Tag Archive for: Greenham Stakes

Esquire produces 16-1 shock in Greenham

Esquire produced a professional performance to prevail in the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury for David O’Meara and Danny Tudhope.

However, connections of 2000 Guineas hotpot City Of Troy will not be losing any sleep over this result, as the gelding is not qualified to run in the Classics.

Tudhope sent the 16-1 winner on two furlongs from home and he quickly established a nice lead.

El Bodon, Zoum Zoum, Son and Alaskan Gold all tried hard to cut back the deficit but ultimately had to settle for a bunched finish for the minor placings.

Tudhope simply had to keep Esquire going along at the same pace up the rail to finish a length and a quarter clear of the chasing pack, with El Bodon and Zoum Zoum unable to be separated by the judge for second place.

O’Meara said of the Cheveley Park Stud-owned winner: “I wasn’t sure he would stay the seven (furlongs) today and I wouldn’t be certain he would get the seven at Ascot (Jersey Stakes) either, but today has opened the option of seven.

“We thought we would give it a whirl and if he didn’t stay we would come back to six, but he saw it out well today so I will speak to Chris (Richardson) and Mrs (Patricia) Thompson and see what they want to do now.

“He obviously isn’t in the Guineas because he’s a gelding, but there’s always lots of nice races for a nice horse.

“We loved him before he won his maiden which was only at Hamilton and then he finished second in a Listed race at York, but he disappointed at Doncaster on heavy ground at the end of last season. I thought he could come here today and maybe finish fourth or fifth, but I wasn’t sure he would win.”

Of El Bodon, Jane Chapple-Hyam said: “We are very pleased with how he performed and we will see how we get on with him, but at this stage he wouldn’t be a Guineas contender.

“He’s one who will improve as the season goes on and we will see how he comes out of this race. But I can’t see us going for the Guineas as he showed some speed there.”

Zoum Zoum is trained by Ralph Beckett, who said: “It was a good effort, he got pushed around and didn’t quite get his own way but it was a good effort nonetheless.

“We will aim for the Jersey and we might end up dropping back to six furlongs with him at some point. I think he will be suited by six furlongs once he’s learned his job, he’s a slow learner as you can see there. But it was a good effort and we will keep going.”

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Ballymount aiming to be top Boy in Greenham

Ballymount Boy will cut his teeth as a three-year-old in the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

The Adrian Keatley-trained Camacho colt enjoyed a good juvenile season, taking a Hamilton maiden before showing a great deal of promise when finishing just a length behind Vandeek in Goodwood’s Group Two Richmond Stakes.

Vandeek subsequently went on to score twice at Group One level in the Prix Morny and the Middle Park, while Ballymount Boy was runner-up in the Acomb and then the winner of the Listed Prospect Stakes at Doncaster.

He will be seen for the first time this term at Newbury on Saturday, competing over seven furlongs at Group Three level before the rest of his season is mapped out.

“We’re looking forward to running him, the draw hasn’t been very kind to us (stall 11) but he won’t mind the ground,” said Keatley.

Ballymount Boy (fourth left) at Doncaster
Ballymount Boy (fourth left) at Doncaster (Richard Sellers/PA)

“Hopefully it’s a good starting off point and we’ll know where we’re at for the first half of the season after Saturday anyway.

“He has form on firm ground and he has form on soft ground, even from his worst run in France last year (eighth in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere), his form has worked out, with Brian Meehan’s horse (Jayarebe) who finished in front of us that day and won well on Thursday.

“He’s good, solid form from last year, he’s only a length off the highest-rated three-year-old in England in Vandeek, so he’s very much entitled to take his chance in this.”

Wathnan Racing acquired Ballymount Boy midway through last season and also own Mister Sketch, trained by Eve Johnson Houghton and also set to run in the Greenham.

The Territories colt ran three times last year and was beaten just a neck on debut before winning a Salisbury novice by nine and a half lengths in mid-August.

Mister Sketch (right) in the silks of his prior owners
Mister Sketch (right) in the silks of his prior owners (Adam Davy/PA)

From there, he stepped up in grade to contest the Mill Reef and was beaten only half a length by Andrew Balding’s Array on heavy ground.

“He’s in great form, he’s done some nice work,” Johnson Houghton said.

“At this stage, this is a stepping stone to know which direction we’re going to go with him.

“He’ll love better ground but I think this ground will be OK, he is a lovely horse but he’s very much still a work in progress.

“He’s improving all the time, I thought he ran really well in the Mill Reef and I think we’ve got a very nice horse on our hands.”

David O’Meara runs Esquire, a Harry Angel gelding owned by Cheveley Park Stud.

A Hamilton winner on debut, he was then second to a very useful horse in the Balding-trained Purosangue in the Listed Rockingham Stakes at York in October.

His next run came in the Prospect Stakes at Doncaster, where he was sixth as Ballymount Boy came home in front.

“I think he’s a progressive horse, trip-wise he may be more suited to six furlongs, going forward,” said Chris Richardson of Cheveley Park.

“He prefers a bit of ease in the ground, so we’ve got our conditions.

“Like all these races at this time of year, it’s very much a fact-finding mission, whether he’s good enough or not, we will learn a huge amount about his potential, so we’ll roll the dice.”

Another notable contender is Ralph Beckett’s Zoum Zoum, a chestnut son of Zoustar who was unbeaten last year when winning two novices and the Listed Prix Herod at Saint-Cloud.

One of those novice runs was a two-and-a-half-length victory over Kikkuli at Newmarket, an interesting piece of form as that horse is a Kingman half-brother to Frankel and subsequently won a maiden at the same track earlier in the week.

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Dettori eager to resume Chaldean partnership in Greenham

Chaldean will attempt to follow in his sire’s illustrious footsteps and enhance his Classic credentials when he lines up in Saturday’s Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

The son of Frankel, whose triumph in the seven-furlong contest 12 years ago was a springboard to legendary status, was last season’s top-rated British juvenile after landing the Dewhurst and he begins his three-year-old campaign with a warning from connections that he will not be fully wound up for the Group Three contest.

The Andrew Balding-trained colt won his last four starts – all over the same distance – after a debut reverse over six furlongs at Newbury.

Frankie Dettori will partner the Juddmonte-owned Chaldean, who is no bigger than 5-1 for the 2000 Guineas on May 6, as the popular Italian seeks a Classic victory in his farewell season.

Dettori even cut short his successful winter in America to resume his partnership with the colt and the World Pool ambassador said: “I could have stayed in America for longer based on the backing I was getting, and I was enjoying it a lot, but I’ve got some nice horses to get back on in the UK, starting with Chaldean in the Greenham on Saturday.

“I didn’t want to let go of this one and I’m really looking forward to getting on him again.

“He was a very good two-year-old last year, winning the Dewhurst, which often proves to be the best race juvenile race of the season. Before that, he was a comfortable winner of the Champagne Stakes, and the second, Indestructible, came out and won the Craven this week.”

Chaldean will take on 10 rivals with the Juddmonte racing manager Barry Mahon viewing the race as a stepping stone, having not run since taking his Group One at Newmarket in early October.

“Like all of these trials, he’s not 100 per cent tuned up, but he’s fit and well and ready to run a good race and we will see where that takes us,” said Mahon.

“These trials are so tight, it’s only two weeks to the Guineas from Newbury, so you don’t want to go there 100 per cent and have a hard race and leave your Guineas behind.

“He’ll be 85/90 per cent and in good form, and as long as he runs a race with promise, no matter where he finishes, it will build us into the Guineas in two weeks time.”

Chaldean’s dam, Suelita, is by Dutch Art, who won both the Prix Morny and Middle Park over six furlongs and was third in the Guineas when stepped up to a mile, a distance he never won over.

Asked if there were any doubts about staying a mile in the Guineas, Mahon added: “With his run style you would say no, but there is a lot of speed in his dam’s side.

“The dam is all five and six (furlongs) and there is very little seven in it.

“Frankel, we know, is a mile and 10-furlong (horse) and his progeny tend to stay, so we’re very hopeful he would get a mile, but I wouldn’t like to say it’s a foregone conclusion either.”

Zoology, owned by Qatar Racing and trained by James Ferguson, has fitness on his side.

A son of Zoustar, he won his maiden at Yarmouth impressively before finishing over 10 lengths adrift of Blackbeard in the Middle Park.

Yet he showed his well-being with a neck success over the Juddmonte-owned Covey upon his return at Southwell earlier this month, form that looked strong when the runner-up scored by four lengths in the Alex Scott Maiden Stakes at Newmarket on Tuesday.

James Ferguson has high hopes for Zoology
James Ferguson has high hopes for Zoology (Mike Egerton/PA)

Ferguson said: “He’s in great form, I’m really happy with him. He did a nice piece of work the other day and has come out of Southwell in great order.

“The form was massively franked with Covey winning at Newmarket. We obviously beat him with a 7lb penalty and I know that horse was first time out, but a 7lb penalty is enough.

“It’s obviously a massive step up, but I really hope for Sheikh Fahad and everybody he can go and run really well.”

Theoryofeverything heads into deeper waters for his second start, having won a seven-furlong Doncaster novice by six lengths three weeks ago.

Another son of Frankel, he is owned by Prince Faisal and trained by John and Thady Gosden, and holds an entry in the Dante.

“He won well on debut at Doncaster at the start of the season. He is a smartly-bred colt so we decided he should take his chance in a very competitive race,” said Thady Gosden.

“It is as strong a Greenham as we have seen for a while with plenty of smart horses in there and obviously it will be only his second run of his life.

“He is coming up against some much more experienced colts. It is a big step up from a maiden novice on soft ground.

“They’re forecast a little bit of rain on Friday night into Saturday morning and it is probably holding ground at the moment after a couple of drying days.

“He is a good-moving colt who obviously handled deep ground at Doncaster and he’ll handle the ground at Newbury.”

Eve Johnson Houghton saddles Streets Of Gold, who is unbeaten in five starts, having signed off his juvenile season with success in a valuable seven-furlong contest at York in October.

“He is really well, he has wintered well so I’m very happy with him,” said the trainer.

“He’s not the biggest horse and he hasn’t grown, but he’s filled out and muscled up. He seems in great form.

Streets of Gold took the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes at the Curragh in September
Streets of Gold took the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes at the Curragh in September (Donnall Farmer/PA)

“He has never been a flashy work horse, but he’s been working much better this year. It’s no easy feat to win five on the bounce, he just kept rolling and getting better and better.

“It’s a great starting point for him. I love Newbury as a racecourse, it is just down the road from us.

“If Streets of Gold wins the Greenham or runs well in the Greenham, he will be heading for the English 2000 Guineas. I would be very confident that he would handle the undulations at Newmarket and I have no concerns with trip.”

By Dark Angel, Charyn won two of his four starts as a juvenile for Roger Varian, including the Group Two Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte at Chantilly in October.

Varian said: “He’s a nice colt. He has only got four runs under his belt but has some very good form.

“He was good in his novices and then ran a nice race behind Sakheer in the Mill Reef where I felt he was still learning his trade, but he showed a good level in winning the Group Two at Chantilly in October.

Roger Varian wants to find out more about Charyn
Roger Varian wants to find out more about Charyn (Mike Egerton/PA

“He’s a pretty solid horse who shouldn’t mind the forecast cut in the ground.

“It is likely to be a strong Greenham but he is a colt we like and how he performs will give us a bit of a steer as to where we go with him. But he’s training nicely, looks the part and we’re looking forward to running him.”

Ralph Beckett is responsible for Greys Monument, who was runner-up to Knight – who re-opposes – in the Horris Hill over course and distance when last seen.

Beckett said: “He will need the run and this is on the sharp side for him.”

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Chaldean and Noble Style head top-class Greenham list

Both Chaldean and Noble Style figure amongst the entries for what could be a red-hot Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

Chaldean is the shortest-priced British-trained contender for the Qipco 2000 Guineas having won four of his five outings as a two-year-old and will be putting his Classic credentials to the test in the seven-furlong event.

The Andrew Balding-trained son of Frankel is well accustomed to the Berkshire track having quickly made amends for his defeat on debut at the course when striking at Newbury on his second start. He then racked up three high-class victories in Group contests, culminating with a Dewhurst Stakes triumph at Newmarket in the autumn.

“It’s going to be good to see him back and hopefully the forecast is good for the weekend and it will be dry,” said Juddmonte’s Barry Mahon.

“Andrew and the team are very happy and his work has been good. He’s just about ready to go and as long as he runs a nice race on Saturday, that will hopefully lead us on to one of the Classics.

“It looks like it’s going to be a good race. There’s no one missing apart from the two Ballydoyle horses and it’s going to be a top-class renewal.”

Noble Style meanwhile went unbeaten in three starts during his juvenile campaign which was curtailed after a taking success in the Gimcrack at York.

It will be the first time the son of Kingman has raced beyond six furlongs, but trainer Charlie Appleby is hopeful the outing will provide him with plenty of clues ahead of a potential Guineas bid on May 6.

“We are going into the race completely open-minded regarding his trip,” the Moulton Paddocks handler told www.godolphin.com.

Gimcrack winner Noble Style is to tackle seven furlongs for the first time in the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury as a trial for what trainer Charlie Appleby hopes will be a crack at the 2000 Guineas
Gimcrack winner Noble Style is to tackle seven furlongs for the first time in the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury as a trial for what trainer Charlie Appleby hopes will be a crack at the 2000 Guineas (Mike Egerton/PA)

“This is the first time he has gone beyond six furlongs. He shows a lot of natural pace and stepping up to the mile of a Guineas could be a question mark.

“It will be his first time at seven furlongs, and after the dust settles later, we will make the call on whether it will be the English or the French Guineas, or whether he drops back in distance for the Commonwealth at Royal Ascot.”

There is a total of 16 entries for the Group Three contest with the Horris Hill one, two, three – Knight, Grey’s Monument and Ancestral Land – all in the mix, while also bringing course form to the table is Roger Varian’s Charyn, who was third to stablemate Sakheer in the Mill Reef before going on to taste Group Two glory in France in his final outing last term.

Other notable contenders include the Amo Racing-owned Indestructible, who could make his first appearance for Karl Burke, Richard Fahey’s Royal Ascot scorer The Ridler and John and Thady Gosden’s Theoryofeverything, who created a deep impression when winning on debut at Doncaster.

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Noble Style to test Guineas aspirations in Greenham

Gimcrack winner Noble Style is to tackle seven furlongs for the first time in the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury as a trial for what trainer Charlie Appleby hopes will be a crack at the 2000 Guineas.

Appleby sees the outcome of a race over seven furlongs giving him options of whether to go up or down in trip for the unbeaten son of Kingman, a horse he describes as “going well and in great form”.

Having won on his debut at Ascot in May he was well fancied for the Coventry Stakes but an injury kept him off the track until he won at Newmarket at the end of July.

Appleby said: “He has done well from two to three and the plan is to go for the Greenham, because I didn’t want to step him up from six furlongs to a mile in the Craven.

“The seven and how he gets on will give me an indication of what we are going to be doing, whether that is dropping back to six for the Commonwealth Cup or going forward in distance to the Guineas.

“He was very impressive in the Gimcrack when he gave the impression there’s a lot of speed in that family. His maiden at Ascot is also very strong form, and he’s delighted me through the winter.”

Appleby conceded that he does not have an obvious flag bearer among his three-year-old fillies, and is hoping something may emerge in the coming weeks.

He concluded: “I have a few to run in the trials, and while there is no standout individual they have all done well and will not look out of place physically. Others will run in maidens and let’s see what transpires.”

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