George Boughey has high hopes for Chic Colombine (David Davies/PA)

While Chic Colombine’s comeback victory was achieved in heavy ground, Boughey does not believe testing conditions are essential.

He added: “She obviously handles slow ground but I look forward to seeing her on some better ground in time. William Buick rode her in her first handicap, he said she was better than a handicapper and it was decent ground that day.

“I think she’s versatile ground-wise, Highclere (Thoroughbred Racing) have got another nice filly and it’s great to get that bold black type early in the season.”

Walbank seeks to continue Dubai resurgence

Walbank bids for back-to-back wins at Meydan for trainer George Boughey in Friday’s Dubai Sprint.

The son of Kodiac looked a potential star juvenile a couple of years ago for Dave Loughnane, winning by seven lengths at York before finishing second in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and third in the Molecomb at Goodwood.

However, he was well beaten on his reappearance last season and a switch to Dominic Ffrench Davis failed to yield improvement, prompting owners Amo Racing to move him from Lambourn to Newmarket.

After seven months off the track, Walbank made an impressive stable debut in handicap company four weeks ago and Boughey is looking forward to raising his sights to Listed level.

The trainer said: “He won well on his first start for us and it was one of those situations where you hope they transfer their work to the track, because he had been working nicely.

“He put it all together that day and they went a good gallop, which I think is what he needs stepping up to six furlongs. He is a fast horse though, and I think he’d be versatile over five and six.

“He’s drawn in the middle and I think there should be few excuses. Amazingly, it looks like there’s quite a bit of rain coming, so I just hope it’s dried out by Friday.

“I think the last day he produced a quicker time than Al Dasim did when he won on Super Saturday last year over the course and distance, but it is a step up.

“He was getting well beat in handicaps (last year) and didn’t beat much when he won the other day, so he’s certainly got it to prove, but I couldn’t be happier with how he’s training.”

Walbank’s rivals include Charlie Appleby’s Mischief Magic and the Johnny Murtagh-trained Ladies First.

Boughey has two other runners at Meydan, with Naxos making his second start on dirt in a seven-furlong handicap and stablemate Koy Koy tackling turf in a nine-furlong handicap.

The trainer is particularly keen on the chances of the former, adding: “Naxos drops in grade and drops in trip for the seven-furlong race. He showed up well on his first start on dirt and just didn’t get home over a mile and a quarter.

“He was taking on an absolute machine in the winner (Kabirkhan), who won a Group One last week.

“Naxos has adapted really well out there, he’s a pretty relaxed horse now and if he handles the preliminaries like he did the last day, I think he’ll be hard to beat.”

Via Sistina heading for sales date after gallant Champion Stakes effort

Via Sistina is bound for the December Mare Sale at Tattersalls following her fantastic effort in defeat in the Qipco Champion Stakes.

A Group One winner in the Pretty Polly in Ireland earlier in the year, George Boughey’s stable star came very close to doubling her top-level tally when beaten a nose by Mqse De Sevigne in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August.

Connections considered a return to France for the Prix de l’Opera on Arc weekend, but decided to sit tight for Qipco Champions Day and were very nearly rewarded in the grandest manner, with Via Sistina looking the likely winner before being mowed down by King Of Steel under an inspired Frankie Dettori.

With the winning margin just three-quarters of a length, and Via Sistina’s rider Oisin Murphy dropping his whip with over a furlong still to race, there is a sense of what might have been, but Boughey is nevertheless proud of his filly’s achievements this term.

“She’s been a star for us this year, not finishing out of the first three in four Group Ones,” he said.

“She was very impressive in the Dahlia, she arguably could have won the France in France, having been the winner of the Pretty Polly, and the target behind closed doors all year was the Champion Stakes.

“The way things fell this year the ground was always likely to be softer at Ascot than it was at Longchamp, luckily we got that rain and she’s obviously very good on that very soft ground.

“It was gutting to get beaten, but we’re very proud of her. We’ll never know what would have happened (if Murphy had not dropped his whip), we both wondered whether it might have made a difference, but these things happen, we move on and we’ve got to try to find the next one.”

Via Sistina (left) ran a tremendous race in the Champion Stakes
Via Sistina (left) ran a tremendous race in the Champion Stakes (John Walton/PA)

The five-year-old will now go through the sales ring, but Boughey believes she is more than capable of racing on next year and would be thrilled if a new owner was to keep her in his care.

He added: “She’s got her date at the mares’ sale and I think she goes there as certainly the highest-rated filly in training, a filly who very nearly won the Champion Stakes and arguably should have won the Champion Stakes.

“She’s a huge racing prospect as well as a breeding prospect. I see no reason why she couldn’t race on next year – looking at her in the yard this morning, she looks physically better than ever and you could very easily go on and work back from the Champion Stakes next year, if she was to remain in training for a new owner.”

Oisin Murphy booked for Via Sistina Champion mount

Oisin Murphy has been booked to partner Via Sistina after trainer George Boughey confirmed the Qipco Champion Stakes as the intended target for his star mare at Ascot on Saturday.

A brilliant winner of the Group Two Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket in the spring, the daughter of Fastnet Rock subsequently secured Group One glory in the Pretty Polly in Ireland and has since been placed in the Falmouth Stakes and beaten a nose in the Prix Jean Romanet in France.

Connections decided against contesting the Prix de l’Opera on Arc weekend due to the prevailing fast ground and have a choice of engagements this weekend, with Via Sistina also holding an entry in the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes over a mile and a half.

But with rain forecast to hit the Berkshire track, Boughey is planning on running his five-year-old against the boys on British Champions Day – and with regular rider Jamie Spencer in Australia to ride Simon and Ed Crisford’s West Wind Blows in the Caulfield Cup, three-time champion jockey Murphy has been called up.

Via Sistina was an easy winner on testing ground at Newmarket in May
Via Sistina was an easy winner on testing ground at Newmarket in May (Nigel French/PA)

Boughey said: “It (Champion Stakes) looks very much the plan at the moment. Ten furlongs I think is her optimum trip and it looks like the ground might be in her favour.

“The forecast for France looked like it was going to dry up ahead of the Prix de l’Opera and it certainly did. Steve and Becky Hillen (owners), and fair play to them, they wanted to wait for Ascot and thankfully the rain looks like it’s coming.

“There’s a chance the race may be held on the inner loop and there could be 50 per cent more runners in the fillies’ and mares’ race, so it could get messy. I think the Champion looks the right spot for her.

“The more time she has between her runs, the better she is as well. I still think her best performance of the year was on very soft ground at Newmarket, having had a long break through the winter.

“She’s very fit and very fresh and ready to rock and roll.”

Baradar (left) was partnered by William Buick at Doncaster last time
Baradar (left) was partnered by William Buick at Doncaster last time (Tim Goode/PA)

Via Sistina is set to lead a small but select Boughey team into battle at Ascot, with Believing an intended runner in the Qipco British Champions Sprint and Baradar and Raadobarg both set to contest the concluding Balmoral Handicap.

Of the latter pair, Boughey added: “The trip is a bit of a question mark for Baradar – William (Buick) will need to be very patient on him, I think. He has a good record on the horse and knows him well.

“He won well the last day and he seems to have found another leg for the cheekpieces. We know he handles very soft ground, he won the International at Ascot earlier in the season and he comes here in as good a shape as I’ve had him all year, but it’s going to be a long final furlong for him, I’d say.

“Raadobarg takes his racing very well and seems to have come out of his run in the Darley Stakes the other day (finished third) in super shape.

“He deserves his place in the line-up. He’s a big price, but arguably he might be one of the classier horses in the race and we know he handles the ground.”

Via Sistina raring to go for Champions Day

Via Sistina is fully on course for an outing on Qipco British Champions Day, with George Boughey warning his star filly has been training better than ever.

The five-year-old is yet to finish outside the first three since joining Boughey last October and has taken her form to the next level this season, emphatically claiming the Dahlia Stakes on reappearance before scooping Group One honours at the Curragh in the Pretty Polly Stakes.

Creditable placed efforts in both the Falmouth Stakes and Prix Jean Romanet have followed and Boughey opted against sending his thriving mare to ParisLongchamp for the Prix de l’Opera in favour of heading to Ascot in peak condition.

The Saffron House handler is now hoping for some assistance from the weather to enable Via Sistina to showcase her best at the Berkshire track.

Boughey said: “The ground has always been a big thing for her and I think she will be at her best if the ground is slower. But it would also be no surprise to see her take chance on normal sort of ground.

“I can’t imagine it is going to be fast. I’ve long wanted to run her at Ascot and it usually comes up very soft. It doesn’t like it’s going to come up very soft, but there is every chance the weather could break and we will be hoping.”

Via Sistina has been at the peak of her powers this term
Via Sistina has been at the peak of her powers this term (Nigel French/PA)

“She’s training as well as she ever has and is in great form and this has been the plan for quite some time.”

Via Sistina has the option of taking on the colts over her Group One-winning distance of 10 furlongs in the Qipco Champion Stakes or having just a second crack at a mile and a half if staying among her own sex for the Qipco British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes.

Boughey believes Via Sistina’s versatility means he could have a tough call to make ahead of Ascot’s end-of-season showpiece on October 21.

He added: “We’ll just sort of monitor both of them and see how we go and hopefully we will see her in one of them.

“I’ve always thought she has been very versatile and I think there is every chance if she did turn up in the mile-and-a-half race, then she might have been favourite for a Group One over a mile, a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half in the same season which I’m not sure many will have done.

“She is versatile and the way she travels off the pace is probably conducive to staying a bit further so all options are open and it’s a nice decision to have to make.”

Boughey pays tribute to Cachet as Guineas winner is retired

George Boughey will always be grateful to Cachet after his 1000 Guineas heroine brought the curtain down on her career at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend.

The daughter of Aclaim provided the Saffron House handler with the biggest triumph of his training career to date when making all for Classic glory last May and the Highclere Thoroughbred-owned filly almost added to her big-race haul when agonisingly denied in the French Guineas on her next start.

Injury curtailed her progress after a run at Royal Ascot last year, but having been kept in training and nursed back to full fitness, she returned from 457 days off at Doncaster last month in the Sceptre Stakes.

Sent to the French capital in the hope of building on that encouraging comeback run, things did not go to plan for Cachet in a muddling Prix de la Foret and having finished down the field, she is now set to come under the hammer at Tattersalls in December.

“It didn’t go to plan as she’s a filly who likes to run on the front end, was drawn a bit wide and never really got into a position,” said Boughey.

“She will head to the mares sale at Tattersalls later this year and I have no doubt she will become a super mum. If she could produce something half as good as her then we will all be very proud.”

He went on: “She’s a filly who has been an absolute star for us – she’s my first Group One winner and first Classic winner.

“In this game she was a relatively inexpensive breeze-up purchase (60,000 guineas) who went on to win a Classic. She’s got 20 owners and they have all had an amazing time with her.

“We will keep trying to find another one for them, but it is very hard to do so. She was a real gem and they are very hard to find.”

Trainer George Boughey celebrates after Cachet wins the 1000 Guineas
Trainer George Boughey celebrates after Cachet wins the 1000 Guineas (David Davies/PA)

Although there was disappointment for Cachet at ParisLongchamp, Boughey almost saw the Sally Nicholls-owned Perdika pull off a shock when second in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

The well-travelled three-year-old made a bold bid from the front in the hands of Mickael Barzalona and was only reeled in by an on-song Highfield Princess deep inside the final furlong.

She could now head back out to Dubai before attentions turn to her off-track career as a broodmare later in the winter.

Southwell Races – Thursday 20th October
Perdika (right) went close to ParisLongchamp glory (Tim Goode/PA)

“She’s gone from strength to strength and been a big traveller,” said Boughey.

“She went to Dubai and has been back and forth to France all year and it didn’t surprise me that she ran as well as she did. She was very well drawn and got a fantastic ride from Mickael.

“She’s a filly who has exceeded our expectations and she could end up back out in Dubai before she goes to the breeding sheds at the end of winter.

“She’s been a great servant for us this season and full credit to Sally Nicholls for breeding such a tough filly on a very inexpensive cross.”

Conditions key as Boughey outlines Cachet options

George Boughey will wait until later in the week before deciding whether to send Cachet to France for Sunday’s Prix de la Foret or wait for the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket the following Saturday.

Last season’s 1000 Guineas heroine did not run between Royal Ascot last summer and this year’s St Leger Festival at Doncaster, an absence totalling exactly 15 months.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned filly could finish only fourth in the Group Three Sceptre Stakes on Town Moor, but Boughey was far from discouraged given the length of her absence and the fact underfoot conditions were more testing than ideal.

Having been pleased with what he saw from his Classic winner in a racecourse gallop on the Rowley Mile on Tuesday, Boughey is not ruling out a trip across the Channel for a Group One assignment on Arc weekend – but will be keeping an eye on the weather before making a final call.

“I was pleased with Cachet this morning and she is a lot tighter than she was on her seasonal debut. Mathematically she is a lot fitter on the scales,” said the Newmarket handler.

“The plan had been to go to France for the Foret as she would have loved the seven furlongs around the bend there and there is a stronger favourite in the Sun Chariot (Inspiral) than the Foret.

“However, the weather looks like scuppering that so we will probably aim her at the Sun Chariot now.

“The ground was too soft for her at Doncaster and hopefully it will be much quicker at Newmarket. We know she stays the mile and she should run well.”

Another Boughey-trained filly to be put through her paces on the Rowley Mile on Tuesday was Soprano, who will be stepped up to Group One level in Saturday’s Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes.

Although winless since making an impressive start to her career at Newmarket in May, the daughter of Starspangledbanner has since been placed in the Albany at Royal Ascot, the Star Stakes at Sandown, the Sweet Solera at Newmarket and the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury.

With regular work rider Charles Eddery in the saddle, Soprano looked the part in her morning gallop and Boughey feels she merits a place in the Cheveley Park field.

He said: “I’m delighted with her. She worked with a decent four-year-old that is a five-furlong horse rated in the 90s and she showed plenty of pace. 

“Charles Eddery, who rides her regularly, was delighted with her so it is all systems go to the Cheveley Park. She looks better than ever.

“She is a very balanced filly, which is so key at Newmarket, and she won on her debut at the track. I think she has got to have a lively chance.”

Boughey favouring Prix de la Foret option with Cachet

George Boughey is readying his Classic heroine Cachet for a tilt at the Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp this weekend following a pleasing workout on the Rowley Mile on Tuesday morning.

Last season’s 1000 Guineas heroine did not run between Royal Ascot last summer and this year’s St Leger Festival at Doncaster, an absence totalling exactly 15 months.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned filly could finish only fourth in the Group Three Sceptre Stakes on Town Moor, but Boughey was far from discouraged given the length of her absence and the fact underfoot conditions were more testing than ideal.

In the immediate aftermath of that effort the Newmarket handler was in favour of sending Cachet back to the scene of her Guineas triumph for the Sun Chariot Stakes on Saturday week, but the likelihood of a sound surface in Paris this weekend has prompted a change of plan.

“I was pleased with Cachet this morning and she is a lot tighter than she was on her seasonal debut. Mathematically she is a lot fitter on the scales,” said Boughey.

“The ground looks like it will be decent in France and that is where we are leaning towards at the moment, plus there is a stronger favourite in the Sun Chariot (Inspiral) than in the Foret.

“The ground was too soft for her at Doncaster, but it should be a lot better in France at the weekend. It could end up raining in Newmarket and I don’t want to miss a chance like this.

“She will like the seven furlongs around the bend at Longchamp and we will make plenty of use of her. She is in good form and should run well.”

Another Boughey-trained filly to be put through her paces on the Rowley Mile on Tuesday was Soprano, who will be stepped up to Group One level in Saturday’s Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes.

Although winless since making an impressive start to her career at Newmarket in May, the daughter of Starspangledbanner has since been placed in the Albany at Royal Ascot, the Star Stakes at Sandown, the Sweet Solera at Newmarket and the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury.

With regular work rider Charles Eddery in the saddle, Soprano looked the part in her morning gallop and Boughey feels she merits a place in the Cheveley Park field.

He said: “I’m delighted with her. She worked with a decent four-year-old that is a five-furlong horse rated in the 90s and she showed plenty of pace. 

“Charles Eddery, who rides her regularly, was delighted with her so it is all systems go to the Cheveley Park. She looks better than ever.

“She is a very balanced filly, which is so key at Newmarket, and she won on her debut at the track. I think she has got to have a lively chance.”

Newmarket date on Soprano’s agenda

Soprano will bid to hit the right note at Newmarket later this month where she will attempt to register her first Group-race success.

George Boughey’s youngster was a fast-finishing third in Salisbury’s Dick Poole Stakes on her most recent run, but connections were left frustrated after their charge reared in the stalls and gave away plenty of ground at the start before storming home to be beaten just one and a quarter lengths in the hands of Ryan Moore.

She will now attempt to set the record straight in either the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Rockfel Stakes on September 29 or shoot for Group One gold in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes a day later on the Rowley Mile.

“It was just really unfortunate and such a shame,” explained Harry Herbert, managing director of owners Highclere Thoroughbreds.

“She seemed to anticipate the gates and they didn’t open and she sort of got a bit of a fright, went up and then the starter let them go which was infuriating.

“Ryan probably thought he was just going to come home in his own time and then suddenly realised he had an awful lot of horse under him, so it was a hell of a performance under the circumstances.

“I think everyone can see she would have won if she had broken on level terms.”

He went on: “We’re looking at either the Cheveley Park or Rockfel and I think we’ll see the entries for both first.

“At the moment, if you were talking to George, he would probably be edging more to the Cheveley Park. But we want to take our time and see who is doing what and the ground and everything.

“Fingers crossed she is taking her races so well and she’s so tough and as long as George is happy, we will go to Newmarket for one of those two races.”

Soprano burst onto the scene at Newmarket earlier in the season, but since being upped immediately in class for the Albany at Royal Ascot, she has been thwarted in four subsequent outings when running in Pattern company.

Soprano on her way to scoring at Newmarket on debut
Soprano on her way to scoring at Newmarket on debut (David Davies/PA)

Connections feel Soprano certainly does not lack talent and are confident there is plenty to look forward to with the versatile daughter of Starspangledbanner.

“She’s a very very good filly and very special,” continued Herbert.

“She’s had the most extraordinary year where things just haven’t gone right for her. She could have had a few Group races by her name, but that’s racing and sometimes the cards don’t fall quite right for whatever reason.

“Everyone can see how talented she is and she has a size and scope to her so should be even better next year.”

As well as Soprano, Highclere also have Believing housed at Boughey’s Saffron House stables and Herbert was thrilled with her third-placed effort in the Betfair Sprint Cup.

Supplemented into the Haydock Group One at a cost of £20,000, the daughter of Mehmas defied her odds of 66-1 to earn just shy of £46,000 for making the podium.

“She’s such a tough and talented filly and she had worked so well coming into this race and ran a blinder,” said Herbert.

“She showed incredible natural speed and finished her race off really well. Had she been a bit closer to the two in front of her who were racing away from her, who knows, she might have got closer still.”

Believing holds an entry for Ascot’s Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes on October 21 which will form the centrepiece of the filly’s end-of-season programme, but a tilt at ParisLongchamp’s Prix de l’Abbaye on October 1 will now also be considered – despite the progressive speedster again needing to be supplemented.

Believing has progressed throughout the season
Believing has progressed throughout the season (PA)

“Ascot would be the main target and we will look at the Abbaye,” continued Herbert.

“We would have to be forking out again because she’s come forward at such a rate of knots and we didn’t put her in initially. So we would consider supplementing and see how the land lies nearer the time before making a decision about the Abbaye.

“She’s a very, very good filly, a fast filly, and like her father, has this most incredible attitude for the game.

“The way she holds her head is extraordinary and reminds me so much of Mehmas, who stuck his neck out and was really tough. She’s definitely inherited that trait and is a really exciting filly for her shareholders.

“Those horses who give their all are worth their weight in gold. She goes on any ground, has a wagon load of speed and, touch wood, she’s been so far very sound. Everyone had a great day at Haydock and hopefully there is a lot more to come.”

Boughey pleased as ‘fresh’ Cachet returns from lengthy absence

Last year’s 1000 Guineas heroine Cachet is raring to go ahead of her return to the track in the Japan Racing Association Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster on Sunday.

George Boughey’s daughter of Aclaim came close to a Classic double in 2022 and was only a head away from adding the French equivalent to the 1000 Guineas triumph she achieved at Newmarket two weeks prior.

However, she has only been seen once more when finishing fifth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and after a long 457 days on the sidelines, drops back to seven furlongs for her comeback in the hands of Ryan Moore.

Jockey James Doyle celebrates on Cachet after winning the 1000 Guineas
Jockey James Doyle celebrates on Cachet after winning the 1000 Guineas (David Davies/PA)

Boughey said: “She’s in good shape. The ground is a question mark, she ran very well in the Albany on soft ground but she hasn’t really seen it since.

“Her work has been smart at home and I’m pretty happy with her. She’s a very fresh horse going into the autumn and she’s in good shape.”

Cachet will face a strong cast of rivals, which includes proven Group-level performers.

Richard Hannon’s Magical Sunset relished testing conditions and had Charlie Appleby’s Dream Of Love back in third when winning a Group Three at Goodwood last month, while Ralph Beckett saddles both Dandy Alys and Nigiri, with the latter bringing up a hat-trick in style at York last month.

Magical Sunset relished the ground at Goodwood
Magical Sunset relished the ground at Goodwood (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Samedi Rien was only two lengths behind Cachet’s stablemate Believing when last seen at Pontefract and brings some continental flare to the event from Spain, while Johnny Murtagh’s Clounmacon and Kieran Cotter’s Matilda Picotte both make the trip from Ireland.

The latter finished third behind Mawj and Tahiyra in this year’s 1000 Guineas and having almost got back to winning ways at Tipperary recently, her handler is looking forward to her latest trip to the UK as Oisin Murphy takes over in the saddle.

“She’s back on track and we were either going to come to Doncaster or go to the Curragh next week for the Renaissance Stakes,” said Cotter.

“This is a seven-furlong fillies’ race and we opted for this and we’re hoping for a big run from her.”

He went on: “At Tipperary it was seven furlongs and 110 yards and it was the last 50 yards that did for her really, so I think she goes there with a live chance. We’re looking forward to seeing her run, she’s fit and well and we’re keen to roll the dice.”

There are only four declared for the supporting Betfred Scarbrough Stakes where Tom Clover’s Rogue Lightning has the chance to bring up a hat-trick on his return to Pattern company.

The son of Kodiac shaped with real promise in his first couple of outings at two before losing his way, but has thrived since being gelded and dropped to the minimum distance, scoring over course and distance earlier in the summer.

“We’ve always liked the horse and we tried him quite highly as a two-year-old,” explained Clover.

“Since gelding him and dropping him back to five furlongs it seems to have really helped and he looks in good shape.”

Raasel got back to winning ways at Haydock following a promising run behind Highfield Princess at Goodwood and although Clover believes Mick Appleby’s charge rates as a real danger, he is hopeful Rogue Lightning can continue on his upwards curve.

He added: “We hope this is a nice opportunity for him, but Raasel looks in good form and has produced two really good runs recently. He could be a tough horse to beat, but touch wood Rogue Lightning seems progressive and is going the right way.

“He’s been a lovely horse for the owners so far and hopefully he can take us to some more big days.”

Karl Burke’s Beverley Bullet runner-up Silkie Wilkie and Scott Dixon’s Fine Wine complete the line-up on Town Moor.

Soprano sets the standard in competitive Dick Poole

Soprano gets another opportunity to break her Group-race duck in the Ire-Incentive, It Pays To Buy Irish Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury on Thursday.

An impressive winner on her introduction at Newmarket in early May, the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned filly has since been placed in the Albany at Royal Ascot in June, the Star Stakes at Sandown in July and the Sweet Solera on the July Course last month.

Having seen the George Boughey-trained daughter of Starspangledbanner knock on the door on a few occasions now, Highclere’s managing director Harry Herbert is hoping she can finally enjoy her day in the big-race sun in Wiltshire.

“She seems in great shape after Newmarket. She ran a very good race that day and was just beaten by a better filly (Fallen Angel) on the day,” said Herbert.

“She’s working very well and Ryan Moore can ride her so it’s all systems go.

“I think a stiff six furlongs will really suit her and she’s got a wonderful action the filly, so she should really lap up the ground.

“All these races are pretty hot, but we go there thinking that she’ll be pretty competitive.”

Miaharris puts her unbeaten record on the line for trainer Owen Burrows and jockey Oisin Murphy.

Miaharris (right) winning at Newbury
Miaharris (right) winning at Newbury (David Davies/PA)

Having supplemented her debut success at Sandown with a narrow victory in Listed company at Newbury last month, the Zoustar filly steps up to six furlongs as she goes in search of the hat-trick.

Burrows said: “We’re very happy with her and it looked as though she would appreciate the step up to six from her last run, so we’ll see.

“I wouldn’t mind to have been drawn in a little bit more, but it is what it is (stall 15).

“I’m not concerned about the ground really. She handled ground on the easy side of good at Newbury and it was similar at Sandown I think. It’s going to be a bit quicker at Salisbury, but I don’t have any worries about that.

“She’s always looked a talented filly. She was bought with Royal Ascot in mind, but as a typical breeze-up filly she just fell apart a bit and fair to play to the owner (Olly Harris) who has been very patient. Fingers crossed he’s going to reap the benefits now.”

Clive Cox saddles three runners in the Dick Poole at Salisbury
Clive Cox saddles three runners in the Dick Poole at Salisbury (John Walton/PA)

Clive Cox is triple-handed, with the well fancied Symbology joined by a pair of bigger priced stablemates in Onthemoneyhoney and Unbreak My Heart.

York maiden winner Symbology has since finished third in the Princess Margaret at Ascot and the Lowther Stakes at York, while Onthemoneyhoney faces a rise in grade following a debut win at Windsor.

Unbreak My Heart won a minor heat at Bath on her second start before finishing a distant third in the Listed Empress Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.

Cox said: “I was really pleased with Symbology in the Lowther and I think she’s still progressing.

“It was a very pleasing effort at York and she’s come back well from there, hence the reason she’s turning out again on Thursday, and she’ll appreciate the dry conditions.

“Onthemoneyhoney won her only start and from a ratings perspective she’s got a lot to find, but she’s in excellent form and with the way the ground is I think she deserves a chance to run.

“Unbreak My Heart won on quick ground at Bath, they’re all in good order and a lack of alternative choices mean we’re going to give it a kick here.”

Cachet has sights set on Doncaster comeback

Last season’s 1000 Guineas heroine Cachet is set to make her eagerly-anticipated return in the Japan Racing Association Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster on Sunday week.

George Boughey’s filly won the Nell Gwyn before returning to the Rowley Mile to claim Classic glory in early May and she was only narrowly denied in the French Guineas a fortnight later.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned daughter of Aclaim was fifth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month and has not been seen in competitive action since, but she is closing in on a comeback from her 15-month hiatus.

George Boughey celebrates Classic glory with Cachet
George Boughey celebrates Classic glory with Cachet (David Davies/PA)

“Cachet is in full work, she’s going really well and she looks absolutely magnificent,” said Highclere’s managing director Harry Herbert.

“At the moment, touching wood everywhere, she’s on course to reappear in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster on the Sunday of the Leger meeting (September 17).

“She’s wonderful and she’s thriving at the moment. She’s had her setbacks, which she’s well and truly over – we haven’t seen her looking as well since she was in the parade ring before the Guineas.

“Now she’s a mature four-year-old she looks even better, so we’re really excited to see her back in action.”

Cachet on her way to victory in the 1000 Guineas
Cachet on her way to victory in the 1000 Guineas (David Davies/PA)

Cachet holds a Group One entry in the Sun Chariot at Newmarket on October 7, but connections are not making any firm plans beyond her intended Doncaster return.

Herbert added: “We’ll take it one step at a time. She’s been off a long time and it’s not easy getting back to full race fitness after that time, but George is doing his best and she’s really pleasing him.”

Via Sistina to take direct route to Opera

Via Sistina will head straight for the Prix de l’Opera on Arc weekend following her narrow defeat at Deauville.

So impressive when winning the Group Two Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket in the spring, George Boughey’s star mare subsequently struck Group One gold in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

The five-year-old was out of luck when dropped back from 10 furlongs to a mile in last month’s Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, but looked set to double her top-level tally on her return to a mile and a quarter in the Prix Jean Romanet, only to be denied in the final stride by Andre Fabre’s Mqse De Sevigne.

While frustrated by the nose defeat, Boughey was delighted with Via Sistina’s performance and is now targeting a return to France on the first Sunday in October.

“We were obviously delighted to see her produce what was arguably another career-best really,” he said.

“The Fabre filly looks progressive and I think we were arguably unlucky in defeat. She was in front a long time as we just wanted to have a clear run at it.

“I think we’ll go straight to the Opera on Arc day and I think we’ll probably ride her with a little bit more patience. We’re always learning in this game and I think just holding on to her a bit longer and using that wicked turn of foot over that trip will suit.

“The Opera has been a long-term target for a long time. The Romanet was the immediate target and is possibly the one that got away, but we’re very proud of her.

“She’s finished first, second and third in three Group Ones this year, having won a Group Two beforehand, so she’s been a real star for us.”

George Boughey is looking forward to the rest of the season with Via Sistina
George Boughey is looking forward to the rest of the season with Via Sistina (David Davies/PA)

Three weeks after the Prix de l’Opera, Via Sistina could make an appearance on Qipco Champions Day at Ascot, where she is doubly engaged.

She could take on the colts in the Qipco Champion Stakes or step up to a mile and a half for the British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes.

Boughey is in no rush to nail his colours to either mast at this stage, adding: “Hopefully we’ve got another run or possibly two if she turns up on Champions Day. I think it would be very exciting to see her run on very soft ground as it usually is at Ascot.

“We’ve put her in the Champion Stakes and the Fillies And Mares and I know we ran her over a mile in the Falmouth, but if it did look the right spot for her, I would be interested to see her dropped out stone cold last over a mile and a half on soft ground and waited with.

“She’s by Fastnet Rock out of a Galileo mare, so there’s a chance she might stay, and the fillies’ division would look notably weaker than the Champion Stakes.”

Boughey expecting to see the ‘real’ Via Sistina in Romanet raid

Via Sistina will seek to add to her growing trophy cabinet when she returns to 10 furlongs in the Sumbe Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville.

The four-year-old has developed into a star performer since joining Newmarket handler George Boughey from Joseph Tuite and is yet to finish out of the money in three starts this term.

A Rowley Mile romp on her seasonal bow in the Dahlia Stakes signalled a move to the highest level for the Pretty Polly Stakes and she passed that Curragh test with flying colours to secure a first Group One triumph.

Her progress was halted slightly when only third to an on-song Nashwa over a mile in the Falmouth Stakes, but Via Sistina’s handler is confident she can regain the winning thread on Sunday, as she moves back up in distance on the Normandy coast.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival – Day Two – Curragh Racecourse
Jamie Spencer speaks with owners Stephen Hillen and Rebecca Hillen after ridding Via Sistina to victory in the Pretty Polly Stakes (Brian Lawless/PA)

Boughey said: “It’s the last four-year-old and above fillies’ only race this year and it has kind of been the race for her for some time really. She goes there in good shape.

“She had a little break after the Falmouth and I slightly regret running her back over a mile in hindsight. She’s a filly who hit the line really well in the Pretty Polly and arguably might get further, but she was an even-money shot and it was definitely worth a go.

“She added another bit of Group One black type to her pedigree and I think you will see the real Via Sistina back up at 10 furlongs.”

British raiders have a good record in the contest and Via Sistina is joined in the line-up by Hughie Morrison’s One For Bobby, who tasted victory on French Soil at Vichy most recently.

Having secured Group Three honours with that Grand Prix de Vichy triumph, the Summerdown trainer believes she has earned a shot at this valuable prize.

“We’re just going to the next stage and we thought she deserved a crack at this,” said Morrison.

“It was a toss-up whether we would run Stay Alert as well, but it poured with rain (on Friday morning) so that put paid to that and we pulled out at the last moment.

“One For Bobby enjoys the softer ground, but I don’t think it was soft when she won at Vichy. She enjoyed it at Nottingham definitely, but she’s been on the go a fair while and with these fillies you just hope they are still firing.”

Joseph O’Brien’s Above The Curve will bid for her third win on French soil and the consistent filly arrives having chased home Al Husn in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, while Jessica Harrington’s Trevaunance will also make the trip from Ireland.

The home challenge is led by Andre Fabre’s Mqse De Sevigne, who brings Group One course form to the table after making a successful drop back to a mile in the Prix Rothschild last month.

Francis-Henri Graffard’s Darkaniya accounted for the Fabre contender when they clashed in the Prix de la Pepiniere earlier in the campaign and now returns from a summer break looking to secure her third-straight victory.

Fabrice Chappet’s Plesant Jane and Henk Grewe’s German challenger Valpolicella are also engaged.