Tag Archive for: Significantly

Camacho team eyeing more top honours for Significantly

Julie Camacho’s Significantly will bid for more handicap riches this season after a productive campaign last year.

The six-year-old ran seven times and never finished far from the action when winning twice and placing second on three occasions.

He was in particularly good form in the latter part of the term, missing out by just a short head when second in the Portland at Doncaster before going on to land the Ayr Gold Cup.

He then ran another fine race to end the season in the Coral Sprint Trophy at York, finishing second again when outdone only by William Haggas’ Montassib.

The latter horse began his campaign in good style when taking the Listed Cammidge Trophy Stakes on Town Moor at the weekend, a nice boost to Significantly’s form from the Knavesmire.

Significantly (left) finishing second in the Betfred Portland during the Betfred St Leger Festival at Doncaster
Significantly (left) finishing second in the Betfred Portland during the Betfred St Leger Festival at Doncaster

Listed and Group level races could end up on his agenda this season, but there may be more lucrative handicap pots to be targeted before that transition is made.

“He’s in really good shape, he’s forward,” said Steve Brown, Camacho’s husband and assistant.

“He’s a horse that likes cut in the ground so he may start in a fortnight at the Craven meeting in the six-furlong handicap there.

“There are a couple of races we’re keeping an eye on for him but he’s wintered really well.

“He had a positive year last season and he looks every bit as well, he’s on as good terms with himself as he was then.

“We’re in the twilight zone, that grey area where we’re behind the handicapper but it doesn’t quite make sense yet to run in a Listed or Group Three race.

“We’ll keep an eye on them all though, because the one thing we know is that there are a lot less runners in them than in these big-field handicaps.

“It was interesting to see that the horse that beat him at York at the back end of last year won a Listed race quite cosily on Saturday.

“That catches your attention, he’s a horse that might suit a Listed race in Ireland. We’ll keep an open mind and we’re really pleased with his well being, which is the main thing at this time of year.”

Significantly is owned by Niall O’Keeffe, who, alongside the Camacho team, had a good result at Doncaster at the weekend with new purchase Lattam.

The Lope De Vega gelding was bought out of William Haggas’ yard at the end of last season with an Irish Lincolnshire title to his name after he landed that Curragh contest in 2023.

He aimed to add a Lincoln to that title on Saturday and found only one horse too good, finishing second to Mr Professor when having to throw down a challenge from fairly far back in the field.

The run still earnt him over £36,000 and replenished a good chunk of his 50,000 guineas purchase price, with connections hopeful there will be more where that came from as the big mile handicaps will be considered for him throughout the season.

“He’s come out of it fresh and well, he’ll have a quiet week and then I suppose the obvious place to look at is Newbury,” Brown said of the chestnut.

“We know he’s a horse who is ground dependent so we’ll be keen to get another run or two into him in the spring and go from there.

“It was a good, solid start. He could have been a touch closer but I don’t think he’d have beaten the winner, who won well on the day.

“That was pleasing for Niall, these are the sorts of horses he targets to run in the big handicaps and festivals on Saturdays.

“He was thrilled with him, we all were, and we’re looking forward to seeing him run again.”

Lattam is likely to be campaigned in two phases, making the most of the softer spring ground and then lying low in the summer before returning to action in the autumn with Ascot’s Balmoral Handicap in his sights.

Brown said: “The race we’d really love to run him is the Balmoral Handicap, by virtue of him being a soft ground horse, he could go into that race without as much racing as some of them have had at that time of year.

“You’re almost working back from that to a degree, obviously we hope he can strike before then but it would be very much on our minds if you were asking me to name one race for him now.”

Significantly team favouring York run

Ayr Gold Cup winner Significantly is likely to sidestep a rise in grade at Ascot this weekend and instead wait for the Coral Sprint Trophy at York on Saturday week.

Revitalised by the Julie Camacho team, Significantly was agonisingly beaten in the Portland Handicap over five and a half furlongs at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting, but gained compensation seven days later at Ayr.

He almost missed out again there with Joe Fanning looking for a run with a furlong to go, but when the gap came he quickened up smartly.

While connections were tempted by a crack at the John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes, the fact he would be getting only 3lb from the likes of 113-rated Commanche Falls and the 110-rated Garrus leaves Significantly, still only on a handicap mark of 98, with plenty to find.

“He’s fit and well but I would imagine that unless the race cuts up badly, we’d wait a week and go to York,” said Steve Brown, Camacho’s husband and assistant.

“It just makes more sense to run in a handicap off his current mark. There are some good solid performers in at Ascot. We were entitled to enter and have a look but realistically we might just wait a week – and it’s worth more money.

“The other thing we might have been tempted to go to Ascot had the ground been softer but at the minute it looks like being a decent week weather-wise whereas he thrives when the ground is softer.

“I know there were one or two unlucky horses at Ayr but I think if we’d have got a run earlier he would have been a bit more of a clear-cut winner than he was.

“He’s thriving at home, his confidence levels are high. Karl (Burke, former trainer) always said he had a high level of ability and was a decent horse when he was younger, they are clever people and ran him in some big races, they don’t do that unless they think they are worthy.

“Last season was a quiet one for him, as any horse can havem but I think he’s back to the level he showed for Karl.”

Significantly strikes Gold at Ayr

Julie Camacho’s Significantly overcame a troubled passage to take a big pot in the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Handicap.

The gelding was rolling the dice again after just missing out on the Portland Handicap at the St Leger meeting exactly a week ago.

The race was a return to six furlongs and at several points it seemed that luck had deserted him once again as his progress was abruptly stopped by other horses in the 24-runner handicap.

He was brought almost to a halt as another horse crossed his path in the final furlong, but showed great tenacity under Joe Fanning to renew his attack and lunge at the line to win by a neck from Ramazan and justify 8-1 favouritism.

“We’re thrilled, he’s a decent horse and it’s a bit of compensation for last week when he ran so well and he just didn’t quite make it,” said Steve Brown, Camacho’s husband and assistant.

“He’s a horse that was very good in his younger days when he was produced by Karl (Burke) and he’s just slowly working his way back to that level.”

Of the decision to run him again a week after Doncaster, Brown added: “There’s always a little bit of trepidation because you’re never quite sure if they’re in the same form, he’s just had a quiet week.

“He did a couple of canters and he didn’t give us any indication that he wasn’t well, we were happy to take our chances and I think we had to go for it with him being such a fancied runner.

“I think he’d have been an unlucky loser but it worked out and I’m thrilled for Niall (O’Keeffe, owner), it’s his first year with horses with us and it’s great to win a big one for him.”

Joe Fanning poses with the Ayr Gold Cup
Joe Fanning poses with the Ayr Gold Cup (Steve Welsh/PA)

Ramazan hit the front with two furlongs to run but Fanning could be spotted going well in behind with nowhere to go.

When he eventually did see daylight the response was immediate and while he would have been an unlucky loser, there were plenty of other hard luck tales.

Gweedore finished third but fourth home was Hollie Doyle and Albasheer, who was stone last with a furlong to run.

Significantly aiming to strike Ayr Gold

Julie Camacho’s Significantly will bid bounce back from a narrow Doncaster defeat last week as he heads further north for the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Handicap.

The five-year-old was a 12-1 shot for the five-and-a-half-furlong Portland Handicap at the St Leger meeting and very nearly made light of those odds when just missing out on first place by a short head.

Connections report he is ready to go again and he will return to six furlongs for the valuable Gold Cup, a big field handicap worth over £90,000 to the winner.

“When you come as close as Significantly did last week, you always have the disappointment that the result didn’t go your way but pride in the performance,” said Steve Brown, Camacho’s husband and assistant.

“We’ve seen no reason at home not to run him again and going back up to six furlongs should suit.”

Karl Burke has a pair of runners in Fast Response and Lethal Levi, with the first-named contender likely to relish the conditions as autumn rain has left the ground on the easy side.

The trainer said: “Fast Response loves soft ground, she’s a Listed winner and a good quality filly. She should run very well.”

Of Lethal Levi, who was fourth at Doncaster last week, Burke added: “Lethal Levi probably wouldn’t want too much more rain and wears a visor for the first time.

“He hasn’t really gone on as I hoped he would this year, but he’s a fair horse and ran pretty well at Doncaster last week, so we’re hoping for another big run.”

Kevin Ryan has a superb record with six past successes in the race and will saddle a trio of contenders in Aleezdancer, Bielsa and Magical Spirit.

Magical Spirit at Beverley
Magical Spirit at Beverley (Hannah Ali/PA)

Bielsa won the contest in 2021 and Magical Spirit is well proven over course and distance after winning the Ayr Silver Cup in 2020 and finishing fourth in the same race the following year.

The chestnut is owned by Hambleton Racing, whose director of racing Simon Turner said: “He’s in great form at home, he worked well earlier in the week and the ground should be ideal for him, so we’re hoping for a big run.”

Magical Spirit has a wide draw in stall 18, something Turner is fairly neutral about as handicaps with large fields can gravitate to either rail or into several groups.

“I have an open mind on the draw until we see how some of the big-field races pan out before then,” he added.

“We’ve had instances in the past where we thought we were on the wrong side at Royal Ascot but we stuck to our guns and had the winner.

“You convince yourself that one place is the place to be, but we’ll go in a straight line from where we are and hope we’re on a fair part of the track.

“He’s been in great form through the year, he’s run some smashing races and he’s run twice in the Silver Cup at Ayr and won it and finished fourth.

“He’s got solid form over course and distance in this type of race and he’s been targeted at this for some time. He’ll be one of the outsiders but we know he’s well capable of winning a big race.”

Charlie Hills’ Orazio is among the leading fancies, with David O’Meara’s Summerghand the returning champion after a one-length victory last season.

The line up also features other O’Meara-trained sprint handicap regulars such as Aberama Gold and Escobar, with further familiar names including David Evans’ Rohaan and John Quinn’s Mr Waygu.