Tag Archive for: Mile

My Oberon made to work for all-weather honours

My Oberon just edged out San Andreas in a thrilling finish to the All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes at Newcastle.

Trained by William Haggas and partnered by Tom Marquand, My Oberon was last seen finishing sixth in the Dubai Turf last month and ultimately just about made his class tell as the 13-8 favourite.

However, it was not as easy a victory as expected, with My Oberon made to pull out all the stops by Joseph O’Brien’s Irish raider.

Marquand settled him mount in behind as Tempus set the early gallop, with Dylan Browne McMonagle adopting a position on the stands side aboard San Andreas and taking over the lead at Tempus started to flag in the final two furlongs.

My Oberon appeared to be travelling well, with Marquand coming between the pair to challenge and grabbing the initiative.

But San Andreas proved game, getting back on terms with the pair locked in a duel to the line, with My Oberon just prevailing by a nose. Bless Him made notable progress after sitting last early on, eventually being beaten two and a quarter lengths in third.

The first two got close in the finish, prompting a stewards’ inquiry, but the result stood.

The field was spread across the track in the Mile
The field was spread across the track in the Mile (Richard Sellers/PA)

Haggas’ wife, Maureen, said: “It was a worry coming back so quick after Dubai, but this race was worth a lot of money and you can’t pass up opportunities like this.

“He’s probably not the easiest to place, so when you get an opportunity like this to win money with a gelding, you can’t turn it down – we had to give it a go.

“He can have a little break now. I don’t know where he’ll go – William will work that one out.

“Whether it will make more sense dodging Royal Ascot and going somewhere a bit easier, I don’t know – that’s not my department!

“He’s tough and I think gelding has definitely helped him.”

Marquand said: “He gave me a moment of fright – I thought I’d go and win by half a length when I took him off the bridle, but he knows how much he has to do and won’t do much more.

“He’s won and has done really well to win as he’s had a busy month, being in Dubai, which takes its toll.

“It’s a great training performance to get him here today and get his head in front because it’s a tough one to judge sometimes when horses are travelling.”

Space Blues enjoys perfect swansong with Mile glory

Space Blues provided Charlie Appleby and William Buick with a second winner of the weekend as he bowed out with victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar.

Incredibly, after the drama before Friday’s Juvenile Turf which saw the Appleby-trained Albahr scratched after becoming upset in the stalls and stablemate Modern Games claim the prize, something similar happened again.

His 2000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas reared and hit his head on the stalls and protocol in America meant that he was immediately backed out and withdrawn. Thankfully the horse appeared fine on jogging back and James Doyle escaped injury.

That meant Appleby was down to just one runner in Space Blues, the Prix de la Foret winner, who was stepping up in trip for the first time since 2019.

Once Buick was able to break well and sit in third through the first half of the race, everything else went to plan with the pace only steady.

As Space Blues again displayed a potent turn of foot which he has been showing off in Europe all year, he might not have been going away at the finish but it was the perfect way to end a prolific career.

Appleby said: “The leader set nice, sensible fractions and I knew that would play to his attributes and that he could use his gear change.

“He’s not a natural mile horse back at home, but over seven (furlongs) and now in a Grade One over a mile here, he’s shown himself to be a true champion.

“He’s been a great servant and I’m delighted he’s retired on the world’s biggest stage.”

Regarding the incident before the race, Appleby added: “I am pleased to say that Master Of The Seas and James are both all right. The horse jogged past me after being scratched and the rules are there to abide by.

“We’ve never had any issues with him before, but it just shows what happened now and yesterday what a big test it is for the horses on this stage.”

Buick said: “He’s a real pro, this horse. He’s been round the block and knows the game.

“I had a plan in my head how I thought it would work out and in fact it worked out a little better.

“The leader set reasonable fractions and I got the perfect trip. Today was all about getting the trip.”