Posts

Vesela springs surprise in Doncaster’s Gillies Fillies’ Stakes

Ralph Beckett’s Vesela sprang a surprise to take Listed honours at Doncaster in the British EBF Gillies Fillies’ Stakes.

The Juddmonte three-year-old was the winner of a maiden on the same track as a juvenile, and has since stepped up to black-type class with creditable efforts in this season’s Abingdon, Lyric and Upavon Stakes.

She was only eighth in the Galtres at York last time, but bounced back on Town Moor to prevail by three-quarters of a length at 22-1 – from the staying-on Something Enticing.

Beckett said: “I got it wrong with her really – she got rolled over in the Lyric at York and she ran well in the Upavon at Salisbury.

“We ran her back quickly in the Galtres – which was a mistake. I shouldn’t have done it, but leaving her alone and running her here was a good idea as it turns out.”

Winning jockey Rob Hornby added: “I was just trying to keep her in a rhythm throughout – it was very hard work (on soft ground) out there.

“Not many horses were going to make up a lot of ground. But I was in front too soon – she did well to keep battling all the way to the line, because it was a lonely enough place for her and she stuck at it well.”

The Virgin Bet Handicap went to a second successive 22-1 shot – and another bouncing back from a below-par run, William Haggas’ Boosala.

The four-year-old was 11th of 12 in the Bengough Stakes at Ascot last time, but returned to form as the middle leg of trebles for jockey Tom Marquand and Haggas.

Boosala raced in mid-division and took the lead a furlong from home, before crossing the line a length and a quarter ahead of Young Fire.

“He was against some former Group One horses, but he’s really bounced out of Ascot well,” said Marquand.

“William had him good and ready, and just told me to ride him with patience and stay relaxed so I got him to enjoy it.

“I tried to leave it as late as I could to produce him – you really notice the wind when you’re in behind them and you come out into it. It does hit you.

“It was a really nice performance and it’s nice to have him back on track, because he promised plenty early on.”

Haggas added: “He’s had a few issues and he was too fresh at Ascot – the ground was very soft, and he ran himself into the ground.

“He’s always been a nice horse. He’s had a few issues, but he’s over them now.

“Our enthusiasm for him fell by the wayside after Ascot, but he’s done well today.”

Mick Channon’s Wonderful World was a winning 5-2 favourite in the opening Virgin Bet Nursery Handicap, by a length and a quarter under Marquand – who completed his treble on Haggas’ odds-on chance Hebrides in division two of the Virgin Bet Cock O’The North EBF Maiden Stakes.

Division one of the same race also went to Haggas – with Shadwell debutante Kidwah, at 4-1 under Jim Crowley.

Scope strikes for Beckett and Hornby in Prix Royal-Oak

Scope capped a brilliant weekend in France for Ralph Beckett with the trainer’s second Group One victory in as many days, in the Prix Royal-Oak at ParisLongchamp.

Beckett sent Angel Bleu from his Hampshire yard for a successful raid on the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud on Saturday, and completed his cross-Channel one-two at the highest level as jockey Rob Hornby won his first Group One on his maiden visit to ParisLongchamp.

Scope was continuing the recent trend of three-year-old pre-eminence in this race – also known as the French St Leger, but open to older horses too.

The Teofilo colt was also a third consecutive British-trained winner of the Royal-Oak, following subsequent Gold Cup hero Subjectivist 12 months ago and Technician in 2019.

Hornby sat prominent but bided his time on the 5-1 winner as habitual front-runner Alkuin set the pace, closely attended by Irish hope Zero Ten – who led into the straight.

But as the pack closed, Scope showed fine acceleration as well as stamina for this trip in rain-softened ground, moving to the lead a furlong out and holding off the challenge of Skazino by a length – with another three and a half lengths back to Glycon in third.

Reflecting on his two Group One wins in the space of 24 hours, Beckett said: “I wasn’t expecting it.

“It’s just great, fantastic.”

Scope, sixth in the St Leger at Doncaster last month, was then a Listed winner at Ascot three weeks ago.

Beckett told Sky Sports Racing: “At the beginning of the year, I said ‘I think he might be a Leger horse’ instead of a Derby horse. I didn’t think it was a French Leger – but that’ll do!”

He was always encouraged by Scope’s position, close enough to the pace.

“I was just delighted with where he was, how it was panning out and how well he travelled today – because he’s not an exuberant horse at home or in his races,” he added.

“He only does enough. His mother (Look So, a four-time winner for the yard in the same colours) was the same, and all his sisters were the same.

“I’ve been lucky enough to train the whole family, so you kind of know what he’s going to do before he does it.”

Beckett hopes Scope will improve again next year.

Trainer Ralph Beckett completed a Group One double in France this weekend - with Angel Bleu and Scope
Trainer Ralph Beckett completed a Group One double in France this weekend – with Angel Bleu and Scope (Mike Egerton/PA)

“He’s just got better and better with each run,” he said.

“He had a tough mid-part of the year – nothing really went right for us at home.

“I remember saying before he ran in the Voltigeur (a close fifth at York in August) ‘I’m not sure what’ll happen today’ because we hadn’t been able to get the work into him that I would have liked.

“He’d have run a lot better in the St Leger if he hadn’t blown the start. Then it was a good effort last time in the Noel Murless (at Ascot) and I thought today, beforehand, he looked terrific.

“He’s quite a raw, immature horse. He should develop from three to four – he should get better, (because) he was very backward all through his two-year-old career.

“I can see him getting stronger from three to four – but let’s worry about that in April!”

Hornby will happily do likewise, but can concentrate on this career high point first.

“I’m just ecstatic, delighted, this is why we do it,” said the winning jockey.

“When it pays off on days like today it’s really special.”

All went to plan from the outset, he explained.

Hornby added: “This horse can be quite slowly away sometimes, and I felt in the St Leger he didn’t get a fair crack at things – he was slowly away, and we had to bide our time.

“That doesn’t really suit him. He races quite lazily in the first part of the race but really comes good for you later on, and stamina is the key with him.

“It was a matter of just keeping tabs on the leaders, keeping him interested and then just build through the gears.

“I always knew he’d be hitting the line strongly – (but) he had to dig deep off that elbow. They came at him either side, and he really stuck his neck out.”

Angel Bleu secures Group One double at Saint-Cloud

Angel Bleu came from last to first to complete a French Group One double in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.

Three weeks on from winning the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day at ParisLongchamp, Ralph Beckett’s charge was a 15-8 chance in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

The Italian was happy to bide his time at the rear of the field and in the slipstream of the Andre Fabre-trained Ancient Rome, who had finished third in the Lagardere and was the marginal favourite to exact his revenge at 11-8.

But Angel Bleu quickened up smartly when popped the question to grab the lead – and while Ancient Rome did his best to make a race of it, the British raider was ultimately too strong.

“He’s very tough, he really is,” Beckett told Sky Sports Racing.

“It was a terrific effort, to come back less than three weeks after (the Lagardere) and do it again.

“He really was the best again today. There were no excuses for anybody.

“He’s just an extraordinarily tough horse and talented with it.”

Betfair trimmed Angel Bleu’s odds for next year’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket to 12-1 from 16-1, although Beckett feels the French equivalent – the Poule d’Essai des Poulains – could be more likely.

Ralph Beckett was thrilled with the performance of Angel Bleu at Saint-Cloud
Ralph Beckett was thrilled with the performance of Angel Bleu at Saint-Cloud (Mike Egerton/PA)

He added: “We’ll worry about next year next year and enjoy today. We’ll get the celebrating out of the way first!

“I’d say, if I was going to bet on it, he’ll be back here for the Poulains.”

There was further top-level success for Britain in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud, with El Bodegon providing Newmarket handler James Ferguson with his first Group One victory.

A previous winner at Sandown in July and in a Group Three at Chantilly last month, the Kodiac colt received an enterprising ride from the front by Ioritz Mendizabal.

Having been tracked Charlie Appleby’s previously unbeaten favourite Goldspur for much of the 10-furlong journey, El Bodegon kicked clear early in the home straight and was not for catching.

Aidan O’Brien’s Stone Age finished strongly to beat Goldspur to the runner-up spot, with Joseph O’Brien’s Buckaroo fourth to complete a clean sweep for the raiding party.

On claiming his first Group One success, Ferguson said: “It’s pretty incredible. I couldn’t quite work out what was going on with a furlong to go.

“We love the horse and from his last win we planned that this was where we were going to go, but being in front with a furlong to go wasn’t really part of my planning.

“I thought he’d have to work very hard, (but) he’s obviously improved with every run and he takes travelling very well.

“I thought he was given a great ride and he relaxed very well in front. Credit to the team at home and the owners. To be able to reward them like this is mega.

“His full-brother Best Solution got better with age. This horse is not overly big, but there’s a lot of presence about him and it’s very exciting to wonder what we might have next year as I can’t see him not improving.

“He’s going to carry a Group One penalty now and I think you have to aim high with a horse like this.”

Angel Bleu and Scope seeking Group One honours in France

Ralph Beckett is targeting a Group One double in France this weekend with Angel Bleu and Scope.

Angel Bleu is out to bag his second top-level prize of the autumn in Saturday’s Criterium International at Saint-Cloud following his victory in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp three weeks ago.

With Frankie Dettori again in the saddle, hopes are high that the son of Dark Angel can once again strike Group One gold.

Reflecting on Angel Bleu’s success, Beckett told Sky Sports Racing: “It was very satisfying. He had to run down Charlie Appleby’s colt and won well in the end. He’s a true professional.

“He thrives on his work to an extraordinary degree. He started at Leicester in April and really hasn’t missed a beat.

“The only reason he didn’t run through August and September was because ground conditions weren’t there for him.

“We haven’t had to do much with him between Longchamp and Saint-Cloud on Saturday.”

Connections also had the option of running in Saturday’s Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster and Beckett admits it was a close call between the two.

Ralph Beckett has high hopes for Angel Bleu
Ralph Beckett has high hopes for Angel Bleu (John Walton/PA)

He added: “It wasn’t (an easy choice) at all because there was a feeling that as he’s become more straightforward, the straight track at Doncaster would hold no fears for him.

“Frankie in particular was quite keen that we considered it, (but) in the end I think we felt that the formbook is saying he’s better round a bend, so Saint-Cloud was an easier decision.

“They say the ground is going to be soft and he’s proven on that ground.

“It seems like we’ve got all our ducks in a row. It won’t be easy – I think Ancient Rome in particular will improve from his run in the Lagardere (finished third).

“We’re going to be have to be at our best to hold him off.”

Scope cruised clear at Ascot
Scope cruised clear at Ascot (Steven Paston/PA)

The following afternoon Angel Bleu’s stablemate Scope will return to the highest level for the two-mile Prix Royal-Oak at ParisLongchamp.

Sixth in the St Leger on his penultimate start, the three-year-old was last seen running out a wide-margin winner of the Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot.

“I thought Rob Hornby was very cool on him. The horse doesn’t give you very much and you could see from Swinley Bottom, Rob was smacking him down the neck to keep him into his bridle,” said Beckett.

“But in the end, he’s done it really well and clearly it was a very good effort.

“In the spring things didn’t quite go as we’d hoped for him and he had a problem after the Lingfield Derby Trial.

“I really wasn’t at all sure how he’d run in the Voltigeur and I was hugely encouraged by that run.

“He rather fluffed his lines at the start in the St Leger – we felt he could have finished a lot closer if that hadn’t happened – and then it all came together at Ascot, albeit at a lower level.

“He’s going to have to be at his very best on Sunday, but he’s had a shortish year and it really seemed like it was a bet to nothing to take him.

“He’s worked well since Ascot and looks terrific. It’s going to be tough for him, but the trip, ground and track should all suit him really well.”

Lagardere aim for Goodwood victor Angel Bleu

Angel Bleu is set to step up to Group One level for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Sunday week.

Ralph Beckett’s exciting colt has not been seen in competitive action since winning the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood at the end of July, having since sidestepped the National Stakes at the Curragh.

The son of Dark Angel holds an entry in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on October 9, but is poised instead for ParisLongchamp.

Beckett said: “All being well he’ll head for the Lagardere on Arc weekend – that’s the plan.

“I think Longchamp will suit him really well.

“We had aspirations to go to the Curragh for the National Stakes, but the ground was so quick over there and as a result we thought we’d hang on for Longchamp and hope it rained.”

Victory Chimes is music to Beckett’s ears at Goodwood

Victory Chime charged home to notch his second victory at Goodwood in the Best Of British Events Foundation Stakes.

Three and a half years on from breaking his duck on the Sussex Downs, Ralph Beckett much-improved gelding returned to bid for Listed honours and his 11th career success overall under Hector Crouch.

With King Vega ensuring the gallop was strong, 12-1 chance victory Chime came under pressure from an early stage, but the picture changed quickly inside the final two furlongs.

As the pacesetters began to falter, Beckett’s charge finished with a flourish and passed the post with three-quarters of a length in hand over 33-1 shot and fellow closer Tyson Fury.

West End Charmer and Perotto were not far behind in third and fourth respectively.

Beckett said: “Turning tracks suit him really well, we’ve largely stuck to that and it’s a policy that’s served him well.

“He’s a great character who has been a terrific servant to his owner. He’s been a joy to train and I think he gives his owner a huge amount of pleasure.

“I’m almost astonished at what he’s achieved. He’s a real blue collar horse.”

Ralph Beckett was thrilled with the victory of Victory Chime
Ralph Beckett was thrilled with the victory of Victory Chime (John Walton/PA)

On future plans, the trainer added: “I’m kind of running out of options as I’m not sure Newmarket is his track, which doesn’t really help.

“He has only run at Newmarket the once, so I shouldn’t put a line through it, but the form book says he’s better on turning tracks.

“He might go travelling. There’s a few options abroad on the run up to Christmas, so we’ll find something.”

Title frontrunner Murphy hits back with treble

Just 24 hours after William Buick closed the gap to six in the race to be champion jockey courtesy of a treble, the man defending the title, Oisin Murphy, secured a hat-trick of his own at Newbury.

Murphy is now 1-3 favourite with Paddy Power to defend the championship, with Buick a 2-1 chance.

His first winner came in the Dubai Duty Free Nursery Handicap on Ed Walker’s American Star (11-2) – who had been slightly outclassed in the Gimcrack at York but, down in grade and up in trip, proved in a different league to his rivals here.

“David Ward (owner) asked Ed Sackville (bloodstock agent) to buy him a Gimcrack horse – but he found six furlongs too sharp, and we should have run him in the Acomb,” said Walker.

American Star was always in command under Oisin Murphy
American Star was always in command under Oisin Murphy (Steven Paston/PA)

“He did that very nicely, was well-ridden – and it never looked in any doubt to me.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do now. We may go back up in class but we’ll just wait and see – that looked a good race.”

Murphy then made every yard of the running in the feature Dubai Duty Free Cup on Saeed bin Suroor’s Silent Escape (16-5 joint-favourite).

The winner is now heading to Dubai, where there will no doubt be plenty of options for her.

The champion jockey ended the day by winning the Crossland Employment Solicitors Handicap on Andrew Balding’s Neenee’s Choice (13-8 favourite), who himself was scoring for the fourth time in a row.

“He’s just a very honest horse, and Oisin gave him a lovely ride,” said Balding.

“He’s in the Cambridgeshire but he won’t get in it. We’ve no great plans, so we’ll just take stock.”

Heredia showed a smart turn of foot to remain unbeaten
Heredia showed a smart turn of foot to remain unbeaten (Steven Paston/PA)

Heredia potentially threw her name into the hat for one of the big juvenile contests at the end of the season when maintaining her unbeaten record in the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises British EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes

The Richard Hannon-trained Dark Angel filly had got off the mark with the minimum of fuss at Windsor 20 days ago – but faced three other previous winners here, including Charlie Appleby’s 4-9 favourite Silk Romance who looked smart when winning at Newmarket.

“She’s a lovely filly, a homebred of Andrew Stones (St Albans Bloodstock) and I have to say (pre-trainer) Malcolm Bastard has done an amazing job,” said Hannon.

“She came to me in June and she’s been really sweet ever since. We thought a bit of her when she went to Windsor, and she won there.

“I’d say that was a smart race – she looked like she enjoyed the seven furlongs, but where we go know I don’t know.

“There are loads of options, but I didn’t want to put her in anything in case she finished sixth at Windsor, and then I’d look a plonker. If we need to supplement for something we can now, because she’s paid for it.

“We’ll all have a chat, but I would be keen to run her again looking for some black type.”

Deodar made a winning debut for Ralph Beckett
Deodar made a winning debut for Ralph Beckett (Steven Paston/PA)

Ralph Beckett introduced a nicely-bred newcomer in Deodar to win the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.

The dogs were barking for Hannon’s Witch Hunter, who was sent off the 7-4 favourite and in a prime position throughout.

Deodar had been slightly outpaced early, but got the hang of things from halfway under Rob Hornby and fairly powered home with the rail to assist him, beating the favourite by a neck – although there was not much between the first five home.

“He’s just come together in the last three weeks – it took him a long time to work out what was required, but he’s suddenly realised,” said Beckett, of the Juddmonte-owned son of Bated Breath.

“In his last bit of work he put it together between his ears.

“I don’t know what we’ll do with him now. Richard fancied his, so I’d say it was a good effort, and we’ll have to work out what to do.

“He’s out of a Selkirk mare, so should have no trouble getting further. I’d say we’ll crack on with him now.”

Roger Charlton’s Makram (11-4 favourite) survived a stewards’ enquiry to win the Dubai Duty Free Handicap.

James Doyle’s mount drifted out as Calling The Wind challenged, but the view taken was that there was not enough interference to change the result. The winning distance was a head.

“He’s a lovely horse – but I think he’s heading to the sales now because he can earn far more abroad than he can here, unfortunately,” said Charlton.

Heredia makes case for better things to come with Newbury success

Heredia potentially threw her name into the hat for one of the big juvenile contests at the end of the season when maintaining her unbeaten record in the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises British EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes at Newbury.

The Richard Hannon-trained Dark Angel filly had got off the mark with the minimum of fuss at Windsor 20 days ago – but faced three other previous winners here, including Charlie Appleby’s 4-9 favourite Silk Romance who looked smart when winning at Newmarket.

Settled last of the four by Sean Levey, she showed a smart turn of foot deep inside the final furlong to beat the market leader by a cosy neck.

“She’s a lovely filly, a homebred of Andrew Stones (St Albans Bloodstock) and I have to say (pre-trainer) Malcolm Bastard has done an amazing job,” said Hannon.

“She came to me in June and she’s been really sweet ever since. We thought a bit of her when she went to Windsor and she won there.

“I’d say that was a smart race, she looked like she enjoyed the seven furlongs, but where we go know I don’t know.

“There are loads of options, but I didn’t want to put her in anything in case she finished sixth at Windsor and then I’d look a plonker. If we need to supplement for something we can now as she’s paid for it.

“We’ll all have a chat, but I would be keen to run her again looking for some black type.”

Deodar made a winning debut for Ralph Beckett
Deodar made a winning debut for Ralph Beckett (Steven Paston/PA)

Ralph Beckett introduced a nicely-bred newcomer to win the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.

The dogs were barking for Hannon’s Witch Hunter, who was sent off the 7-4 favourite and in a prime position throughout.

Deodar had been slightly outpaced early, but got the hang of things from halfway under Rob Hornby and fairly powered home with the rail to assist him, beating the favourite by a neck, although there was not much between the first five home.

“He’s just come together in the last three weeks, it took him a long time to work out what was required but he’s suddenly realised,” said Beckett of the Juddmonte-owned son of Bated Breath.

“In his last bit of work he put it together between his ears.

“I don’t know what we’ll do with him now, Richard fancied his so I’d say it was a good effort and we’ll have to work out what to do.

“He’s out of a Selkirk mare so should have no trouble getting further. I’d say we’ll crack on with him now.”

Ed Walker’s American Star (11-2) was a comfortable winner of the Dubai Duty Free Nursery Handicap for Oisin Murphy.

A little out of his depth in the Gimcrack last time out, he never looked in any danger here off a mark of 85.

“David Ward (owner) asked Ed Sackville (bloodstock agent) to buy him a Gimcrack horse – but he found six furlongs too sharp, and we should have run him in the Acomb,” said Walker.

“He did that very nicely, was well-ridden – and it never looked in any doubt to me.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do now. We may go back up in class but we’ll just wait and see – that looked a good race.”

Promising youngsters poised for Haynes, Hanson & Clark test

Newbury’s Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes has an illustrious history, with some greats of the Turf on its roll of honour – and this year’s renewal looks sure to throw up a smart winner.

Henbit and Shergar won the first two runnings and went on to win the Derby, while in subsequent years Rainbow Quest, Unfuwain, King’s Theatre and Nayef have added their name to the roll of honour.

Last year’s winner Yibir is currently in America preparing for a $1million race, having won the Great Voltigeur, and the 41st running has attracted a strong field of 10.

Charlie Appleby’s King Of Conquest cost 900,000 guineas and is likely to be sent off favourite following a debut win at Sandown. But Ralph Beckett’s Westover has also won his only start.

A son of Frankel from a famous Juddmonte family, Beckett rates his charge but has respect for the Appleby runner.

“He’s going to have to pull his finger out to beat the Godolphin horse, I think,” said Beckett.

“We thought we’d run here after his debut so I’m glad we’re showing up.

“He’s got a lovely Juddmonte pedigree and the family have served us well, so let’s hope this fellow does even better.”

Michael Bell’s Bolthole was another impressive winner on debut and the son of Free Eagle also looks to have a bright future.

“He made a good impression at Windsor and the form is working out well,” said Bell.

“The penalty structure of the race appeals so it will be interesting to see how he gets on taking on class horses.

“He’s a good looking horse with a good mind and hopefully he’s got a good future.”

Nayef’s trainer Marcus Tregoning has won the race five times, more than anybody else, and runs Rawyaan, winner of two of his three outings to date.

“Rawyaan is in very good form and obviously he’s won his last two races. This is a step up in trip and on different ground, but we’ve not picked up a penalty from his last two wins so that’s a carrot and he’d have a good chance,” he said.

“These conditions races don’t come up that often, but they are always on my radar for this type of horse and it looks like a competitive renewal.”

Appleby has two of the top-rated horses in the Dubai Duty Free Cup, in Al Suhail and D’bai, but Owen Burrows is hoping last year’s smart juvenile Albasheer can take a step forward from his return at Salisbury.

Albasheer (right) was second to Chindit in the Champagne Stakes last season
Albasheer (right) was second to Chindit in the Champagne Stakes last season (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He was a bit rusty and while he’s not short of speed it was over six. He came to win and just got caught on the nod,” said Burrows.

“I was happy enough, it was a solid enough run and he certainly looks like he’s come forward for it in his work at home.

“This looks a very competitive race but on ratings this is where we are, it will be nice to get him back and see where we are with him.

“He’s still very lightly raced, but from what I see at home he looks to be still improving so we’re hopeful of a good run.”

Tomfre excels when the mud is flying
Tomfre excels when the mud is flying (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Beckett runs Tomfre – but fears the ground may not be soft enough.

“He’s been off for a while, but I’ve got to run him somewhere and the long-term forecast isn’t great,” he said.

“His owners are local, he ran well at Ascot, he’s in good form and this is supposed to be his time of year so we’ve got to get on with it.”

William Haggas has the same worry for the filly With Thanks.

“There’s not going to be enough cut in the ground for her, but she needs to race as when the rain comes she needs to be absolutely bang fit,” said Haggas.

“It won’t be soft enough, I wouldn’t have thought, but she’ll be OK. she looks well and she’s in all the seven-furlong races she needs to be in and if we have to go abroad we’ll go abroad.”

Angel Bleu and Kinross make it an opening day to remember for Ralph Beckett at Goodwood

Angel Bleu and Kinross provided trainer Ralph Beckett and owner Marc Chan with a Group Two double on the opening afternoon of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Turning out just three days after filling the runner-up spot in the Listed Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot, Angel Bleu was sent off at 100-30 for the Unibet Vintage Stakes under Frankie Dettori.

The Dark Angel colt sweated up on the way to post and raced enthusiastically for much of the race, but still managed to quicken up smartly in the rain-softened ground once popped the question by his rider.

He did hang quite badly right when delivering his challenge, interfering with The Acropolis in the process.

But while the previously-unbeaten Coventry Stakes winner Berkshire Shadow (13-8 favourite) was doing his best work at the finish, Angel Bleu had enough in reserve to hold him at bay by three-quarters of a length.

Beckett said: “Frankie got off him on Saturday and said ‘he’s been busy, give him a break’, so I thought we should leave him alone.

“(But) I fed him on Sunday and I looked at him sideways and thought ‘you don’t look like you’ve had a hard race to me at all’.

“I jogged him up, and he bounced up the yard – Marc Chan’s racing manager called me up and said ‘why don’t we geld him now and send him to Hong Kong in the autumn, he can go there and have a good time?’ – he was a little surprised when it rained and we decided to declare him!

“If we hadn’t declared and the field had fallen apart like this, I’d have been really, really cross with myself. With the rain last night, I could hardly believe my luck.

“He likes a bit of juice and he likes soft ground – we’ll think about the Dewhurst now I should think.”

Dettori added: “Horses make a fool of you, but a combination of running round the turn, soft ground and being good on the way to post made a difference. He loved it.”

Of the Andrew Balding-trained Berkshire Shadow, rider Oisin Murphy said: “Off a slow pace he relaxed very well, but took a while to get going. When I gave him a kick he stayed on well and hit the line hard.

“I think he needs another furlong, because he saw out the trip really well.”

Ralph Beckett at Goodwood
Ralph Beckett at Goodwood (John Walton/PA)

Little more than half an hour later Angel Bleu’s stablemate Kinross carried the Chan colours to victory in the Unibet Lennox Stakes.

Off the track since winning the John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock at the end of May, the 6-1 shot powered through in the final furlong under Rossa Ryan to deny 2-1 favourite Creative Force by a neck – with Happy Power and last year’s winner Space Blues close up in third and fourth.

Beckett said of his second big-race winner: “He shot through the gap two (furlongs) down and he sort of floated home in the last furlong.

“I was really keen that Rossa rode him absolutely cold today, and it’s panned out perfectly – as it can do sometimes.

“I was a bit worried he was getting into a row with Danny Tudhope at the top of the hill – I thought we were going to be shoved down on the fence, but it opened up and all was well.”

Kinross has realised his previous potential this season, with two Group-race wins in as many starts since being gelded in March.

Beckett added: “He’s not been a difficult for to train – he’s just been a difficult horse to read.

“I felt last year that I was always trying to get him ready, but I didn’t bother getting him ready for Kempton (last November) – I just got him there in reasonable shape when he won the Hyde Stakes.

“Taking him to Dubai (then) seemed like a good decision at the time – but that didn’t work.

“He was enjoying himself too much, enjoying his holidays – so gelding him was a good idea and sticking to this ground was a good idea.

“The form book doesn’t lie – his mother was very good on soft ground, and we’ll be sticking to good or soft from now on.

“He’ll definitely go up in grade. He’s in the (Prix) Maurice de Gheest, and the (Prix de la) Foret is a race I’ve always thought would suit him – so I think we’ll work back from that.”

Ryan voiced his gratitude to Beckett for the opportunity.

“I was pretty shocked to see myself booked to ride,” he said.

“But Ralph has shown in recent years that he’s never afraid to give lads a chance. That’s what he’s done, and I’m very thankful.”

Charlie Appleby was not too downcast over Creative Force and Space Blues.

The Godolphin trainer said: “Both horses ran well, but unfortunately as far as William’s (Buick) horse (Space Blues) is concerned it was not the strongest-run race and he said they were always picking up at a crucial point. I think we will look to the Hungerford in a couple of weeks.

“It was another solid run from Creative Force. He was going forward right to the line having travelled very well. We might contemplate bringing him back (in trip) for the Maurice de Gheest, but I’m just as keen to give him a break before heading to Haydock (for the Sprint Cup).”

Angel heaven sent for Dettori and Beckett

A quick reappearance proved no barrier to success for Angel Bleu, as Frankie Dettori steered Ralph Beckett’s colt to victory in the Unibet Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.

Runner-up in the Listed Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, the Dark Angel youngster was sent off at 100-30 to go one better in this Group Three contest just three days later.

Having sweated up on the way to post, Angel Bleu raced enthusiastically for much of the race, but quickened up smartly in the rain-softened ground once popped the question by Dettori.

He did hang quite badly rightly when delivering his challenge, interfering with The Acropolis in the process.

The previously-unbeaten Coventry Stakes winner Berkshire Shadow (13-8 favourite) was doing his best work at the finish, but Angel Bleu had enough in reserve to hold him at bay by three-quarters of a length.

Beckett said: “Frankie got off him on Saturday and said ‘he’s been busy, give him a break’, so I thought we should leave him alone.

“(But) I fed him on Sunday and I looked at him sideways and thought ‘you don’t look like you’ve had a hard race to me at all’.

“I jogged him up and he bounced up the yard, (owner) Marc Chan’s racing manager called me up and said ‘why don’t we geld him now and send him to Hong Kong in the autumn, he can go there and have a good time’ – he was a little surprised when it rained and we decided to declare him!

“If we hadn’t declared and the field had fallen apart like this, I’d have been really, really cross with myself. With the rain last night I could hardly believe my luck.”

“He like a bit of juice and he likes soft ground, we’ll think about the Dewhurst now I should think.”

Of the Andrew Balding-trained Berkshire Shadow, rider Oisin Murphy said: “Off a slow pace he relaxed very well, but took a while to get going. When I gave him a kick he stayed on well and hit the line hard.

“I think he needs another furlong, as he saw out the trip really well.”

Kinross aiming to set the standard in Criterion contest

Ralph Beckett reports Kinross in “great shape” as he bids to defy a 3lb penalty in the Close Brothers Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.

The one-time Classic contender returned to his best with victory in the Group Three John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock four weeks ago, and Beckett is confident the four-year-old is ready to excel again at the same level on Saturday .

“Kinross is in great shape. It is a race that he has got a penalty in, but it is a race that really suits him,” said the Hampshire trainer.

“I’ve been very happy with him since Haydock, where he looked back to his old self.

“He did it really well the last day, and we will be sticking to seven furlongs with him. I think gelding him has been a significant help. Hopefully this is a stepping stone to bigger and better things.”

The William Haggas-trained With Thanks finished only seventh behind Kinross at Haydock, but jockey Tom Marquand believes the Camacho filly can get closer this time if forecast rain arrives.

“She ran a little bit free at Haydock – but that was her first run back, and she was entitled to need it,” said Marquand.

Richard Hannon believes a return to the July Course will help Motakhayyel’s cause.

The five-year-old is seeking a first success since landing last year’s Bunbury Cup over the same course and distance.

“He likes the track here and he is working well and hopefully he will run a big race,” said the Marlborough trainer.

“When he is in form he is hard to beat – I hope he is, and he seems like it at home.

Hannon expects going back up in trip to benefit Mums Tipple, following his lacklustre effort over six furlongs in the Cathedral Stakes at Salisbury.

He said: “Mums Tipple was disappointing last time, but he hung a good bit that day and he never got in the race.

“This is a nice race for him – and stepping up in trip again should help him, because he looked like he was a bit flat out in the Cathedral Stakes.”

Jockey Robert Havlin is looking forward to being reunited with Logician, in the Close Brothers Fred Archer Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s grey has had his issues since winning the St Leger in 2019, and has been restricted to just three runs since then.

“It is great to get back on him, and he is a nice horse to pick up,” said Havlin.

“I rode him on Wednesday, and he felt in great shape and has come on since the last day.

“He is a big horse that is hard to get fit, and the whole way through it has always taken a run to get him right. He seems to have come out of his race the right way.”

Logician (left) will try to return to form in the Fred Archer Stakes
Logician (left) will try to return to form in the Fred Archer Stakes (Clint Hughes/PA)

Beckett believes the 12-furlong contest represents a good starting point for Max Vega’s campaign.

“We’ve had to be patient this year, because he hasn’t quite been himself,” he said.

“Things of late have been different, and he has definitely picked up.”

George Boughey is happy to give Cachet the chance of a Listed success in the Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Stakes, following her run at Royal Ascot.

The Aclaim filly finished a respectable fifth to Sandrine in the Albany Stakes, despite being unsuited by the rain-softened ground last week.

“It is a quick turnaround from Royal Ascot, but she has come out of that race in great shape,” said Boughey.

“I walked the track on Thursday, and it is far quicker than at Ascot – where it was an extreme of ground. It probably found her out and it was only her ability that got her home.”

Simon and Ed Crisford’s Najat tries her hand in Listed company, after making a fine impression when taking a novice event at Thirsk.

Ed Crisford, who holds a joint licence with his father Simon, said: “She won very well first time up at Thirsk and she is deserving of her place in a stakes race, and this looked a suitable option.”

Meu Amor sets up Goodwood outing with Eternal strike at Carlisle

Meu Amor stamped her class on the British Stallion Studs EBF Eternal Stakes at Carlisle.

Ralph Beckett’s filly brought a high level of form to the Listed contest, having finished a close-up fourth in the Group Three Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield and third in the Surrey Stakes at Epsom on her last couple of starts.

The daughter of Siyouni was sent off at 3-1 for her latest assignment under Richard Kingscote and travelled strongly throughout the seven-furlong contest before pulling two and three-quarter lengths clear of Ken Condon’s Irish raider Thunder Beauty.

The previously unbeaten 15-8 favourite Cloudy Dawn was just over two lengths further back in third.

“It was straightforward,” said Kingscote.

“She had enough form to say she’d be in the mix. Of course the unknown was how much more Mr (William) Haggas’ filly (Cloudy Dawn) had under the bonnet, but my filly did everything lovely.

“Back on some better ground, she showed a good attitude and it was very smooth.”

Beckett is planning to step Meu Amor back up in class at Glorious Goodwood.

He said: “We were a little bit underwhelmed by the effort at Epsom and I think her performance today showed we were right to be.

“She enjoyed the track and the race set up well for her.

“I think we’ll look towards Goodwood and the Oak Tree Stakes in five weeks’ time.”

Kinross makes class count in John Of Gaunt

Frankie Dettori treated the Haydock crowd to his trademark flying dismount after steering Kinross to an impressive victory in the Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes.

Ralph Beckett’s four-year-old was considered a potential top-notcher in his younger days – competing at the highest level in the Vertem Futurity Trophy, the 2000 Guineas and the Prix Jean Prat.

Having disappointed on a couple of occasions at the Dubai Carnival at Meydan earlier in the year, Dettori admitted he was more hopeful than confident about his chances in the Group Three feature on Merseyside.

However, the 5-1 co-favourite of three bounced back to his best – powering clear of his rivals and passing the post with a length and a quarter in hand over Irish raider Njord.

Dettori said: “He had some good form as a two-year-old. Marc (Chan, owner) bought him with the thought of having a good Carnival in Dubai, but things didn’t go his way – he wasn’t ready for it.

“Ralph decided to geld him and we didn’t know what to expect today, to be honest. His first two runs this year were really bad, so I rode him to run well.

“He got the splits when I wanted them and in fairness he picked up and put the race to bed straight away.

“Prior to the race we were a little bit puzzled, but he showed he’s still got ability and we can make a plan.”

Kinross passes the post in front
Kinross passes the post in front (Tim Goode/PA)

The popular Italian returned to the winner’s enclosure to warm applause from racegoers.

He added: “It was quite weird when I was cantering down to the start for the second race – people on the rail were shouting my name.

“It’s something that I wasn’t accustomed to for the last 18 months. It’s good to have an atmosphere back.”

Royal Ascot next on the agenda for exciting Hello You

A trip to Royal Ascot for the Albany Stakes is next on the agenda for Hello You following her sparkling debut at Wolverhampton on Monday.

The daughter of Invincible Spirit was making her introduction in what appeared a strong novice event at Dunstall Park, with newcomers from several high-profile yards in opposition.

However, Ralph Beckett’s filly could hardly have been more impressive – taking the lead over a furlong out before powering six and a half lengths clear.

Paddy Power make Hello You a 10-1 shot for the Albany at next month’s showpiece meeting and Beckett confirmed the Group Two contest as her next intended target.

He said: “I was delighted with that. I thought she’d run well, but it looked a warm race beforehand.

“I thought she’d go close, but there was plenty of money for other horses.

“It was more than we expected, obviously – not too many win like that on on debut.

“She appears to have taken the race well, so we’ll give ourselves three weeks to get to Ascot.

“That straight track normally rides quick, but I think she’ll handle it fine.”