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Oscula headlines Boughey’s squad seeking Newmarket honours

Oscula will spearhead George Boughey’s strong team of fillies’ heading to Newmarket this week.

The Group Three winner will run in the Rockfel Stakes on Friday along with stablemate Cachet, while Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel will try to bounce back from a disappointing run in France last time out in the Princess Royal Stakes.

Boughey will also have two runners in the Group One Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes in the supplemented Corazon, third in the Flying Childers last time out, and Thunder Love, who was fifth in the same race.

“She was running on close home and she got a little bit lonely on the far side, she didn’t have much company from about the three pole,” said Boughey of Corazon.

“Will (Buick) brought her over to try to get her some company and she just failed, so I thought she ran a blinder. I think she’ll run a big race, I think she deserves a crack.

“Thunder Love will run as well, she was a little unlucky in the Flying Childers.

“She met a little bit of trouble and got stopped in her run. Rossa (Ryan) was gutted when he got back in as he said she would have run a really big race.

“We’ll have two runners and they are both in good shape and ready to step up to six furlongs.”

Oscula was a very impressive winner at Epsom in June
Oscula was a very impressive winner at Epsom in June (John Walton/PA)

Oscula won the Woodcote at the Derby meeting, finished third in the Albany and won the Prix Six Perfections at Deauville and while Cachet’s form appears to have levelled out, Boughey expects her to bounce back.

“Cachet and Oscula both worked nicely this morning so will both run in the Rockfel,” said Boughey.

“Cachet was unlucky in France, she was slow out of the gate, which she has been the last twice, she jumps out fine at home so hopefully we’ll tidy that up before this.

“I think you’ll see a different Cachet, it wasn’t run to suit her in France but she looks great now.

“Oscula just got caught late on last time, but she got bumped into by the Crisford horse (Fast Attack) and that lit her up and she ran keen, which she’s never done before.

“I think she’ll run a massive race. I think she’s up to this level. She’s got to handle Newmarket, she wouldn’t have done a huge amount of work on the track, unlike most of mine, so that’s a little bit new to her. Her style of racing should suit it.”

Mystery Angel has winning form at Newmarket
Mystery Angel has winning form at Newmarket (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mystery Angel has failed to reproduce her huge run in the Oaks behind Snowfall, but Boughey is hoping a quicker surface may help.

He said: “I think the last race came a bit too quick for her and I’ve always thought better ground will suit her better, and I imagine it will be better by the weekend.

“Her best performances seem to come on that track and she’ll be sold in the mares’ sale at the end of the year, so hopefully we’ll get to see her run a couple more times before then.”

Boughey breaks new ground with Oscula

George Boughey enjoyed a first Group-race victory as Oscula ran out a decisive winner of the Sky Sports Racing Prix Six Perfections at Deauville.

Ridden by Ryan Moore, the filly went into the race having run respectably in both the Albany and Duchess of Cambridge Stakes.

A Group win had not yet been achieved, but a trip to France proved worthwhile as the Nick Bradley Racing-owned bay was an impressive all-the-way winner when crossing the line a length and half ahead of her nearest rival.

“She was very good, she toughed it out and I think she appreciated running on soft ground again,” Boughey said of the 43-5 chance.

“It was very quick when she ran at Newmarket the other day, Ryan gave her a peach of a ride.

“She’s quite a progressive filly and it was nice to see her stay the seven furlongs.

“She’s always shown that she could do it and it’s nice to see her putting it into action and going and winning a Group race, she should be a lot of fun for the owners going forward.

“I imagine she could get a mile and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her go back out there for the Prix Marcel Boussac at the end of the year on Arc day.”

He added: “It’s a lot of hard work that goes into it by everyone at home, we’ve got some two-year-olds and some nice back-end horse who’ll make nice three-year-olds as well.

“Huge credit to everyone at everyone at home, sadly we couldn’t be there today but hopefully we will be next time.”

The Group Three Darley Prix de Cabourg went the way of Florian Guyader’s Have A Good Day (189-10), who ran prominently throughout but only took up the lead late on in a tightly-bunched finish.

The Group Three Prix de Psyche Sky Sports Racing was then claimed by 9-5 favourite Penja, who prevailed in a photo from for Cristian Demuro and Jean-Claude Rouget.

Jessica Harrington’s The Blue Brilliant finished as the runner-up, missing out by just a nose under Shane Foley, with Boughey’s Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel another three-quarters of a length back in third.

The concluding race on the card, the Listed Prix du Carrousel, was then won by Brokeback Mountain (7-1) for Gregory Benoist and Yann Barberot.

Big day in store for Boughey in France

George Boughey is confident of prominent performances from both Oscula and Hellomydarlin in Deauville’s Prix Six Perfections – but cannot predict which of his two fillies will come out on top.

Boughey’s juveniles are owned by a division of Nick Bradley Racing – as is Mystery Angel, also part of the yard’s Tuesday team in France in a second Group Three on a classy card, the Prix de Psyche.

The Newmarket trainer expects all of them to cope in varying degrees with the forecast good to soft conditions, having proved adaptable on that score to date.

Oscula was significantly Hellomydarlin’s superior when they were respectively third and 12th in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But there is only 2lb between them on official ratings, and Boughey corroborates that they have been each other’s equal on his gallops as they prepare to take on a field containing one other British challenger – Simon and Ed Crisford’s Daneh – and a home contingent headed by Andre Fabre’s unbeaten course-and-distance winner Zellie.

Oscula, winner of the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom in June, has followed her Royal Ascot effort with a very respectable fourth in the Group Two Duchess of Cambridge Stakes.

Boughey said: “The ground was too quick for her at Newmarket last time. It looks like there’s a bit of ease out there this time, which should suit her.

“She was third in the Albany on heavy, and then it was very soft ground on Oaks day when she won the Woodcote.

“She’s rated 100, goes there in good shape, so I think she has a good chance.”

Both fillies move up slightly in trip, having raced exclusively over six furlongs so far.

Boughey added: “Hellomydarlin steps up to seven, after her third in the Prix Robert Papin.

“Jockey reports and everything I’ve seen have always suggested she’d get seven.

“She’s a big, strong filly and goes there with a decent chance as well.

“The form of Hellomydarlin’s maiden actually got a massive boost the other day, with Ismael Mohammed’s (Zain Claudette) winning a Group Three.

“It didn’t work out for her at Ascot. We wanted her to come stands side, and she never got over to get in the race, and the ground was way too soft for her.

“I think you can put a complete line through that.”

She has twice run with credit since, notably in the Group Two Robert Papin at Chantilly last time.

“Her form at Pontefract was pretty good, and then she backed it up when she went to France the other day,” said Boughey.

“So personally, I couldn’t split them. They worked together the other day, and they worked as well as each other.

“Obviously one will beat the other – but where they finish, I’m not sure.”

Joint-trainer Ed Crisford admits Daneh – a beautifully-bred daughter of dual Group One-winning mare Rizeena – faces a testing assignment after just her impressive all-weather debut success over this trip in June.

He said: “She won very well at Kempton, and we thought she deserved a chance in a stakes race.

“She’s obviously very well-bred as well, a homebred of Sheikh Rashid’s (Dalmook Al Maktoum).

“We were going to run her in a Listed race at Sandown the other day. But it was very firm ground, and she wouldn’t want that.

“So the ground looks suitable. It still looks a very punchy affair out there – but she’s in good form, and I think she’s come on again from her first run, so we’re expecting a good run from her.

“I think she deserves to be going in a stakes race, so we’ll see how she gets on and where we stand.”

Boughey, meanwhile, hopes his highly-consistent Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel can gain deserved Group Three success later on the card.

“She’s flown the flag this year for us,” he said.

Mystery Angel has been a star for her connections this season
Mystery Angel has been a star for her connections this season (Mike Egerton/PA)

“She won the Pretty Polly well (at Newmarket in May) on decent ground. She’s not actually run again on it, and she’d never run before on it, and I’ve always been of the view that she will be better on better ground.

“If it was only good to soft, that would be fine.

“It seems everywhere she goes the rain follows her. She’s in very good form – she’s been busy, but she takes her racing incredibly well.”

Mystery Angel drops to 10 furlongs, having sat out a possible Group Two alternative up at one mile six on Saturday at Goodwood.

“She’s not bred to get a mile and a quarter, a mile and a half – but I think because she’s so relaxed she’s able to,” said Boughey.

“She was in the Lillie Langtry, but I didn’t see any reason to take on David Menuisier’s horse (Wonderful Tonight) on soft ground.

“I think she’s pretty versatile trip-wise. We’ll probably look to make plenty of use of her and get on the front. James Doyle will know that she stays a mile and a half well, and (can) be pretty positive on her.

“It felt like she deserved a Listed win, and she got that, so if we can go one step better that’d be great.”

Among her seven opponents are Irish challenger The Blue Brilliant, who moves up in class in search of her hat-trick for Jessica Harrington.

Bradley trio bid for Duchess of Cambridge repeat

Nick Bradley fires a three-pronged assault in a bid to repeat his success of last year in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

The successful syndicate manager enjoyed a one-two in the Group Two contest 12 months ago, with Karl Burke’s favourite Dandalla edging out the Richard Fahey-trained Fev Rover by a head.

The chief hope this season appears to be George Boughey’s Oscula, an impressive winner of the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom last month before finishing third in the Albany at Royal Ascot behind Sandrine and Hello You – who both renew rivalry.

The Nick Bradley Racing colours are also carried by Shouldavbeenmore (Fahey) and Honey Sweet (Burke), who finished fourth and seventh respectively in the Listed Empress Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago.

Oscula with connections after winning at Epsom
Oscula with connections after winning at Epsom (Mike Egerton/Jockey Club)

“I think they all go there with a good chance,” said Bradley.

“Sandrine is a smart filly, and the Amo Racing horse (Hello You) is pretty smart as well. But I think we’ve got three live chances, and I wouldn’t discount any of them from winning.

“Mark Crehan, who could have had the pick of everything, will ride Oscula.

“Honey Sweet was seventh in the Empress Stakes at Newmarket, but I think that day she was probably on the lesser part of the track. PJ McDonald rides her.

“We’ll try and win it, like we did last year.”

Sandrine is bidding to make it three from three, having made a winning debut at Kempton before striking Ascot gold.

Conditions will be far less testing on the July Course than they were in Berkshire, and trainer Andrew Balding is keeping his fingers crossed she can prove as effective.

He said: “I’ve been very happy with her since Ascot.

“Ground conditions will be very different, and that’s a question mark. But she seems in good form, and I thought she was very impressive in the Albany, so fingers crossed for a good run.”

Bradley delighted by Royal Ascot efforts

Nick Bradley reflected on Royal Ascot with pride after a busy and successful meeting for his eponymous racing partnerships.

The syndicate had entrants on all five days of the Royal meeting, with Eldrickjones coming closest to victory when finishing second behind Berkshire Shadow in the Group Two Coventry Stakes.

The son of Cotai Glory was beaten by a length and a quarter having started at huge odds of 66-1, and Bradley feels the Roger Fell-trained bay could have gone one better had luck been on his side.

“The two two-year-old colts ran really well, with Eldrickjones finishing second in the Coventry,” he said.

Eldrickjones (right) finishing second in the Coventry Stakes
Eldrickjones (right) finishing second in the Coventry Stakes (David Davies/PA)

“I think if you ran that race again and it worked out slightly differently, he’d probably win.”

Bradley’s other two-year-old colt was racecourse debutant Kaboo, who finished sixth in the Windsor Castle Stakes after finding himself at the centre of a huge gamble that saw him backed from 66-1 down to 15-2.

“That was an almighty debut to finish sixth,” Bradley said of the colt’s run.

“Again, I think if you ran that race on a different day he’d be finishing better than sixth.

“Both are exciting colts to take forwards. We’ve only got three two-year-old colts in training, so for two of them to run so well at Royal Ascot, it says a lot about what we’re trying to do.”

The syndicate enjoyed a third-placed finish in the Group Three Albany Stakes, a race they won last season with Dandalla, with George Boughey’s Oscula this time carrying the hopes of the partnership when galloping alone down the inside rail to cross the line two lengths behind the winner.

“We took a brave man’s tactic in that race, I sent both of them up the rail,” Bradley said of the tactics employed by Oscula and Hellomydarlin, his second runner in the contest.

“I said to the jockeys ‘if we get it right, you can claim the glory, if we get it wrong, it’s my fault’.

“I just thought, with the way the races were running previous to that, that the rail would be the place to be.

“We very nearly pulled it off. I think if we had won I would be smiling for a very long time, especially having won it the previous year.

“Mark (Crehan, jockey) gave her (Oscula) a great ride, she’s a filly that we didn’t pay a lot of money for competing against Dubawis and £400,000 yearlings.

“We were proud of her performance.”

Dandalla returned to the fixture after her success last year, this time taking aim at the Group One Commonwealth Cup and finishing fourth at 33-1 after failing to fire in previous runs at Newbury and Haydock.

Dandalla winning the Albany Stakes during the 2020 Royal meeting
Dandalla winning the Albany Stakes during the 2020 Royal meeting (Edward Whitaker/PA)

“Myself and Karl always had faith in Dandalla, we knew that the engine was still there,” Bradley said.

“It was just a case of getting things wrong at Haydock and we’ve put the record straight.

“To put the record straight in a race like the Commonwealth Cup was very rewarding. Fourth in a race like that, behind two rockets that finished first and second (Campanelle and Dragon Symbol), it’s probably a career best run.”

After a busy Royal Ascot the syndicate will now look forward to Newmarket’s July meeting as their next target.

“We have had runners there every day of the week, I think we took over 200 owners there in total,” said Bradley.

“It was rewarding and we’re now going to look forward to the next one and try to get things right for fixtures like the Newmarket July meeting.”

Cachet set to spearhead strong Boughey team at Ascot

George Boughey may only be in his second season training, but he is heading to Royal Ascot next week with an enviable team.

Boughey has excelled with his juveniles this season and has leading chances in most of the races confined to two-year-olds – but he is far from a one-trick pony.

Oscula, Beautiful Sunshine and Navello will be well fancied for the Albany, Queen Mary and Norfolk respectively, but smart stayer Lostwithiel and recent Doncaster winner Air To Air will keep him interested in the handicaps.

It is the Albany, over six furlongs for fillies, in which he holds his strongest hand, though, with five-and-a-half-length Newmarket victor Cachet likely to join recent Epsom winner Oscula.

“Cachet will head to the Albany. Her work was very good before her debut and so her winning wasn’t a massive surprise. I think I’d have been lying if we thought she’d win in the fashion she did, however!” said Boughey.

“She looks like a miler and I think that will probably be where her future lies, at least in her three-year-old career.

“Nicola Currie will keep the ride on her. Nicola has done a lot of work with her and is an ever-increasing member of the team.

“Oscula won the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom last Friday. She will likely head to the Albany as well. She has been a very straightforward filly to train. She is by Galileo Gold who has made a great start as a stallion.

“I’ve never worked her with Cachet, but they are pretty similar fillies.”

Beautiful Sunshine was impressive at Sandown
Beautiful Sunshine was impressive at Sandown (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Boughey also has two live chances in the Queen Mary with the unbeaten Thunder Love as well as Beautiful Sunshine, but as both run under the Amo Racing banner, only one is likely to take their chance.

“Thunder Love was impressive on both her starts at Kempton. We were planning on running her in the Marygate but the ground went against her,” said Boughey.

“Rossa (Ryan) believes she will be best on a quick surface and the Queen Mary is a possibility, but we are likely to run Beautiful Sunshine there. They are both owned by Amo Racing so we will probably only run one.

“Beautiful Sunshine was very impressive at Sandown under a penalty and they are two very exciting fillies.”

Navello’s winning run came to an end in the National Stakes at Sandown, but Boughey is inclined to blame the slow going for his defeat there.

He said: “The plan before the National Stakes at Sandown was the Norfolk Stakes and we’ve not changed our minds since his third there.

“He hardly picks his feet up off the ground, which suggests a quick ground action. I think we might see a different horse in the Norfolk to the one we saw at Sandown.”

Lostwithiel is among the favourites for the Northumberland Plate but has a couple of options next week first.

“Lostwithiel has been given two entries on Tuesday. Both the Ascot Stakes and the Copper Horse are options for him,” said Boughey.

“He is rated 96 and so would be near the top of the weights in the Ascot Stakes.

“Hollie Doyle has been doing a lot of work with him at home and she will take the ride. He’s a lovely horse with a big future. At this stage, I’d be probably leaning towards the Ascot Stakes.”

Oscula in Royal Ascot picture after continuing golden run of Boughey juveniles

Royal Ascot could be the next port of call for Oscula following an impressive victory in the Cazoo Woodcote EBF Stakes at Epsom.

Third on her racecourse debut at Kempton last month, the Nick Bradley Racing-owned filly went a couple of places better at Brighton five days later to earn herself a step up in class in the opening race on Oaks day.

A quick start enabled apprentice rider Mark Crehan to navigate the 15-2 chance to the front and it was clear with a couple of furlongs still to run that her rivals would struggle to peg her back.

Flaming Rib did best of those attempting to close the gap, but Oscula passed the post three lengths the good – providing trainer George Boughey with yet another juvenile winner this season.

“It was a pretty good performance, I think,” said the Newmarket handler.

“Her work had been good and we intentionally took her to Brighton before coming here to give her a chance to come down a hill.

“We didn’t really have Royal Ascot aspirations before then. We thought we might go for the Woodcote and then go to the Empress Stakes at Newmarket, but Mark got off the horse at Brighton – he has ridden a lot of our two-year-olds this year – and he was very bullish.

“She’s by Galileo Gold and there’s plenty of stamina her pedigree – I think she will get a mile. She’s a long filly who is still quite immature and hasn’t really come in her summer coat yet – she’s got a lot of upside.”

Boughey added: “We’ll have a chat to Nick and see what the owners want to do, but the Albany Stakes (at Royal Ascot) has got to be a consideration.

“She made her debut at Kempton, five days later she won at Brighton and then 11 days later she’s done that day.

“It would be a pretty quick back-up from a big day like today, but we’ll certainly be looking at it.”

A delighted Crehan said: “She’s like an older horse, nothing bothers her. She went there lovely and came back even better.

“She handled Brighton well and that was the idea. If she handled Brighton she’d handle Epsom and she’s done that.

Mark Crehan and George Boughey celebrate
Mark Crehan and George Boughey celebrate (Mike Egerton/Jockey Club)

“I got racing early, but you can get away with that here. She’s very game. She keeps finding for you.

“I didn’t expect her to win that well. She’s certainly improving.”

Of a winner on Oaks day, Crehan, who claims 5lb, added: “I can’t explain (what it means). I only had one winner last year. All credit goes to my boss – he’s been very, very good to me. I can’t believe it.”

Hollie Doyle steered Corazon Espinado to his fourth win on the Downs in the Coral ‘Beaten By A Length’ Free Bet Handicap.

Corazon Espinado and Hollie Doyle after winning again at Epsom
Corazon Espinado and Hollie Doyle after winning again at Epsom (John Walton/PA)

Trained locally by Simon Dow, the 12-1 shot raced on the speed and comfortably pulled three and a half lengths clear of Hortzadar.

Dow said: “His stable is just across the road – he’s incredible.

“He loves Lingfield and he loves Epsom. It’s a tremendous achievement for the little horse to win on Oaks day twice.

“The draw and the easing ground was against us, so we were a little cautious – but he goes round there like he’s on rails.

“There aren’t enough superlatives for Hollie – it’s always a privilege to have her.”

Doyle said: “Everything went to plan, though he was over-racing early on. Franny (Norton, on Overwrite) and I had it pretty easy on the front end.

“He’s such a course specialist I just let go of his head coming down Tattenham Corner and he took me into the race beautifully.”

Blue Cup was a winner for Oisin Murphy
Blue Cup was a winner for Oisin Murphy (John Walton/PA)

Blue Cup came from the back of the field to win the Cazoo Handicap for Oisin Murphy and David Menuisier.

Data Protection and Dream With Me were involved in a protracted duel up front, building up a 10-length lead at one point before their exertions started to tell in the final couple of furlongs.

The field switched across the track to race up the nearside rail for the first time, as conditions continued to worsen, and Murphy took full advantage of the better ground – delivering his mount with around a furlong to run.

Blue Cup pulled further clear inside the distance, relishing every yard to come home five and a half lengths in front as the 9-2 favourite.

Victory Chime was second, with the game Data Protection taking third.

Murphy said: “I wasn’t sure how far the leaders had got in front of me.

“The kickback is obviously very bad, and it’s hard to see with the conditions.

“This horse isn’t easy. They’ve taken the ring bit off, which is a more severe bit, and put a very plain bit in his mouth – and he relaxed super today.

“David Menuisier is a very good trainer, and I think he’s found the key to this fella.

“I didn’t expect them to (come up the stands rail), but I thought it may happen at some stage today – so it was always a possibility.”

James Doyle guides Rhoscolyn home
James Doyle guides Rhoscolyn home (John Walton/PA)

Rhoscolyn completed a treble in smooth fashion under James Doyle in the Cazoo Derby Festival Handicap.

David Meara’s three-year-old burst through the pack to challenge long-time leader Paws For Thought over a furlong out.

Quickening nicely, the 9-2 winner soon had the race sewn up and crossed the line with a handy advantage over Shelir in second and On A Session in third.

O’Meara said: “We deliberated at length at Beverley a couple of runs back whether to run him on soft ground. We weren’t sure if he’d handle it, but we took a chance and he seems to enjoy it.

“He looks a very progressive horse. I thought today was a great performance.

“At Beverley and Goodwood he made the running and had everything his own way. Today he was in behind and was off the bridle a long way out.

“I didn’t think he’d find and finish off like he had done in his two previous races, but he showed a different quality today.

“He had form on quicker ground before he came to us. He seems to like these turning tracks and seven furlongs so I wonder if he could make up into a Lennox (Stakes at Goodwood) horse, maybe?

“It looked today like he could make that next step.”