Tag Archive for: Sacred

Sun Chariot aim for Inspiral

Inspiral will skip a trip to the Irish Champions Festival in favour of seeking further Group One riches in Newmarket’s Sun Chariot Stakes later this autumn.

John and Thady Gosden’s daughter of Frankel bounced back to her very best at Deauville last month, providing her owners Cheveley Park Stud with a thrilling afternoon on the Normandy coast as Inspiral secured back-to-back victories in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

That victory secured her a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile later in the season, but before any Stateside ambitions enter the equation, the four-year-old has duties closer to home to attend to and she will head to the Rowley Mile on October 7 in search of a fifth top-level victory.

“We all enjoyed a real high that day (at Deauville) and Mrs Thompson was thrilled. Richard (Thompson) obviously represented her and what a fantastic day he had and they all enjoyed it, as did I,” said Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud.

“She’s in good form and we are probably favouring Newmarket and the Sun Chariot is a possible race for her. I think that is favoured.”

The Sun Chariot would provide a four-week lead into the Breeders’ Cup if connections did elect to travel to Santa Anita in early November and it appears a season-ending swansong in California could well be on the cards.

“I think so and I suppose it really depends on what she is going to do next year,” continued Richardson when asked about the chances of Inspiral cashing in her ‘win and you’re in’ ticket to America.

Inspiral led in by Richard Thompson
Inspiral led in by Richard Thompson (PA)

“If she is going to retire, I can see her going to America and retiring, but if she was to stay in training then I don’t know, and maybe she will make the Breeders’ Cup, but it would depend on what Mrs Thompson would like to do.”

Cheveley Park’s Sacred could also have the Breeders’ Cup on her radar, but will have to prove her well being before that is seriously considered having failed to sparkle in the City Of York Stakes most recently.

Trained by William Haggas, the Royal Ascot runner-up has now failed to find the scoresheet in three visits to the Knavesmire and could head to the more favourable territory of Newbury for her next outing, where she could bid to get back on track in the Dubai Duty Free Cup Stakes the five-year-old claimed last season.

Sacred has bags of talent
Sacred has bags of talent (John Walton/PA)

“We now know she just does not want to perform at York. She was in great form going in there but she was never happy,” added Richardson.

“Tom (Marquand) came back and said she went down unhappy, was unsettled in the stalls and just took a hold and was never prepared to put her best foot forward.

“We’ve got various options and the Breeders’ Cup is a thought. At the moment it is at the back of our minds when we were hoping it would be at the forefront.

“We might go back for the Listed race at Newbury which she won last year. That could be another opportunity for her.”

Kinross and Isaac Shelby in Knavesmire rematch

Kinross will go toe-to-toe with Isaac Shelby once again as he defends his Sky Bet City of York Stakes at York on Saturday.

Ralph Beckett’s six-year-old began a four-race winning run in this contest 12 months ago, and arrives at the Knavesmire in rude health having got back to winning ways in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood.

He had to knuckle down to repel the challenge laid down by Isaac Shelby on the Sussex Downs and things will be far from straightforward here as a strong cast of opponents have assembled to attempt to knock Kinross off his perch.

The Group Two event has a hefty £500,000 prize fund and Jamie McCalmont, racing manager for Kinross’ owner Marc Chan, believes York racecourse should be rewarded for providing such a valuable opportunity to participants.

He said: “It’s amazing that York can put up that much prize-money for a Group Two race. They deserve the race to get upgraded to a Group One when they can come up with that sort of money.

“It’s a competitive race for sure, but the win at Goodwood will have given him some confidence.

“He certainly doesn’t owe us anything right now, but as Frankie says, he’s like an ATM machine so let’s hope that will continue.

“It’s a very exciting day for Marc to have three horses (Kinross, Lezoo and Angel Bleu) of that quality running at three different meetings.”

Meanwhile Kinross’ vanquished Goodwood rival is reported to have bounced out of the Lennox Stakes in peak condition and although Isaac Shelby has already achieved a great deal in his short career to date, trainer Brian Meehan thinks the best is still to come.

He said: “He came out of Goodwood in tremendous shape and we’re very much looking forward to it.

“I guess Kinross will be the one to beat, but Sacred is in the race as well and Al Suhail, there are a number with chances and it’s quite rightly a well-supported race as it’s very valuable.

“He is in great shape, he came out of Goodwood the best he has come out any race so far and he’s really starting to mature now. Whatever ground turns up on the day isn’t going to inconvenience him and we’re very happy.”

Sacred failed to land a blow when sent off favourite for this race 12 months ago, but William Haggas’ five-year-old produced a fine effort in defeat when second in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

However, having elected to head here over last week’s Hungerford Stakes on account of ground conditions, connections could be left frustrated once again if forecast showers alter the state of things underfoot.

“I’m a little bit worried by the forecast of rain which wouldn’t suit her because the last time she ran at York she didn’t act on the loose surface. It would be frustrating as we had to miss Newbury,” explained Chris Richardson, managing director for owners Cheveley Park Stud.

“She’s in great form but we’re getting a little bit of a kick in the teeth every time we try to get her conditions.

“Her track record here isn’t ideal. She’s a very talented and maybe a year older she may handle things a bit better. She seems in good heart and the intention is to run, but if we had a deluge we may review it.”

Further down the field behind Sacred at Royal Ascot was Charlie Appleby’s Al Suhail who is a Group Two winner at this distance and will be suited by the return to further, while Charlie Hills’ Mutasaabeq drops back in trip having failed to sparkle in two runs since landing the Group Two bet 365 Mile earlier this term.

Olivia Maralda (fifth) and Covey (ninth) have both been on the sidelines since running in the Jersey Stakes at Ascot, with the later one of two in the race for John and Thady Gosden alongside Audience.

The son of Frankel was sent off favourite when flopping in that Group Three event at the Royal meeting, but Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte, is hoping for a different outcome this time.

He said: “He’s had a nice break from Ascot, it just didn’t pan out for him that day. He went too quick, he went too free on the front end. It’s a big step into a Group Two but John and Thady are happy with him and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do over a fast seven (furlongs).

“He got too warm beforehand and Frankie (Dettori) said he just hit the gate and was running too free, hopefully we’ll be able to be a little bit more patient with him on Saturday and he’ll show up a bit better.”

Sacred following York money after bypassing Hungerford option

Sacred will head to York for the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes having not been declared to run in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

Trained by William Haggas, the five-year-old has won five of her 15 starts and having made a successful return at Lingfield earlier in the campaign, came close to scooping Royal Ascot glory when beaten a neck by Khaadem in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes.

She was due to seek Group One compensation in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, but wet weather both home and abroad meant the versatile operator missed out on a trip to Deauville earlier this month.

Rain is also set to hit Newbury this weekend and the decision to reroute to the Knavesmire could prove a shrewd choice by connections if conditions in Berkshire subsequently turn testing.

However, the Somerville Lodge handler is keen to point out the difference in prize-money between the two contests and having won the Hungerford in 2021, he is now keen to seek a portion of the £500,000 prize fund on offer at York.

“She’s fine and we’re going for the money,” said Haggas.

“We’ve won the Hungerford before and we’re going to go for the City of York.

“The Hungerford is £62,000 to the winner and the York race is £283,000 to the winner, so I think they deserve our support. We can’t continually bleat about prize-money then not support the tracks that put it on.

“I think York looks set fair, whereas Newbury at the weekend could be quite wet.”

Sense Of Duty was most impressive when last seen at Newcastle
Sense Of Duty was most impressive when last seen at Newcastle (Richard Sellers/PA)

Haggas also revealed he is doing everything in his power to get Sense Of Duty to the start line for Haydock’s Betfair Sprint Cup on September 9.

The four-year-old daughter of Showcasing was ready for the step up to the next level having racked up a four-race winning sequence, but injury hit after her impressive display in Newcastle’s Chipchase Stakes last June and she has been on the sidelines ever since.

“She’s on her way and we’re trying really hard to get her to Haydock,” explained Haggas.

“She was improving and she was very impressive in the Chipchase I thought. We’ll see what this year involves, but she has been off the track for a very long time.”

Prix Maurice de Gheest on Sacred’s radar

Royal Ascot runner-up Sacred will head to Deauville for her next appearance with the Prix Maurice de Gheest identified by William Haggas as the perfect destination for his versatile mare.

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned five-year-old has been a consistent performer for connections throughout her career and won on reappearance at Lingfield in the Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes in May.

However, she was narrowly denied when taking her chance in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes for the second season in a row, having victory snatched from her grasp when headed late in the day by the fast-finishing Khaadem.

Sacred (centre) had to settle for second in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot
Sacred (centre) had to settle for second in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot (John Walton/PA)

The daughter of Exceed And Excel holds entries over a mile closer to home over the next month, but following her fine effort at Ascot, Haggas is keen to keep Sacred to sprinting distances and will send her across the Channel for the six-and-a-half-furlong Group One in early August.

“She’s fine and we’re aiming her at the Prix Maurice de Gheest on August 6 which is a Group One over six and a half furlongs,” said Haggas.

“She likes going to her races relatively fresh, so she will go there and there is nothing overly obvious for her in the meantime.

“She’s in the Sussex, but I think we felt she ran very well over six furlongs at Ascot and six and a half in Deauville, providing the ground isn’t soft, should be fine for her.”

My Prospero will head to York later this month
My Prospero will head to York later this month (Steven Paston/PA)

Haggas also revealed that My Prospero will head to York for the Sky Bet York Stakes on July 29 as the four-year-old attempts to tee-up a Knavesmire return for the Juddmonte International Stakes during the Ebor Festival.

“He’ll go for the Sky Bet at York,” added Haggas.

“He didn’t run as well as I hoped at Ascot. He didn’t run badly, but it wasn’t as well as I hoped and he will go to York and if he wins and wins nicely he will go back there for the Juddmonte.”

Sacred sails to silky smooth Chartwell Stakes victory

Sacred upheld her fine record fresh to oblige favourite-backers in style and lead home a William Haggas one-three in Lingfield’s Fitzdares Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes.

The five-year-old was the undoubted class act of the line-up and was anchored in rear alongside Haggas-trained stablemate Queen Aminatu in the early stages, as Richard Hughes’ Candle Of Hope was away well from a wide draw and led from Nell Gwyn third Secret Angel.

Rounding the final bend Ryan Moore and the 13-8 market leader still had plenty of traffic ahead of them, but soon began to chart their path to the winning line.

It did not take long for the duo to have old rival Sandrine covered as Sacred proved she still possessed plenty of zip to record a clear-cut two-and-a-quarter length victory.

Queen Aminatu plugged on for the bronze medal and in the aftermath of the Group Three contest, the Cheveley Park-owned winner was handed quotes of 10-1 from 14s by both Paddy Power and Betfair for the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“We’ve kept her in training to try to win a Group One remembering she was only beaten a length in the Jubilee last year,” said Max McLoughlin management assistant to the owners.

“She’s a high-class filly and a Group Two winner, and it was great to see her do it so impressively.

Sacred and Ryan Moore winning the Fitzdares Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield
Sacred and Ryan Moore winning the Fitzdares Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield (PA)

“She will go to Ascot and could have another crack at the Jubilee, although she’s also in the Duke of Edinburgh.”

Moore added: “She’s a lovely filly who has won multiple Group races, and the all-weather round here suited her.

“She quickened up very well and I was impressed with her. She’s a seven-furlong filly.”

Haggas duo hunting Chartwell prize

Queen Aminatu and Sacred give trainer William Haggas a strong hand in the Fitzdares Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.

Sacred emerged as a Classic contender when winning the Group Three Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket two years ago – and while she came up short in the 1000 Guineas the following month, she has since won the Group Two Hungerford Stakes and a Listed prize at Newbury, both over Saturday’s trip of seven furlongs.

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned mare will be tackling an artificial surface for the first time in public this weekend, though, whereas her stablemate Queen Aminatu is an all-weather regular.

The daughter of Muhaarar has won twice at Lingfield already and also struck gold on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle. Her owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer is keeping his fingers crossed she can bounce back from a disappointing recent run in a Group Three on turf in Ireland.

“Queen Aminatu got bogged down in Ireland, she couldn’t get her feet out of the ground, it was too deep,” said Oppenheimer.

“I think other horses felt the same, it poured with rain the day before and I think it was rather a non-event.

“The question is, it has only been 12 days since she ran at the Curragh and she’s not a big filly, so maybe that will be a bit much for her.

“It seems worth taking the risk because it is a Group Three and she enjoys the all-weather.

“We will see how she goes, we don’t want her to have a hard race obviously, but I think she will enjoy the surface. I just hope she isn’t too tired from her trip to Ireland.”

White Moonlight winning at Newmarket
White Moonlight winning at Newmarket (Tim Goode/PA)

Andrew Balding saddles dual Group Two winner Sandrine, while Saeed bin Suroor is looking forward to running White Moonlight.

The latter finished second twice in Dubai earlier in the year before failing to land a blow in the Neom Turf Cup in Saudi Arabia

“White Moonlight is an improving filly this year and has been working nicely at home,” the trainer told www.godolphin.com.

“She has won on the all-weather before and dropping back to seven furlongs will suit. She is fresh and ready for this, and I’m looking for a good run.”

Candle Of Hope, who carries the colours of the King and Queen, will be an outsider, but trainer Richard Hughes believes she could outrun her odds.

He said: “I needed to get a run into her and we went to Goodwood last week knowing the ground was against her but she needed to have a race.

“I though that was a hell of a run considering I just needed to get a run into her. She had been on the boil for too long waiting for her ground. But she ran above herself, I thought, on ground that would be totally against her.

“Now this has switched to the all-weather, we thought we would give it a go. She probably should have won there first time out this year, she was very unlucky. Going back there I know we’re taking on horses rated higher, but she’s getting plenty of weight and is tough as boots.”

Secret Angel (Karl Burke), Nizaaka (Jane Chapple-Hyam) and Love Interest (David O’Meara) complete the line-up.