Posts

Gilligan delighted to make Wetherby raid pay dividends

Irish challenger Born By The Sea made a successful raid on Wetherby with victory in the Sixt Car Hire Intermediate Chase.

Trained by Galway-based Paul Gilligan, the six-year-old was the outsider of three runners at 7-1, with little to choose between 11-10 favourite Geordie B and 6-5 shot The Mulcair at the top of the market.

With several jumping errors leading to a disappointing display from Geordie B, it turned into a straight fight between Born To Sea and The Mulcair – and it was the former who prevailed by three-quarters of a length in the hands of the trainer’s son, Jack.

“It was a great ride from Jack, he did everything asked of him. He won it nicely,” the trainer said of the performance, which was the jockey’s first winner on English turf.

“Jack’s my son, so that adds to it,” he continued.

“It’s even better when it’s your own lad riding, it’s just fantastic. He’s a better horse fresh, so it’s possible we’ll wait now and enter him in a good race at Leopardstown over Christmas.”

Sue Smith’s Joke Dancer emerged victorious in a photo finish to claim the Watch The Jumps In HD On RacingTV Handicap Chase.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Joke Dancer soars over a fence at Wetherby
Joke Dancer soars over a fence at Wetherby (Mike Egerton/PA)

The 5-1 chance benefited from the application of cheekpieces and ran prominently throughout, finding himself heading the field alongside Rose Dobbin’s Some Reign over the last.

After wandering slightly off his path on the approach to the post, the gelding was joined by his challenger as he crossed the line and the judge was left to separate the runners, with Ryan Mania’s mount taking the race by short head.

Champion jockey Brian Hughes teamed up with trainer John Quinn to take the wetherbyracing.co.uk Juvenile Maiden Hurdle aboard 8-13 favourite First Impression.

The success was a first in the National Hunt sphere for the three-year-old, who was tackling hurdles for a third time after being previously campaigned by Quinn on the Flat.

“I’m very pleased with him, his jumping was better,” the trainer said.

“Brian said he’d have liked the ground a bit softer as it was drying up a bit sticky. I was pleased, he’s got his head in front now, which can only do him good. I’ll probably run him again around Christmas time.

“We hope he’s capable of winning a nice race in the spring, a novice handicap, a nice race somewhere. Until we get his rating and we run him again, we probably wouldn’t be making any hard or fast plans for him.

“I feel he’ll win a good pot somewhere along the line.”

Funambule Sivola was one of two Wetherby winners for Venetia Williams
Funambule Sivola was one of two Wetherby winners for Venetia Williams (Mike Egerton/PA)

A wind operation and a graduation to chasing seemed to make all the difference for Venetia Williams’ Funambule Sivola, who coasted to a seven-length success in the Watch Racing TV Anywhere Novices’ Handicap Chase.

Piloted by Charlie Deutsch, the 7-2 shot produced a smooth round of jumping to pull clear of Neil Mulholland’s 11-8 favourite Exelerator Express over the final fence.

Gemirande (17-2) later provided Deutsch and Williams with a second winner on the card when taking the two-mile Follow @racingtv On Twitter Novices’ Hurdle by three and three-quarter lengths.

Spectators outside the course grounds watch the action unfold
Spectators outside the course grounds watch the action unfold (Mike Egerton/PA)

Jumping the last level with 1-8 favourite Soaring Glory, the four-year-old was handed the race when his rival made a jumping error and fell, leaving the winner to gallop home unchallenged.

Elsewhere on the card, Ian Williams’ Sometimes Always (3-1) justified his place at the head of the market when taking the Visit injuredjockeys.co.uk For Christmas Cards Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle by six lengths under 3lb claimer Charlie Todd.

Division one of the EBF Stallions Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race went the way of Miss Lamb (5-1) for Jedd O’Keeffe and Joe Colliver, with division two claimed by Billams Legacy (3-1), ridden by Paddy Brennan for Fergal O’Brien.

Kameko seeking glorious farewell at Keeneland

Guineas hero Kameko bids to go out in a blaze of glory in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.

Andrew Balding’s colt has raced over a variety of distances since winning the season’s first Classic at Newmarket – finishing fourth over a mile and a half in the Derby, over a mile in the Sussex at Goodwood and over 10 furlongs in the Juddmonte International at York.

He got back on the winning trail over a mile in the the Group Two Joel Stakes at Newmarket in September – and having since sidestepped the QEII at Ascot on account of the testing conditions, he is set for his swansong this weekend before being retired to stud in 2021.

David Redvers, racing manager for owners Qatar Racing, said: “The horse is in great shape – I’ve seen some lovely photographs of him looking imperial and he’s apparently very well.

“It would be fantastic if he could win a Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“We just have to hope he gets his luck in running and if that is the case, I think we’ll see him at his best.”

Your first 30 days for just £1

Kameko is part of a strong European presence in the race, with Ger Lyons’ Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Siskin also set for the final outing of his racing career following a recent announcement he would stand at stud in Japan.

Colin Keane’s mount appears well placed in stall four – and Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, reports the son of First Defence to have settled in well to his new surroundings.

He said: “The draw is what it is, but certainly we have no complaints.

“The horse has travelled out there and seems in good form.

“He’s coming into it fresh, Ger is very happy with him and we hope the track will suit.”

Aidan O’Brien declared Circus Maximus, Lope Y Fernandez and Order Of Australia in a bid to win the race for a first time, with the latter getting a run following the withdrawal of the William Haggas-trained One Master.

The tough-as-teak Circus Maximus was fourth in last year’s renewal and appears to be the stable’s first string.

O’Brien said: “We think he’s in good form. He’s a tough, hardy, consistent horse who gets a mile well.

“We think and hope the conditions will suit him.”

Safe Voyage (centre) represents Yorkshire-based John Quinn
Safe Voyage (centre) represents Yorkshire-based John Quinn (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The raiding party is completed by John Quinn’s Safe Voyage – who has won two Group Twos this season and was last seen finishing a close-up third behind One Master in the Prix de la Foret.

“He’s been training well and we sidestepped the QEII at Ascot because we didn’t want to throw too much at him,” said Quinn.

“At York he was able to dominate, but at ParisLongchamp it was a little bit more tactical and became a test of speed, which caught him out. He was galloping through the line that day, so we were pleased with how he finished.

“Tactically, I think he’ll be able to be comfortable at Keeneland. There will be some very nice horses in the race, but if everything went well, we can dream that he will win – he’s certainly got a chance.”

Safe Voyage one of the big hopes as Yorkshire trainers target Breeders’ Cup

Three Yorkshire trainers have their eyes on a first Breeders’ Cup success at Keeeneland this weekend.

John Quinn, Kevin Ryan and Nigel Tinkler fly the flag for the white rose county in the United States’ biggest racing Festival.

Quinn unleashes his fine stable stalwart Safe Voyage in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile on Saturday.

The seven-year-old is a dual Group Two winner this season and was a close third in the Prix de la Foret on his latest start.

John Quinn has high hopes for Safe Voyage
John Quinn has high hopes for Safe Voyage (Edward Whitaker/PA)

The Settrington trainer revealed he has had this race mind for some time.

He said: “Early in the spring, we thought the Breeders’ Cup could suit Safe Voyage. He’s got some very good form going left-handed.

“His best form before this season was over seven furlongs, but he then won and dug deep when he won over a mile at Leopardstown, so the mile at Keeneland will hold no fears for him.”

“He finished third in the Qatar Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp last time and has been in good form since that race at the start of October. He’s come out of that race well.”

Your first 30 days for just £1

Having a first Breeders’ Cup runner is a dream come true for Quinn – and Safe Voyage is not going to just make up the numbers.

“This is our first Breeders’ Cup runner and it’s wonderful for us. We’ve been training a long time and he has a live chance. It’s something we all aspire to.”

Glass Slippers, Ryan’s contender for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, was also in action at ParisLongchamp where she was second in her bid to win the Prix de l’Abbaye for the second year running.

The four-year-old filly gained her place when winning the ‘Win and You’re In’ Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

Ryan’s first Breeders’ Cup runner was East, who was second to Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2018.

Kevin Ryan relies on Glass Slippers in the Breeders' Cup Sprint
Kevin Ryan relies on Glass Slippers in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (John Walton/PA)

“The Breeders’ Cup has been on our mind all season. She won the ‘Win and You’re In’ race at the Curragh and also ran well in the Abbaye from a bad draw,” said the Hambleton handler.

Ryan would not mind some rain in Kentucky this week for his filly. He said: “She’s very versatile as far as the ground is concerned, but I think she is a better filly with some cut in the ground.”

Tinkler has faith in Ubettabelieveit, who heads to the Juvenile Turf Sprint on Friday with a progressive profile.

The Kodiac colt burst on the scene when winning the Listed National Stakes at Sandown in July and improved on that to lift the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster in September. His only blip was in the Gimcrack Stakes at York that was run in testing conditions.

“I think he’s definitely improving. I think he’s better now than when he ran at Doncaster,” said the Malton handler.

“We then took him to Sandown where he ran very impressively and won very easily again. We then took him to York for the Gimcrack, which is over six furlongs.

“The ground was soft, bordering on heavy. He just didn’t like it – he ran too keen. Fortunately, the jockey was quite lenient with the horse, and gave him a very easy race, and he bounced back well to win the Flying Childers at Doncaster.”

On ground conditions at Keeneland, Tinkler is hoping for no more rain.

“At the moment I think the ground is fine. It does drain very well at Keeneland apparently, but soft ground would be a concern,” he said.

Nigel Tinkler feels Ubettabelieveit is improving
Nigel Tinkler feels Ubettabelieveit is improving (Steve Davies/PA)

It will also be a landmark day for the young jockey Rowan Scott who will keep the ride on Ubettabelieveit.

Tinkler said: “Rowan Scott, who rode him when he won the Flying Childers, will keep the ride. He’s a good lad.

“Nothing really phases him, so I don’t think the occasion will be a big thing for him. He’s very level-headed and he’s young. I don’t have any qualms about putting him on.”

Quinn content with performances from ParisLongcamp trio

John Quinn was proud of his three runners who put up admirable performances in defeat in two of the Group One races at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Liberty Beach and Keep Busy finished third and fifth respectively in the Prix de l’Abbaye, while Safe Voyage was third in the Prix de la Foret.

For a moment, the North Yorkshire trainer thought Liberty Beach might lift the big sprint prize in the hands of Frankie Dettori, only to go down by half a length behind Wooded, with Keep Busy sticking on well to be beaten two lengths in all.

“They ran very well. Liberty Beach ran great. It looked like maybe she was going to do it, she just got beat, but she ran really well,” said Quinn.

“Keep Busy was flat out, but finished well. She ran a good race and wasn’t beaten far.”

Safe Voyage put in good late work behind One Master and Earthlight, beaten half a length as the winner sealed a record hat-trick of victories in the Foret.

“It looked like they were going to get away from him, but he battled back and was nearly going to get up, but the winning post came too soon,” the trainer said.

Quinn is no rush to make plans for the trio, adding: “We’ll let the dust settle before deciding what we do with them.”

Breeders’ Cup date beckons for Safe Voyage

John Quinn has put the Breeders’ Cup Mile top of the agenda for Safe Voyage following his latest big-race success in Ireland on Saturday.

Following an impressive display in last month’s City of York Stakes, the seven-year-old doubled his Group Two tally and claimed his 12th career victory overall with the narrowest of triumphs over Sinawann in the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown.

A step up to Group One level beckons for a horse clearly in the form of his life – and while both the Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp and the QEII at Ascot are under consideration, it is the two-turn mile at Keeneland in November which whets Quinn’s appetite the most.

Reflecting on Saturday’s win, he said: “We’re delighted it just went his way. I think he deserved it as he’s so tough and admirable – everything you want in a top-class racehorse.

Your first 30 days for just £1

“It was his first win over a mile, which is great – it opens up other doors.

“We’ll see how he comes out of the race, but I’m going to work back from the Breeders’ Cup. We can look at the Foret and the QEII, but he’ll only run in one of those, if any.

“They’re all very good races, but the Breeders’ Cup Mile is the race that appeals the most.”

A fine weekend for the Malton-based trainer almost got even better at the Curragh on Sunday, with Keep Busy beaten just half a length in the Group One Flying Five Stakes by a fellow Yorkshire raider in Kevin Ryan’s Glass Slippers.

Keep Busy (right) pushed Glass Slippers all the way in the Flying Five
Keep Busy (right) pushed Glass Slippers all the way in the Flying Five (PA)

Quinn was unsurprisingly delighted with Keep Busy’s display – and far from disappointed by the performance of her better-fancied stablemate Liberty Beach in finishing seventh in the same race.

“It was a phenomenal run from Keep Busy – she doesn’t know how to run a bad race,” Quinn added.

“She got a bump from a horse going backwards and was beaten half a length, but that’s racing and full credit to Kevin and all the connections of the winner.

“Liberty Beach ran a good race as well. She just had no luck in running and was only beaten three lengths.

“They’re both entered in the Prix de l’Abbaye and if they’re both well, that’s where they’ll go.”