Monday Musings: “Come off it, Fraud!”

Sorry if this appears half an hour or so later than usual. I’ve promised the editor not to dwell on interests outside racing, but as my 5 a.m. alarm coincided with the start of the crucial final day of the Test match in Chittagong, I had to tune in, writes Tony Stafford.

Twenty-two minutes later, Ben Stokes had taken the two wickets needed to beat Bangladesh and I could proceed to the keyboard. I wonder if Claude Duval had made a similarly early start, after all, he doesn’t need to worry about his job at the Sun any more.

Yes the self-styled Punter’s Pal has finally ended his 47-year tenure as that newspaper’s racing correspondent, a role he has held since day one of the country’s best-selling newspaper. Apart from the owner Rupert Murdoch he was the last man standing from the original staff roster.

Luck comes into it of course. Just as my own entry into writing about racing came about by a fluke – I was unhappy on my first local paper and in desperation phoned the Greyhound Express to see if they had a job. Unknown to me, they were advertising in that same day’s paper, and I duly got the post.

Almost three years on, in 1969, Claude Duval was working on his local newspaper in Crawley, Sussex, and as was the practise of young journalists in those days, attempted to supplement his paltry earnings with some Fleet Street part-time sub-editing.

By then I was Chief Reporter and Claude came in on the three-man subs desk alongside Alan Cameron and Harry Lloyd for busy evenings. Then with another large stroke of luck I got a job on the horseracing desk at the Press Association across the way at the bottom of Fleet Street.

After a couple of days there I decided to revisit the old place, and was greeted with a general “are you coming to gloat?” reaction from everyone. They’d just heard the paper was to close, but for three of them, deputy editor John Bathe, John Hardie and new-boy Claude, there were jobs beckoning on the new national daily.

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Nobody could have predicted the soaraway nature of the Sun, with its Page Three and famed headlines like Gotcha! during the Falklands War and once Claude managed to get into the top racing spot, there was no stopping him.

In the early days, the phone would ring at 85 Fleet Street and a voice would ask: “Tony, what do you know about…?” But it wasn’t long before he was self-sufficient and 47 years later he was signing off with the suggestion that Paul Hanagan is going to be replaced by James Doyle as Hamdan Al Maktoum’s jockey.

Claude never worried that the facts might spoil a good story and as a Sussex 2nd XI cricketer for many years rarely bothered with Saturday racing, fair enough as the paper did not appear on Sundays in those days.

One afternoon when he was nominally on duty – either at Goodwood or Sandown – I’m not sure at which local venue, he called – no mobiles in those days – just to check all was well. The voice at the other end enquired where he was, and of course the answer was “in the press box”. “That’s funny,” he heard, “there’s a bomb scare and they’ve cleared the course!” No doubt he told them how many wickets he’d claimed with his off spin.

Another masterpiece was his “totally independent” prediction of the likely Grand National weights on the morning of their announcement in London. The Sun were sponsoring the race in those days, and blow me down if Claude didn’t get them almost entirely correct with a pound or two at most either way.

I suppose it was churlish for me in my own part-time extra job as editor of the Racehorse – I was still in my early days at the Daily Telegraph – to headline my piece in that weekly: “Come off it, Fraud!” but I couldn’t help myself.

Back in 1969, Lester Piggott was about to win his sixth in succession, and seventh of a total eleven, jockeys’ titles. Forty-seven years on, at Doncaster on Saturday, Piggott was part of the four-man Starship Partnership – the others are breeder Des Scott, Mrs John Magnier and Michael Tabor - which won the Racing Port Trophy with the William Haggas-trained Rivet.

Piggott won the race five times as a jockey, twice for the late Sir Henry Cecil, whose own ten wins in the race began with Approval in 1969. Henry took out his first licence earlier that year, and again, who could have predicted his amazing future success?

The Flat season’s end almost exactly coincides with Piggott’s birthday, and Guy Fawkes Day next week will be his 81st. Jockeys cannot take a ride until their 16th birthday nowadays, but Lester was 12 when The Chase gave him his first winner at Haydock in the summer of 1950.

Lester missed Doncaster on Saturday - maybe he was a guest at the wedding in Cap Ferrat of M V Magnier – but looked in good form when present at the Legends race there back at the St Leger meeting last month.

The irony of Rivet’s win is that it prevented Magnier, Tabor and Derrick Smith, along with the Niarchos family, in whose colours Yucatan ran, from recording yet another Aidan O’Brien-trained Group 1 winner.

Rivet and Andrea Atzeni – the latter winning the race for the fourth year in succession – stayed on too well for a one-paced Yucatan. Salouen, trained by Sylvester Kirk was a fast-finishing neck away third, just pipping Raheen House, a similar distance away in fourth.

For Raheen House that represented a massive improvement – 20lb in Racing Post Ratings – and fully justified Brian Meehan’s decision to run him. For owner Lew Day it has been quite a season as the only other horse he has in training is Cambridgeshire winner, Spark Plug. When he met Meehan, he said he wanted: “a horse that I wouldn’t be ashamed to tell my friends about”. The trainer certainly accommodated that wish and expects further improvement again from this imposing son of Sea The Stars next year.

Never having gone the pace in the finale under the latest champion, Jim Crowley, Dutch Law goes to the sales on Wednesday after a stellar year handled beautifully by Hughie Morrison. It will be a sad day if he finds a buyer and Ray Tooth will be there to watch. Sam Sangster’s Sirecam operation has made a video displaying his present well-being back in the stables, so if you want to look, log into the Tattersalls site. Come on Claude, here’s a proper horse on which you might like to spend your savings.


Sunday Supplement: Chapple-Hyam on the up once more…

Sunday supplement

By Tony Stafford

Time telescopes in the memory. Peter Chapple-Hyam at 52, has for almost half his life so far been a licenced trainer, from 1991 to the end of the millennium at Manton, and 2004 onwards in Newmarket. In between he had four character-building if not totally successful years in Hong Kong.

Yesterday at Doncaster he returned to the big time with a third Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster courtesy of the 33-1 chance Marcel, in the process denting the reputation of John Gosden’s previously unbeaten Foundation, who finished third, admittedly with a troubled run.

Marcel gave Andrea Atzeni a third successive win in the race and was the middle leg of a Town Moor treble. I know one leading trainer told a friend he didn’t regard Atzeni as a top jockey. The way he steered Marcel clear of trouble round the outside as his countryman Frankie Dettori got stuck behind a wall (small wall in a seven-runner race!) made that comment look silly.

Throughout his lengthy career, Chapple-Hyam has had the knack of winning big races, often at long prices. For instance his 2008 Derby winner Authorized stepped up from a debut third in maiden company to win the same Group 1 juvenile (switched to Newbury) race at 25-1. He also won it years before with Commander Collins.

Chapple-Hyam does not regard Marcel, a son of Lawman out of the Marju mare Mauresmo – presumably named after Andy Murray’s French coach – as a potential Derby winner, hoping he might be competitive in the shorter French Derby – Prix du Jockey Club.

Marcel does not hold the Derby entry, but neither did Golden Horn, and if in his early three-year-old races Paul Hancock’s colt, who cost the princely sum of 26,000gns as a yearling, shows hitherto unexpected stamina, do not be surprised if he turns up at Epsom.

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When the Barry Hills assistant took over from his mentor as Robert Sangster’s private trainer – Barry went back to his original stables in Lambourn – the success was immediate. Rodrigo de Triano and Dr Devious both collected a string of juvenile wins before even bigger success in their Classic year of 1992.

It probably helped his cause that while the son of a Birmingham greengrocer and West Brom fan was making his way up the ranks at Manton, he paired up with Jane Peacock, Sangster’s daughter-in-law. I doubt if even the demanding Mr Sangster could have expected him to make such a success right from the start.

Sangster’s purchase of Manton in 1988 was meant to be the showcase both of the owner’s wonderful home-bred stock and the undoubted training talents of Michael Dickinson, switching to the Flat after his amazing jumping exploits. His Famous Five Gold Cup, when he saddled the first five home, and a dozen wins on a single Boxing Day gave him legendary status.

Obviously Sangster’s biggest successes had already come in the Vincent O’Brien days a decade or more earlier, with the influence and great success of the Northern Dancer line which still dominates racing in Europe.

But Dickinson, whose re-modelling of the old Wiltshire gallops earned universal approval, had just four sparse wins in his only season there. This prompted a Sangster re-think and Dickinson’s departure for the US where he won a couple of Breeders’ Cups and later developed his Tapeta racing surface.

Barry Hills moved across for a short time before returning home, having done a solid job in upping the success rate, but it was during the Chapple-Hyam years when Manton was at its height.

Dr Devious won three races before changing hands during his juvenile season, Pete’s first in charge, and ended with a clear win in the Dewhurst for his new owner Luciano Gaucci. By the time he ran and won the 1992 Derby – from St Jovite – he was in the colours of Sidney Craig, whose wife Jenny ran the foremost diet business in the States, which she sold to Nestle in 2006 for $600 million.

St Jovite turned the tables emphatically in the Irish Derby, but it was Dr Devious again in a desperate conclusion to the Irish Champion Stakes when he had St Jovite, who easily won the King George in between, inches behind in second.

Dr Devious was a yearling buy for Sangster, but Rodrigo de Triano was a home-bred who won all five races at two and then after losing the unbeaten record in his trial, had 55-year-old Lester Piggott on his back for the first time when winning the 2,000 Guineas with Dr Devious back in fourth.

Piggott then kept the mount for the rest of the colt’s career, collecting the Irish 2,000, the Juddmonte International and Champion Stakes, but finishing unplaced when his stamina ran out behind his stablemate at Epsom. Rodrigo de Triano was sold to stand in Japan as a stallion.

When the big wins eventually dwindled down to a relative trickle, Pete decided on a try at Hong Kong, but it is fair to say that his temperament probably did suit him too much to sitting down with local owners intent on landing gambles.

So back he came to a new life in Newmarket. Within a couple of years he was guiding Authorized to his Derby and Juddmonte triumphs for Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar and then attracting Qatar Racing’s Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani to his methods.

This year Arod has done very well for the Skeikh, but the much-hyped Hydrogen, bought for 2.5 million guineas, proved a flop. However with owners like Jim and Fitri Hay, for whom Chapple-Hyam sent out Buckstay for a big handicap win at Ascot, as well as Homeizi, Sagar and Sheikh Fahad, his career should take another upward turn. Certainly if talent has any bearing, there’ll be plenty of big days to come.

I haven’t been at a Breeders’ Cup for a few years, and I’ll be watching at home again on Friday and Saturday, with Legatissimo my idea of a banker for the Aidan O’Brien- Coolmore team in the Filly and Mare Turf race. The other race I can’t wait to see is the clash between American Pharoah, Bob Baffert-trained but Ashford Stud bound, and Gleneagles in the Classic on Dirt.

Wednesday offers my boss Ray Tooth the chance of keeping his good recent run going with Cousin Khee back on the level at Nottingham, while the football world will be wondering what further sanction awaits Jose Mourinho after yesterday’s Chelsea meltdown.

It seems to me that he spends far too much time worrying about Arsene Wenger. I’d hate to think what will happen to Jose’s mental state if his favourite “failure” wins the Premier League title this season.

Autumn Ground Key as Lope De Vega offspring find their feet

Classy Stallion Lope De Vega

Classy Stallion Lope De Vega

It’s not been the easiest of transitions from juvenile to three-year-old, but over the past few weeks conditions have turned in his favour and Belardo has started to show his true worth.

He won the Dewhurst 12 months ago, thumping Kodi Bear in the process, and it appears that soft ground in October is all that was needed for Roger Varian’s colt to turn things around. A fast finishing third at Newmarket in the Group 2 Dubai Challenge Stakes was backed up in style on Saturday when he got nearer than any other to French star miler Solow. He needed much of the mile trip to get into top gear, but as at Newmarket, was flying late on.

His trainer was clearly thrilled to see such a return to form, saying: “I’m delighted the horse has reminded us what a talent he was at this time last year. He has turned up and put up a high-level performance again. The horse has made a case for staying in training next year.” With every chance of staying further in time, it would come as no surprise to see Belardo challenging for the Qipco Champion Stakes next October.

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The key to the son of Lope de Vega is clearly the ground. His father is having a fruitful period of late. A stallion who resides at Ballylinch Stud in Ireland, he was trained by Andre Fabre in France during his racing career. His three-year-old campaign in 2010 proved a major triumph with success in both the French Guineas and the French Derby. The latter was a stunning victory by three lengths, a record winning distance since the race was shortened in 2005.

Of his offspring, Belardo has proved the highlight to date, but a promising juvenile resides with one of this summer’s most successful young trainer’s. Hugo Palmer trains Mengli Khan, who like Belardo is a son of Lope de Vega out of a Danehill mare. The colt was last seen storming to success in a Nottingham maiden on testing ground.

He’s a huge beast who ran very green that day, but boy can he gallop. Harry Bentley was on board and did well to straighten him out in the final furlong. He had tons in hand and beat a promising newcomer from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard. Palmer has him entered in the Racing Post Trophy on Saturday at Doncaster, and should the ground come up soft he’d be a really interesting proposition.

Blue De Vega is another from the production line that looks to have an exciting future. A two-year-old in the care of Michael O’Callaghan in County Kildare, the horse destroyed a decent field at Naas last month, winning by just shy of five lengths. It’s hoped the colt will become a serious Irish Guineas contender next spring.

A colt that finished ahead of Mengli Khan at Newmarket in September is the John Gosden trained Linguistic. Also by Lope De Vega out of a Montjeu mare, the horse is owned by Godolphin and should prove a big hit when stepped up in trip next spring.

It would come as no surprise to see these youngsters campaigned in France next year in search of suitable ground. Belardo may be the current flag bearer, but several of these have the potential to reach the very top.

Like stud companions Dream Ahead, Intense Focus and Lawman, this classy stallion is sure to become a huge hit in the coming years.

Round up, and an apology…

Breeders Cup 2014

Breeders Cup 2014 is coming

Well, what a week it's been... I don't feel like my feet have touched the floor since about this time last week, and in today's post I'll outline what's been going on, what's coming up next, and offer an apology.

Let's start with the 'sorry'. Over the last couple of years, has grown from a little blog to a content hub housing some of the best race cards and form tools on t'interwebz. In order for things to run (fairly) smoothly, we now use a whole bunch of different servers and databases and programs and blah blah blah.

Well, this morning, one of our servers - the one on which the actual website sits - went pop. Full up. Overloaded it. The people who host it simply prevented all visitors from accessing the site, which was a little unhelpful. Long and short, the site was down for about an hour this morning. Ultimately, it was my fault. Apparently, you can set up alerts for when you're close to using all of the available capacity. Who knew?!

We're up and running again now, and have a task over the weekend to review the unused content and delete as much as possible: a bit of a house clearance!

That problem was compounded by the fact that I was trying to feed Leonardo his 'hoops' (Cheerios) this morning at the time of said incident, and he decided that they'd be better used as a textured wallpaper... Mrs Matt is away this week, in Las Vegas (!), so I'm in sole charge of the boy (now 25 months old, time passes, eh?).

And, I don't mind admitting, it's been bloody hard work. Trying to balance my two babies (geegeez being the other, natch) is an inevitably hopeless task and I've done what I hope most will believe to be the decent thing, and focused on the more recent of the pair.

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That has meant no decomposition of Future Champions Day (management summary, ignore the form largely) or British Champions Day (management summary, great races, got the big field handicap draw wrong - again). And it's meant I haven't shared any of the excellent Breeders Cup content I'm working on either.

I'm planning to offer those who love a bit of a tickle on the self-styled 'World Thoroughbred Championships' a full chapter and verse package, including trends, pace analysis, and runner profiles. This will be a paid service, but at a pound a race or thereabouts, it's within the compass of almost anyone who wants it. I'm very nearly finished with the trends and will have more info on this next week - Breeders Cup Friday is a week today!

I'll be heading over to Santa Anita - my turn, after Carole gets back on Sunday - on Tuesday, and will be reporting live from trackside Friday and Saturday nights.

I'll share more details on the Breeders Cup package with you next week.

Now, before then, and closer to home, we have two crackers tomorrow, the Racing Post Trophy and the Old Roan Chase. Tomorrow's Aintree feature has been previewed here, with a doff of the cap to the lad whose name has been appended to Old Roan in the race title.

As for the Racing Post Trophy, well, it's been won by Aidan O'Brien's powerful Ballydoyle yard in three of the past five years, and seven times in all. O'Brien still lags behind Sir Henry's incredible ten wins in the race, but is closing.

This time he runs two, with a mysterious switcheroo occurring earlier in the week. At that time, it was believed that Giovanni Canaletto and Royal Navy Ship were to be his pair of representatives, but they've been supplanted by the lightly raced pair, Jacobean and Aloft. With trainer's son Joseph banned, and Ryan Moore (the ultimate supersub) in Australia, Colm O'Donoghue will reportedly ride Jacobean and William Buick, Aloft.

Jacobean, a 7/2 chance, is flag bearer for the Royal Navy Ship form, as he was second to that horse in a field of 22, less than a fortnight ago. He's clearly held in high regard to be pitched in here as a maiden and with such a short hiatus between runs. Aloft also backs up quickly enough, having won his maiden at the second attempt just three weeks earlier. Interestingly enough, that was a Newmarket maiden which, for an Irish trainer, was a probable 'sighter' of the home guard.

The home team will be spearheaded by Royal Lodge winner, Elm Park, who took his time to get going there but was an impressive winner in the end. A true run mile should be ideal, and Andrew Balding's Phoenix Reach colt undoubtedly sets the bar in terms of established form.

If one of the more lightly raced animals is to prevail - and it isn't to be one of the Ballydoyle brace - then it might be Celestial Path. Sir Mark Prescott doesn't have that many Group performers these days, but this lad - by Footstepsinthesand out of a Hawk Wing mare - is bred for the grade.

He was a facile victor in a Listed contest last time, and has been well rested since. The form of his previous maiden has worked out well, and he might be an each way bet to nothing at around 5/1.

It's not really a betting race for me, but it will be sure to shape the top of the market for both the Guineas and the Derby of 2015.

Have a great weekend - I'm off to sort the boy out!


At the Natural History Museum, with young man...

At the Natural History Museum yesterday, with young man...

From Deauville to Donny: Sunday Supplement

Sunday Supplement

Sunday Supplement

Sunday supplement

By Tony Stafford

I don’t know about you, but I needed that extra hour. Ever since I drove overnight to Deauville for a Thursday race and then back again the same evening, I’ve been struggling a bit, and at no stage was I going to travel up to Doncaster for the Racing Post Trophy.

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The trip to France was highly satisfactory as the boss and his new partners’ debutant filly Laughing Water ran a blinder in fourth about a length behind the winner in an 18-runner newcomers’ race, apprentice-ridden and quietly-so. The daughter of Duke of Marmalade should be primed next time.

Improvement from first to second run is usually the case for horses trained by Nicolas Clement and the same goes for Roger Varian. When Kingston Hill won on debut at Newbury five weeks ago, the Racing Post’s analyst suggested the colt’s future “is presumably in nurseries”.

Three weeks later he carried the colours of owner Paul D Smith – son of Coolmore partner Derrick – to an easy triumph in Newmarket’s Autumn Stakes, a better than usual Group 3 beating Oklahoma City, the latter sporting dad’s purple and white silks in emphatic fashion.

All the Coolmore boys were very free with the congratulations that day and no doubt two weeks on at Doncaster, those felicitations would have been magnified exponentially as Kingston Hill put himself in Derby-winning position by landing the Racing Post by four and a half lengths from Johann Strauss  – you’ve guessed it – again in the purple livery.

Johann Strauss, who played a minor role on debut on the same Newmarket card where Kingston Hill notched his first group success, was stepping up greatly on a never-nearer fourth there in a maiden and defeat again just six days previously in Ireland.

An extra thrust, though, for Coolmore’s joy for Paul, revolves around the fact that Kingston Hill is a son of their first-crop sire Mastercraftsman, winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas. Of the previous ten Racing Post Trophy winners, three, Motivator, Authorized and Camelot have gone on to Derby success at Epsom, while two others, St Nicholas Abbey and Kingsbarns (this year) might have done so without suffering injury at the wrong stage of their three-year-old careers.

It was a fair day for Paul Smith all round. He’s an Arsenal fan unlike his father, a Chelsea nut. As with Ryan Moore, Tony McCoy and Frankie Dettori, he’s finding life quite agreeable one way and another – well maybe not quite so much for Treve- and Olympic Glory-missing Frankie.

One of my favourite weeks of the year is coming up as Tattersall’s stages its Horses in Training sale at Newmarket and I’m just wondering what’s going to happen tomorrow. The weather map, itemising the promised 80 mph hurricane, might reduce the attendance – naturally with Raymond Tooth selling a decent sort – and I’m wondering whether there might be an unprecedented delay in proceedings.

If they did it at Keeneland in 2001 in the aftermath of 9-11, then maybe there’s a precedent for Tatts. Sometimes I say the silliest things – you’d think I’d know better at my age.

Sat TV Trends: 26th Oct 2012

O BrienThe C4 cameras head to Doncaster, Newbury and Aintree this Saturday - Andy Newton's got all the LIVE races covered from a trends and stats angle.......Can Aidan O'Brien land an 8th Racing Post Trophy? Read more

Doncaster Trainer Stats:


David Lanigan Does Well At Donny!

Decent cards up at Doncaster this Friday and Saturday, with the Racing Post Trophy taking centre stage – We highlight four yards with excellent track stats on Town Moor, plus a few big stables you might want to avoid. Read more

National Student Day set for 26 October

A message for Rod Street?

A message for Rod Street?

Great British Racing has come up with a new initiative to encourage a new generation of people to come racing. Following on from a “student day” at Limerick in April, which attracted more than 12,000 students, GBR is to hold a similar event on Saturday 26 October. Read more

Sat TV Trends: 27th Oct 2012

Racing Returns To Aintree

There's decent flat action at Newbury and Doncaster, while we see the first jumps meeting of the new season at Aintree..... Read more

Why a foaling date matters

It's not unusual to hear racing commentators talk about a horse developing from year to year, and that's especially true of younger animals. In flat racing that development is most important as juveniles mature into adult horses. Read more

Born To Sea to rest after muscle tear

In some ways it should have come as no surprise that Nephrite won the JRA Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday. After all, trainer Aidan O'Brien had been responsible for four of the last nine winners of the race. But it did come as a surprise to many, who were sure that Born To Sea had only to turn up to consolidate his place as one of the favourites for next year's QIPCO 2000 Guineas. Read more

Sat TV Trends – 22nd Oct

Master Minded Returns at Aintree on Saturday

Master Minded is the star attraction in Saturday’s Old Roan Chase at Aintree, but did you know in the short seven year race history there’s only been one winning favourite? Andy Newton gives you all the stats that matter ahead of Saturday’s LIVE C4 action. Read more

Race History 2: The Racing Post Trophy

Reference Point: first Racing Post Trophy winner to take the Derby

On Saturday Doncaster hosts the last Group 1 race of the season, the Racing Post Trophy, which this year celebrates its 50th birthday. Read more

Halford Opens Group One Tally With Casamento Post Trophy Victory

Trainer Michael Halford opened his Group One tally with Casamento bringing home an all Irish first three with a victory in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

Michael Halford

Michael Halford

With the colt's only loss so far coming from the Jessica Harrington trained Pathfork in the National Stakes, the victor of the Beresford Stakes got home in front of the Aidan O'Brien duo of Seville and Master Of Hounds.

Jockey Frankie Dettori was aboard the chestnut for the first time, tracking the leaders early, travelling well to lead two furlongs out, staying on well under pressure in the final furlong to cross the line three quarters of a length the better of Seville, with Master of Hounds back by a further two lengths in third place.

The plan for Casamento is to now winter in Dubai before switching to Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation.

John Ferguson, bloodstock agent for the owner said, "He'll winter in Dubai and he'll be trained with the Derby in mind, but we might run him in the Guineas too.

"I think the last Group One we won here in these colours would have been Shantou's Leger in 1996."

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Winning trainer Halford said, "I personally think he might have enough speed for the Guineas, but he's not slow either and stays.

"He only ever does enough and he was idling in front, I think he had plenty left.

"It was only his second run in the National Stakes and we decided to come here after he won the Beresford. Everything has gone like clockwork, he took the travelling in his style.

"It was always the plan that he was going to join Godolphin and I've no problem with that.

"I'm just grateful to Sheikh Mohammed for sending me two horses and luckily enough we've got a good one."

Winning jockey Frankie Dettori said of his mount, "It was a great performance and I'm delighted for Sheikh Mohammed and Mick, which is his first Group One.

"I think he's probably a Derby horse, but we'll wait and see.

"He's an exciting horse for next year and will certainly stay 10 furlongs.

"It's been a while since I won a big race in these colours and it's nice to put them back on.

"This has been a good stepping stone in the past and he's won it well."

O'Brien commented on his pair, "They've both run crackers.

"Seville was on his own for a big part of the race and Master Of Hounds also ran a good race.

"The form ties in with the best two-year-olds in Ireland and I'd imagine they'd both progress well next year."

Halford Keeps An Eye On Post Challengers

While preparations are underway for Casamento's journey to Doncaster for a shot at the Racing Post Trophy on Saturday, trainer Michael Halford is aware of the challenge coming from fellow Irish rival, the Kevin Prendergast trained Dunboyne Express.

Michael Halford

Michael Halford

"The horse will have a canter in the morning and the plan is to fly over tomorrow evening. All is well and I couldn't be happier with him," Halford said.

"I've been told the ground is good to soft so there will be no excuses on that front.

"The straight course at Doncaster is similar to the Curragh and it should suit him well.

"Frankie (Dettori) obviously knows the place and we're very hopeful.

"The word at the Curragh is that Kevin Prendergast's horse is working very well and he could be anything.

"But all we can do is get our own horse there in good shape and hope for the best."

The Michael Dods trained colt, Dubawi Gold was also supplemented to the event at the five day stage on Monday, at a price of £17,500.

The Michael Dods-trained colt was suited by the step up to seven furlongs when springing a 25-1 surprise at Ascot earlier this month, and connections are looking forward to the challenge.

"Obviously it's a tough race and there are some good horses in there, but Andrew was keen to supplement him and to have a go," said Dods.

"He got the seven furlongs well. Ascot's a stiff track and it suited him.

"I think we're right to give him the chance in a race like this. It's the end of the season."

"Looking at the other horses I've found quite a lot of pace in the race, so we will have to sit down and decide what we are going to do. I'll go there with an open mind," he continued.

"We're not just going to go out there and blaze the trail for everyone else. We are going to have a look at the race and see what the best way to ride the horse is."