Tag Archive for: Lezoo

Lezoo lands Princess Margaret honours

Lezoo got favourite backers off to a flying start on King George day at Ascot with a comprehensive victory in the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes.

Winner of her first two starts at Bath and Newmarket before finishing second to Mawj in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes a fortnight ago, Ralph Beckett’s filly was a 6-5 shot to get back on the winning trail in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

After being settled in midfield for much of the six-furlong contest, Lezoo made her move approaching the two-furlong marker and soon swept to the lead.

The previously unbeaten dual all-weather winner Kinta came from out of the pack to throw down a challenge, but the market leader was always doing enough in front and had a length in hand at the line.

Breege was a further two and a half lengths away in third.

“She’s a tough girl. I wish they were all like her – four runs in five weeks,” said Beckett.

“We will think about the Cheveley Park. She has just thrived on her racing. I really didn’t intend to run her here at all after Newmarket. I thought we would go to the Lowther. I thought York would really suit her as a racecourse, as a track as well. So, it is great to get it done.

“Andrew Rosen, her part-owner, has had horses in England for 15 years and he has never seen one of them win, and he’s here today. So today is a good day for all concerned.

Frankie Dettori after winning on Lezoo
Frankie Dettori after winning on Lezoo (John Walton/PA)

“We will go to the Lowther next, probably. We will keep running her. If she keeps going like this, we will keep running her and won’t stand in her way.”

When asked whether he was running the filly with such regularity because he feels she is more of a two-year-old than a three-year-old, the trainer added: “Not so much that, but when the ball is at your feet, it is a good idea to kick it.”

Coral cut Lezoo to 16-1 from 20-1 for next year’s 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Lezoo leads Beckett duo into Princess Margaret battle

Lezoo and Palm Lily give trainer Ralph Beckett a strong hand in the curtain-raising Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

It promises to be a big day for the Kimpton Down handler, with his runaway Irish Derby winner Westover all the rage for the King George.

Beckett will be hoping to ease his nerves ahead of the midsummer showpiece in the afternoon’s opener, with dual winner Lezoo the hot favourite in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

The Bath novice and Newmarket Listed winner was narrowly beaten by Mawj in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago and should prove hard to beat if in the same form this weekend.

Jamie McCalmont, bloodstock agent and racing manager to Lezoo’s part-owner Marc Chan, said: “I felt she was a bit unlucky at Newmarket.

“This is her fourth race in eight weeks, which is asking any horse to do a lot, but she’s fired in her other three races and is a little bit unlucky not to be unbeaten.

“She deserves to be favourite, but as we all know it doesn’t always work like that.

“Ralph wouldn’t be running her if he wasn’t happy with her. He says she’s got a great mind and doesn’t lose any weight when she runs, but there’s only so many times you can go to the well.”

The trainer has an interesting second string to his bow in the form of Palm Lily, who steps up in class after making a big impression her racecourse debut at Kempton in early June.

Ralph Beckett saddles two runners in Ascot's opener on Saturday
Ralph Beckett saddles two runners in Ascot’s opener on Saturday (Mike Egerton/PA)

Palm Lily carries the colours of Juddmonte, whose racing manager Barry Mahon, said: “She’s a filly that Ralph has always liked, she won very nicely the first day and she’s just been growing since, so he’s been patient and given her time.

“Ralph said that she worked nicely on Saturday and she deserves to take her chance in it.”

Palm Lily is one of four unbeaten fillies in the field along with Kevin Ryan’s Thirsk scorer Glenlaurel, George Boughey’s dual all-weather winner Kinta and the William Haggas-trained Royal Charter, who narrowly struck gold on her introduction on the July Course.

“She won well on her debut, it wasn’t a strong race but she’s come forward from that,” said Haggas.

“We’re pitching her in a better race and I’m hoping she’ll run well. I think Ralph Beckett’s horse with Frankie on board has been proven to be pretty useful, so that’s the one we’ve all got to beat.”

Omniqueen won at Ascot on her debut and trainer Dave Loughnane feels she is better than she showed when finishing down the field on her second start in the Queen Mary Stakes at the Royal meeting.

“She didn’t really get the run of the race at Royal Ascot. She clipped heels with the American horse very early on and her chance was over from there,” said Loughnane.

“She’s obviously a winner at the track and I think the step up to six will suit her.”

Richard Hannon and Ryan Moore team up with Minnetonka, who finished fifth when favourite to beat Lezoo in the Listed Empress Stakes last month.

John Quinn’s Breege and Cuban Mistress from Rod Millman’s yard complete the field.

Mawj sets the standard in intriguing Duchess of Cambridge Stakes

Saeed bin Suroor’s promising youngster Mawj has the chance to get back to winning ways as she lines up in a red-hot renewal of the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel made a taking impression on debut when coming home the best part of five-lengths clear of George Boughey’s subsequent scorer Believing on the Rowley Mile.

She was then sent off the 2-1 favourite for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing strongly behind the winner Meditate to prove best of the home contingent.

Her trainer was pleased with that effort and is happy with her preparation for this six-furlong Group Two event, where Mawj is disputing favouritism once again in a fiercely competitive market.

Bin Suroor said: “Mawj ran well at Ascot to finish second. Aidan O’Brien’s filly is quite a good filly and for Mawj to finish second to her was a good result for her. She has come out of the race well and in her last piece of work last week she worked nicely.

“I’m very happy with her and this is a good race for her. The track and ground will suit her and we’re looking forward to a good run from her, the filly is in good condition.”

Back in fourth in the Albany Stakes was previous York scorer Queen Olly, who is one of two in this for David Loughnane, along with Carmela, who now steps up in trip following a respectable effort in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Finishing second behind Karl Burke’s impressive Dramatised in that five-furlong contest was Michael Bell’s Maylandsea, who outran odds of 28-1 to prove her debut victory at Nottingham was no fluke.

The Newmarket-based handler is bullish about the chances of the Middleham Park Racing-owned filly in the bet365-sponsored event, as she also moves up in distance.

“If she gets the six (furlongs) she should be hard to beat,” he said.

“The Queen Mary was arguably the best two-year-old race at the meeting, certainly on the clock. We are very much looking forward to running her.”

Adding further spice to the mix in a fascinating edition of this two-year-old event is Ralph Beckett’s Lezoo, who will be looking to preserve her unbeaten record.

The daughter of Zoustar beat Dragon Stakes runner-up Cuban Mistress at Bath on her racecourse bow and then enhanced her reputation when running out a ready winner of the Empress Fillies’ Stakes over course and distance late last month.

Lezoo and Frankie Dettori after winning the Empress Fillies' Stakes at Newmarket
Lezoo and Frankie Dettori after winning the Empress Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket (Simon Milham/PA)

She was partnered on that occasion by Frankie Dettori and the Italian will be on board once again as her trainer expects another bold bid on the July Course.

“We were very pleased with her run at the track last time. She has come out of that really well,” said Beckett.

“This race has come right for her. She is in good shape and I’m hopeful she will go very close.”

The line-up is completed by Rod Millman’s Tagline, who was a bronze medallist behind Lezoo in the aforementioned Listed contest and having caught the eye on that occasion, could defy her outsider status with valuable course experience under her belt.

Dettori bounces back as he wins on only ride at Newmarket

Frankie Dettori put a turbulent few days behind him with victory aboard Lezoo at Newmarket on Saturday.

The 51-year-old was taking his first mount since long-standing associate John Gosden, who trains in partnership with son Thady, announced on Friday evening that the pair had agreed to take a “sabbatical” from their working relationship.

Speculation about their alliance was rife after Dettori’s name appeared alongside the Ralph Beckett-trained filly in the Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies’ Stakes, but not the Gosden-trained horses on the same card, with the partnership now officially paused for the immediate future.

Dettori did not let the off-course drama impact his racetrack performance though, as he delivered Lezoo with a perfectly-timed challenge to win going away by a length and three-quarters.

The rider received plenty of cheers on his way back to the winner’s enclosure and treated the crowd to one of his trademark flying dismounts on what was his first ride since the end of Royal Ascot.

He said: “I haven’t been away, I’ve only been off for five days! I’m really touched by the support though and I didn’t expect that, so it was great.”

Speaking before racing, Dettori admitted a break was perhaps best for both parties at present, but also confirmed his intention to continue riding until at least the end of next season.

He said: “We had a meeting yesterday. It had been coming for a little while. We decided it is probably best we go our separate ways for a bit.

“I will definitely do this year and next year. I will be riding in Istanbul in the Derby tomorrow and I will be in the German Derby next week and I’ve got a couple of weekends in Belmont and Saratoga, so I’m pretty busy for the next month. So, if you don’t see me ride domestically, it is not because I gave up. It is because I’m actually abroad.

“But I am intending to ride for the rest of this year and next year.

“It is a new start and we will take it a step at a time, but I can assure everyone I am not stopping. If I am away this month, it is because I am away abroad – not because I gave up. I will be back, I guess, for King George weekend.”

Lezoo is co-owned by Dettori’s friend Marc Chan and his racing manager Jamie McCalmont was thrilled to see the rider demonstrate his undoubted talents.

He said: “What can we say about Frankie’s ride – he hasn’t lost it, has he? Let’s leave it at that. We might see another flying dismount – we’ve seen a few of those.

“It feels good and it’s great to see him have this reception. I’m quite emotional, it’s like winning a Group One race and it’s a Listed race.”

Of Lezoo, he added: “We are delighted. That was only her second start. We will probably come back here in the Cherry Hinton (July 8). We will see how she comes out of the race.

“It was a great effort from all of Ralph’s team. Her mother ran eight times as a two-year-old and I feel that we need to make hay while the sun shines.”

Dettori delivers perfect riposte with Newmarket victory

On his first ride since taking a “sabbatical” from his relationship with John and Thady Gosden, Frankie Dettori partnered Lezoo to victory at Newmarket

It became apparent that all was not well with the Dettori and Gosden association on Thursday when the jockey’s name appeared alongside the Ralph Beckett-trained filly in the Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies’ Stakes, but not the Gosden-trained horses on the same card.

By Friday evening Gosden senior announced that the pair had paused their working relationship – without closing the door for good – but if Dettori has shown anything during his illustrious career, it is that he is a dangerous man with a point to prove.

It briefly looked like Lezoo had a mountain to climb as Malrescia kicked clear at Headquarters, but Dettori’s timing was on point and she won going away by a length and three-quarters.

Speaking before racing, Dettori confirmed his intention to continue riding until at least the end of next season, telling Racing TV: “I will definitely do this year and next year.

“I will be riding in Istanbul in the Derby tomorrow and I will be in the German Derby next week and I’ve got a couple of weekends in Belmont and Saratoga, so I’m pretty busy for the next month. So, if you don’t see me ride domestically, it is not because I gave up. It is because I’m actually abroad.

“But I am intending to ride for the rest of this year and next year.”