Masar put in a power-packed display to win the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.
Taken to the front inside the two-furlong pole, he galloped relentlessly to the line, pulling a couple of lengths clear of the useful Irish raider Romanised. Now as short as 16/1 for next season’s 2000 Guineas, he’s by New Approach out of a Cape Cross mare, and looks a colt that will be suited by at least a mile though likely further.
Prior to this success, the Godolphin juvenile had chased home classy fillies September and Nyaleti in a strong looking Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
“I thought it was a nice, professional performance,” said jockey, James Doyle. “He had good form in the book, obviously. Being placed in the Chesham was pretty smart. We knew he'd see out the trip quite well and we just kept it simple. He took a little bit of time to drop down into gear, but once he did he powered away nicely. I was pretty confident after going a furlong. I'd say a step up in trip will suit him.”
Charlie Appleby was clearly impressed, saying after the win: “I'm delighted. James gave him a lovely ride. He got the run we were hoping for. We thought they (Connect and De Bruyne Horse) were the two pace angles in front of us and he got a dream run. I was confident going into the final furlong he was going to carry on galloping and he galloped out nicely. It was a pleasing performance and I hope he's a horse with a bright future.
“He's potentially a horse for the Royal Lodge. We feel next year will be his year, so we'll treat him with some kid gloves, hopefully get another run under our belts and then put him away for the winter.”
Of the remainder, John Gosden’s Purser looked a little unfortunate back in fourth. Denied a clear run throughout, Frankie Dettori had to sit and take his punishment, and when a gap finally appeared the winner had long-since flown. Owned by Khalid Abdullah, and by American stallion Mizzen Mast, he’s an interesting sort and certainly worth keeping an eye on when next on the track.
Later at Sandown, we saw another impressive performance in a Group Three, when Aljazzi romped to victory in the fillies and mares Atalanta Stakes. Marco Botti’s four-year-old is quite a unit, and she proved her Duke Of Cambridge Stakes runner-up finish to Qemah was no fluke with this authoritative display.
“She's definitely a filly who has got better as a four-year-old,” said Botti. “She's more mature and stronger. The plan was to be a bit closer to the pace, but they went a genuine pace all the way and Andrea sat at the back and she picked up well. She's progressing and she's a nice filly to have in the yard. If she did well here the plan has always been to go straight to the Sun Chariot and I think that will be the plan.”
From relative youngsters impressing as Sandown, to a senior citizen turning back the clock at Beverley. With career earnings of more than half-a-million quid, Take Cover at the grand old age of 10 remains a high-class sprinter, and he proved a worthy favourite when making all to take ‘The Bullet’. Fifth in the King’s Stand in June, the better the ground the quicker he goes, and so it proved, as the rest were unable to land a blow in Beverley’s most prestigious event.
The David Griffiths trained stable star defeated Paul Midgley’s Final Venture, as he had done at York in July, when the pair were again first and second in a listed race. Rain on Friday night had caused concern, but the official going remained good to firm on raceday, and jockey Tom Queally paced things perfectly from the front. The pack loomed large a furlong from home, but Take Cover found plenty, and bravely saw off all-comers. “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits,” said an understandably proud trainer.