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Weather key to Just Beautiful’s Sun Chariot challenge

Just Beautiful’s participation in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 2 depends entirely on the weather.

The filly took her record to five wins from seven outings in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster last week, with her only defeats coming over a mile.

With a lack of suitable options over seven furlongs for the rest of this season, trainer Ivan Furtado feels it is the Sun Chariot or nothing – and then she may be heading to the sales.

“We’re still planning to go to Newmarket, but we’ve got an open mind about the ground,” said Furtado.

“She’s come out of the race well and if the weather holds on until then we’ll run, but if the ground is not right and it’s gone soft, we won’t. The possibilities are slim but that’s what we’re planning.

“It’s unfortunate that she’s probably the best seven-furlong filly in Europe but there’s no race for her, but that’s the way the calendar is – it’s very short of seven-furlong Group races.

“We didn’t put her in the Prix de la Foret, there is a possibility of supplementing, but then it could be soft ground there which is why we didn’t put her in in the first place.

“She probably just about stays a mile, but seven furlongs is her trip. She’s been beaten twice over a mile and that is because you have to ride her to get the trip, but over seven you can be a lot more positive which is what she likes.”

As for next year, Furtado said: “We’re keen to keep her in training, but at the same time she’ll probably have an entry in the broodmare sale and we’ll see what sort of figure she makes.

“If she makes the right money from the owner’s point of view then she’ll probably have to go, but if she doesn’t she’ll be back with us. We’re not in a rush to sell and there’s some nice races next year if she stays in training.

“I understand, though, that if she makes the right money she’ll probably have to go and then the challenge is to find the next one – it will be difficult as she only cost 8,000 guineas!”

Appleby savours Classic show from Hurricane Lane – now for the Arc?

Charlie Appleby could be forgiven for thinking training Classic winners is easy, as Hurricane Lane added another to his record at Doncaster.

The Godolphin trainer is doing a stellar job of propelling Sheikh Mohammed’s operation back into the big league after a few relatively fallow seasons.

Winning the Derby with Masar in 2018 was his breakthrough success and he quickly followed up earlier this year with Adayar – more of him later – while Hurricane Lane also added the Irish version.

Since then the flashy chestnut had claimed the Grand Prix de Paris is breathtaking fashion, making him the red-hot favourite for the Cazoo St Leger.

He was the clear form pick, as his sole defeat came behind his stablemate Adayar at Epsom, and everything went according to the script in front of a huge crowd on Town Moor.

Mojo Star – runner-up to Adayar in the Derby – put up a valiant effort in second, beaten two and three-quarter lengths with The Mediterranean, one of Aidan O’Brien’s four runners, back in third.

“This race is a Classic and that is the good thing about Sheikh Mohammed – when we had the discussions, some people might have swerved this race but you can’t beat tradition and history,” said Appleby.

“To be a part of it and come here with a horse like Hurricane Lane is great. We were confident he’d run a big race and were obviously hopeful he could win it.”

Hurricane Lane and William Buick cruising to victory
Hurricane Lane and William Buick cruising to victory (Mike Egerton/PA)

Classics are rarely won as smoothly as this one – had you taken the 8-11 about Hurricane Lane, you never for one moment thought you were not collecting.

“To be honest, when he broke from the gates and William (Buick) got a good position and Hollie (Doyle, on Interpretation) set a decent gallop, not a ridiculous one, I was happy,” said Appleby.

“Sometimes if one goes haring off in front, it can make the race disjointed but that didn’t happen, it was a lovely race to watch, everyone had the pitch they wanted.

“I was watching William and when they turned into the straight I was happy. Two furlongs out I could tell from William’s body language he was only just getting warmed up.”

And it really was that straightforward, with only the stamina question to answer. But Appleby had always been confident he would stay.

“His only defeat is still the Derby and we can use the excuse that he lost both front shoes but I don’t think that was the excuse, it was only the fourth race of his life and I just think he didn’t handle the track.

“The one thing about the Derby is you need the experience – to handle the day itself and the undulations of the track and I think it was the undulations which caught him out more than anything. When he won the Dante it was all a bit slow motion.”

On to Adayar, currently second-favourite for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Team Godolphin celebrate another St Leger
Team Godolphin celebrate another St Leger (Mike Egerton/PA)

While his Derby win may have caught out some – perhaps even Appleby and Buick, who made no secret of the fact they thought Hurricane Lane was the one – the fact Adayar was majestic in beating Mishriff and Love in the King George at Ascot suggests he is a rapidly-improving colt.

“It would be a nice race to watch should he (Hurricane Lane) run in the Arc! I was asked the question recently (which one I’d favour) and how can you choose?,” said Appleby.

“As it stands Adayar is our main Arc contender, but we could look at Hurricane Lane joining him. To turn up with one of them would be good, two would be fantastic.”

Hurricane Lane storms to Leger glory

Hurricane Lane ran out a deeply impressive winner of the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster.

Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, the Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris winner was sent off the 8-11 favourite on his step up to an extended mile and three-quarters on Town Moor.

Ridden with restraint through the early stages as Hollie Doyle and Interpretation set a fair gallop, Hurricane Lane was clearly travelling with ease at the top of the straight.

Mojo Star was the first to go for home, but Buick had the move covered and Hurricane Lane lengthened and soon grabbed the lead.

His change of gear proved decisive as he stretched clear in the final furlong to win by two and three-quarter lengths.

Mojo Star was second – as he was in the Derby when Hurricane Lane was third – with The Mediterranean third.

Buick said: “He’s a jockey’s dream, he’s a lovely horse to ride – you can put him anywhere in the race and he relaxes which is obviously vital in a race over this distance.

“What’s impressed me in his last two or three runs is that he quickens towards the end, he really did put the race to bed then. He’s a fantastic horse and I’m sure there’s more room for improvement.

“We had a lot of confidence in him. He was giving all the right signs coming into the race.

“It’s fantastic (to win the race). These horses, they need to be cherished while they’re around.”

William Buick donned the winning rider cap after the St Leger
William Buick donned the winning rider cap after the St Leger (Mike Egerton/PA)

Buick added: “We went just a steady gallop, not a mad gallop, nice and even, the field was compact.

“It was very smooth, I was where I wanted to be throughout really.”

The rider could now face a tough choice if both Hurricane Lane and Derby hero Adayar both line up in next month’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Paris Longchamp.

Buick said: “Obviously one has just crossed the line so I won’t be rushing into a decision and we’ll have to see how he comes back first.

“This lad has only lost one race in his life and Adayar has won the Derby and King George.”

The Godolphin team with the Leger trophy
The Godolphin team with the Leger trophy (Mike Egerton/PA)

Appleby was delighted to win a first Leger, which is the oldest British Classic having first been run in 1776.

He said: “It was a fantastic performance. Congratulations to Sheikh Mohammed and Team Godolphin. It’s great to win any Classic but to win the final Classic, it’s historic, so it’s extra special.

“William said it was a dream race. He had the perfect pitch and all the room he needed and the great thing about this horse is he quickens. He’s got a gear change. You couldn’t have been more comfortable watching it all the way round.

“The ground isn’t key to him, but he is more comfortable under these conditions on the slower side.

“I thought it was a great performance and Derby form was franked as well with Mojo Star running a great race. It’s got strength in depth which is what we want to see in a Classic.

“This horse has given us a couple of days where he has challenged us. He’s a boy. He likes to do things his own way in the mornings sometimes.

“He takes a bit of managing just to get his shoes on in a morning.”

Appleby is unsure on his Arc plans at present, but a trip to France is certainly not off the table.

He added: “The Arc is on everybody’s mind. I’ve spoken to His Highness. Everyone is delighted and I think it is something we will keep an eye on, but let the dust settle. I see no reason why we wouldn’t potentially turn up.

“As for next year with him and (Derby winner) Adayar, that is for everyone to talk about towards the end of the season after the Arc.

“His Highness is such a great sporting man and he loves to see his horses stay in training. We have seen so many of the greats from Godolphin down the years and I’m just fortunate I’m bringing a couple of them along myself.”

Mojo Star is set for a Cups campaign next year
Mojo Star is set for a Cups campaign next year (John Walton/PA)

Richard Hannon has his sights set on a staying campaign next year for Mojo Star.

He said: “He’s such a lovely horse and to finish second again is the worst feeling.

“He’ll only get better as he goes further and he stays in training next year.

“Once we get past the original disappointment of finishing second, we’ll take it all in.

“He’ll get two and a half miles next season no problem, so Ascot will be the plan.

“He stays strongly, but he’s got a touch of class and he’s proved his Irish Derby run to be all wrong, when he nearly got knocked over.”

Glorious Journey stamps class on Park Stakes

Glorious Journey led a one-two for Charlie Appleby in the Cazoo Park Stakes at Doncaster.

The six-year-old was the pick of William Buick in the seven-furlong contest, having chased home stablemate Space Blues at York last time and prevailed in Group Three company at Newmarket earlier in the year.

Sent off a 5-2 chance, Buick bided his time as Danyah – one of two 9-4 favourites with Laneqash – set the early gallop before dropping away when the race began in earnest, with Glorious Journey taking it up well over a furlong out.

Stablemate D’bai and jockey James Doyle made a good fight of it, but the winner was a length and a quarter too good with the same distance back to Laneqash in third.

Appleby said: “D’bai appeared to be travelling quite nicely, but you know exactly what you’ll get from Glorious Journey.

“Over the years he’s been a serious horse and I’m delighted for him and with D’Bai.

“Having chased home Space Blues in the City of York Stakes (third) he deserves that.

“I’m always been a fan of the horse and to have him around the yard, he’s one of the yard favourites.

“There’s a chance they could both go back out to Dubai, but there’s also the Prix de la Foret to think about. I’ll see what William says.”

Hurricane Ivor and Tom Marquand after winning the Portland
Hurricane Ivor and Tom Marquand after winning the Portland (Mike Egerton/PA)

Hurricane Ivor earned a step up in class when carrying top-weight to victory in the Portland Handicap.

A smart prospect in France as a juvenile, he had lost his way slightly before joining William Haggas this season.

Connections thought they had lost – then won – at Sandown on his second start in England, only for a dead-heat to be called after photo-finish confusion and he went on to be second at Ascot in July.

He was a close third at York last time out but overnight rain seemed to be in his favour as, despite having only one behind him with two furlongs to run, he stormed home under Tom Marquand to beat Boundless Power by half a length.

Haggas’ wife, Maureen, said: “He’s a charming horse, he’s a lovely horse to have around and he’s done nothing but improve all year.

“That was a good performance today off top weight. The trip seemed to suit really well and he likes a bit of dig in the ground.

“I don’t think he’ll go to Ayr next week (for the Ayr Gold Cup), his penalty probably puts him out of it and William said we might look at black-type races now.”

Hollie Doyle came from last to first in the opening Vertem Nursery Handicap on Desert Angel.

Desert Angel and Hollie Doyle (right) got the day off a flyer
Desert Angel and Hollie Doyle (right) got the day off a flyer (Mike Egerton/PA)

Previously a five-race maiden, trainer Richard Hannon had reached for the blinkers for the first time and the headgear clearly worked the oracle.

Non-runners reduced the field to four, with Roger Charlton’s La Pulga attempting to make all and he had seen off the others before Doyle pounced late on the 15-2 outsider of four.

“He’s always had a lot of ability this horse, but he’s had a lot more ability than he’s been showing us,” sad Hannon.

“I wanted to have him cut (gelded) but we gave him one more chance with the blinkers first time and he’s won pretty well, which doesn’t surprise me as he’s always had the ability.

“We’ll see what the handicapper does, he is improving and he clearly likes the softer ground. There might be something at Newmarket for him.”

Title and David Egan coming home to win the Hippo Pro 3 Handicap
Title and David Egan coming home to win the Hippo Pro 3 Handicap (Mike Egerton/PA)

After their surprise victory with Bayside Boy in the Champagne Stakes, trainer Roger Varian and jockey David Egan doubled up through Title in the Hippo Pro 3 Handicap.

The 11-10 favourite cruised through the race, before leading two out and pulling away to score easily by four and a quarter lengths from Cardano.

It was fitting St Leger and Park Stakes winners Charlie Appleby and William Buick ended the meeting on a high thanks to Royal Fleet in the Vermantia Handicap.

Buick coaxed the 11-8 favourite to go and win the one-mile contest by half a length from Scottish Summit to give them a treble after high-profile wins with Hurricane Lane in the world’s oldest Classic and Glorious Journey.

Hurricane Ivor breezes home in Portland contest

Hurricane Ivor earned a step up in class when carrying top weight to victory in the Portland Handicap at Doncaster.

A smart prospect in France as a juvenile, he had lost his way slightly before joining William Haggas this season.

Connections thought they had lost – then won – at Sandown on his second start in England, only for a dead-heat to be called after photo-finish confusion and he went on to be second at Ascot in July.

He was a close third at York last time out but overnight rain seemed to be in his favour as, despite having only one behind him with two furlongs to run, he stormed home under Tom Marquand to beat Boundless Power by half a length.

Haggas’ wife, Maureen, said: “He’s a charming horse, he’s a lovely horse to have around and he’s done nothing but improve all year.

“That was a good performance today off top weight. The trip seemed to suit really well and he likes a bit of dig in the ground.

“I don’t think he’ll go to Ayr next week (for the Ayr Gold Cup), his penalty probably puts him out of it and William said we might look at black-type races now.”

Hollie Doyle came from last to first in the opening Vertem Nursery Handicap on Desert Angel.

Desert Angel and Hollie Doyle (right) got the day off a flyer
Desert Angel and Hollie Doyle (right) got the day off a flyer (Mike Egerton/PA)

Previously a five-race maiden, trainer Richard Hannon had reached for the blinkers for the first time and the headgear clearly worked the oracle.

Non-runners reduced the field to four, with Roger Charlton’s La Pulga attempting to make all and he had seen off the others before Doyle pounced late on the 15-2 outsider of four.

“He’s always had a lot of ability this horse, but he’s had a lot more ability than he’s been showing us,” sad Hannon.

“I wanted to have him cut (gelded) but we gave him one more chance with the blinkers first time and he’s won pretty well, which doesn’t surprise me as he’s always had the ability.

“We’ll see what the handicapper does, he is improving and he clearly likes the softer ground. There might be something at Newmarket for him.”

Bayside Boy floors hotpot Reach For The Moon at Doncaster

Bayside Boy just edged out hot favourite Reach For The Moon in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Reach For The Moon, who is owned by the Queen, was all the rage for the seven-furlong contest after winning the Solario Stakes last time out – but with just four runners it turned into something of a tactical affair.

Frankie Dettori set out to make all on the 8-13 market leader, with main rival Lusail settled on his heels and the eventual winner sitting last of four through the first four furlongs.

Reach For The Moon started winding up the pace with three furlongs to run, with Lusail soon beaten, leaving Twilight Jet and Bayside Boy to challenge on either side.

Bayside Boy (5-1) took a while to hit his top gear but he really got rolling in the final half-furlong, eventually prevailing by a head for trainer Roger Varian and jockey David Egan.

The winning rider said: “I thought when I hit the front at Newbury (last time when finishing second) he was inexperienced and had a look at the stands.

“I planned to follow Frankie and not go too soon. Mr Varian has been so good to me throughout my career and he’s an exciting horse going forward.”

Paddy Power make Bayside Boy a 7-2 chance from 6-1 for the Dewhurst and 14s from 33s for the Guineas, with Varian eyeing the Newmarket contest on October 9 for the New Bay colt.

Bayside Boy (left) leads from Reach For The Moon
Bayside Boy (left) leads from Reach For The Moon (Mike Egerton/PA)

Varian said: “He looked good when he won his novice at Newbury and probably showed his lack of experience when he was worried out of it back at Newbury in a Listed.

“I’m pleased with that today, he showed he’d learned from Newbury and really stuck his head out – he was tough when he needed to be.

“David said he handled the ground and should go on most grounds. Until we need the ground as an excuse we won’t use it!

“He’s quite a neat horse, he’s not a giant. He looks a miler and saw the trip out well today. He’ll be a miler next year.

“I’m delighted for connections, he showed that same turn of foot he did first time out.

“We’d like to run him again but it depends on how he comes out of this, he is in all the big races, though, and you’d have to be thinking of something like the Dewhurst.”

John Gosden felt conditions were against Reach For The Moon
John Gosden felt conditions were against Reach For The Moon (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

John Gosden, who trains Reach For The Moon in partnership with his son Thady, felt the conditions had gone against his charge.

He said: “The jockey said he wasn’t in love with the ground, he wasn’t travelling on it like he normally does.

“It’s gone a bit dead, it’s drying out after last night’s rain and trying to make all into a headwind was just a bit much.

“Better ground, better horse is all I can say.

“Frankie knew he was in trouble from a long way out because of the ground.

“He could run again, there are some nice races left at Newmarket and we’ll see what the ground is like.”

Hot favourite Hurricane Lane out to deliver Godolphin’s seventh St Leger

Hurricane Lane is set to go off the short-priced Cazoo St Leger favourite as he seeks to give Godolphin a seventh victory in the Doncaster Classic.

Classic Cliche carried the famous royal blue silks to victory back in 1995 – and further success has followed with Nedawi and Mutafaweq in 1998 and 1999, Rule Of Law in 2004, Mastery in 2009 and Encke, who denied Camelot the Triple Crown in 2012.

Victory will draw Sheikh Mohammed’s operation level with Archibald Hamilton, the 9th Duke Of Hamilton, who was one of the earliest winners of the world’s oldest Classic in 1786 with Paragon.

Hurricane Lane began this season somewhat under the radar, with just a Newmarket novice win to his name – but in winning the Dante, the best trial for the Derby, he announced himself as a major player.

Frankie Dettori celebrates winning the St Leger on Classic Cliche
Frankie Dettori celebrates winning the St Leger on Classic Cliche (John Giles/PA)

While he met with his first defeat when third to stablemate Adayar at Epsom, he has since won the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris to mark himself out as a top-class colt.

Trainer Charlie Appleby is confident of securing his first St Leger success, telling www.godolphin.com: “This has always been Hurricane Lane’s objective since the Grand Prix de Paris, and his preparation has gone well.

“He has consistently improved with every start this year and looks a lot more mature physically and mentally compared to earlier in the season.

“He is the class horse in the race and looks the one to beat.”

Hurricane Lane’s rider William Buick has enjoyed previous success in the Doncaster showpiece, winning back-to-back renewals on Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel for John Gosden in 2010 and 2011.

“It’s a race I always look forward to, and Hurricane Lane goes there with a good profile,” said Buick.

“He’s only been beaten once, in the Derby behind Adayar, and that was a good run in itself. Hurricane Lane’s form before and since is rock solid, and he’s really shown his quality in the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris – where he was spectacular.

“The way he finished off both races suggests there ought not to be a problem with the trip, but you never know until you try it.

“With his run style and his breeding, you would imagine he would stay as well as anything else would, and he’s got the quality, but I’ve ridden non stayers before in the race who I thought would get the trip.”

High Definition needs to bounce back to form
High Definition needs to bounce back to form (PA)

Like Godolphin, Aidan O’Brien already has six St Leger victories on his CV – and fires a four-pronged assault in search of his seventh.

The Ballydoyle maestro’s chief hope appears to be High Definition, who spent the winter months as favourite for the Derby, but is winless in three starts this season.

The Galileo colt made a promising enough start to his campaign when third behind Hurricane Lane in the Dante, but missed Epsom after a setback and has since failed to fire in either the Irish Derby or the Great Voltigeur at York.

O’Brien said: “High Definition had a little slip in the Irish Derby when he stumbled and he just lost his confidence a bit. York was his first run back after that, and we were happy with his run there and we thought he would come on mentally for it.

“He’s a horse we’ve always thought that he could get further than a mile and a half.”

Frankie Dettori, also bidding for a seventh Leger success, rides High Definition for the first time, and said: “He was Derby favourite for six months and is kind of the forgotten horse.

“His Dante run wasn’t too bad over a mile and a quarter – he was two lengths behind the favourite (Hurricane Lane).

“Hopefully he will relish the distance.”

O’Brien’s squad is completed by Interpretation (Hollie Doyle), Sir Lucan (James Doyle) and The Mediterranean (Wayne Lordan).

Interpretation winning at Leopardstown
Interpretation winning at Leopardstown (Brian Lawless/PA)

He added: “They all seem to be well. The Mediterranean is in good form, and he ran very well at York the last day. We’ve been happy with him, and it looks like he might stay a bit further.

“Sir Lucan is well – he ran well at Goodwood and wasn’t beaten far at York as well. Frankie just thought a little bit more cover might have suited him, but he still ran a nice race.

“Interpretation has been gradually progressive and he looks like he stays very well – he’s a very relaxed horse. Hollie rides after having a couple of rides for us at York this year.”

Johnny Murtagh surprisingly never won this Qipco British Champions Series contest during his illustrious riding career, but has strong claims of breaking his duck in it as a trainer with the improving Gordon Stakes winner Ottoman Emperor.

“I never rode the winner of the St Leger, although I didn’t ride in it that often, so to win it now as a trainer would be massive,” said Murtagh.

“He’s a horse that has been on the improve all season. He came out of Goodwood well and he’s unexposed.

“He has a chance, but he has to stay the distance – it’s a tough race at Doncaster for the three-year-olds.

“Having said that, he’s on an upward curve, and we’re excited about the weekend.”

Mojo Star finished in front of Hurricane Lane in the Derby, but behind him in the Irish version, when he had excuses.

Mojo Star winning at Newbury
Mojo Star winning at Newbury (John Walton/PA)

Richard Hannon has since taken him to Newbury for a confidence-boosting win.

“The flat, galloping track will suit. He was probably soundly beaten at the Curragh – but we almost got knocked over, and it took him a long time to get going,” said Hannon

“The extra two furlongs will suit him much more. He’ll get the trip. It will be more to his liking – the harder they go, the more it will be to his liking.

“He ran a very good race in the Derby. He’s not the one to beat, but he’s been underrated and deserves to take his chance.”

Tom Marquand after winning the Chester Vase on Youth Spirit
Tom Marquand after winning the Chester Vase on Youth Spirit (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Youth Spirit won the Chester Vase for Andrew Balding back in May, and has been on the premises in several big races since.

He will be ridden by Tom Marquand, who won the race last year on Galileo Chrome.

“Youth Spirit didn’t run up to expectations in the Derby, having won the Chester Vase, but he’s come back in good form following a rest and has run superbly since at Goodwood and York,” said the jockey.

“I think he’s entitled to be involved, and he’s about twice the price of horses whose form he ties in really well with. He’s one I’m looking forward to.”

Reach For The Moon ready to test potential against Lusail

Reach For The Moon bids to confirm his top-level potential with victory in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Runner-up on his racecourse debut at Yarmouth in the spring, the Sea The Stars colt came close to providing the Queen with a Royal Ascot winner in June when pushing star Irish juvenile Point Lonsdale close in the Chesham Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s youngster has since impressed in winning a novice event at Newbury and the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown – and jockey Frankie Dettori is excited to see the colt test his powers at Group Two level on Saturday.

“In the last two races he hardly saw a horse, so this is the first big test,” said the Italian.

“We’re building him up, he’s getting more experience and he’s done nothing wrong so far.

“This horse is a work in progress at the moment. We’re keeping him busy. We feel the more experience he gets, the better he gets.

“Saturday will be another key point. I’ve got plenty of confidence in him. He’s exciting, and Her Majesty is our biggest asset in racing.”

The Queen looks on at Reach For The Moon after his run at Royal Ascot
The Queen looks on at Reach For The Moon after his run at Royal Ascot (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Reach For The Moon is already prominent in ante-post lists for next year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby, but Dettori is not looking that far ahead at this stage.

He added: “Everybody is thinking about next year – I’m thinking one race at a time. Let’s get Saturday out of the way, and then progress.

“All the boxes are ticked, and everything is going in the right direction.

“After the Solario, myself and John felt the experience of racing is doing him good – and that is why we are getting him out.

“To have a colt of this calibre for the Queen is exciting. She saw the horse at Ascot. She comes to the yard a couple of times a year, and we are so lucky to have the Queen support the sport.”

Thady Gosden is similarly keen to get this weekend’s assignment out of the way before considering a potential Classic campaign in 2022.

He said: “He’s progressed nicely. He ran a good race at Ascot, he progressed in a novice and he won well at Sandown in the Solario.

“He goes to Doncaster in good form. It’s a very competitive race – there’s Lusail in there, who has plenty of speed and won the Gimcrack.

“It’s a long way away from the Derby at the moment – but he’s heading in the right direction, so hopefully he progresses.”

The biggest threat to Reach For The Moon appears to be the Richard Hannon-trained Lusail, who has already enjoyed two big-race victories this summer – Newmarket’s July Stakes and the Gimcrack at York.

“It looks a very good race and it always is,” said Hannon.

“Because it’s towards the end of the year it’s the clash of giants. I’m very happy with my horse. He’s won a Gimcrack, won a July Stakes – you don’t do that unless you’re a very good horse.

“It would obviously be easier without a penalty, but he carried a penalty in the Gimcrack and dealt with that no problem. He’s a big, strong horse and he will carry a big weight.

“He’s not just a two-year-old. I’ve always known he’d get seven furlongs, and maybe further. He’s a Guineas horse for next year, and you might even see some improvement at seven.

“Reach For The Moon looked a very good horse when he won the Solario. Our horse has done it twice at Group Two level now. He probably is the one to beat, but it’s a good race and very competitive.”

Bayside Boy remains an exciting prospect
Bayside Boy remains an exciting prospect (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Roger Varian’s Bayside Boy looked a high-class juvenile when making a winning start to his career at Newbury, since when he has been narrowly beaten by Masekela in the Listed Denford Stakes at the Berkshire circuit.

Varian said: “It’s a strong race, but we’re keen to give it a go.

“He’s in good order and should run very well.

“I think there’s more improvement to come from him.”

The field is completed by Michael O’Callaghan’s Irish raider Twilight Jet.

Stradivarius strolls to his second Doncaster Cup

Superstar stayer Stradivarius produced another imperious display to bag his second Doncaster Cup.

John and Thady Gosden’s seven-year-old has dominated the division in recent seasons, with his illustrious CV including three Gold Cups at Royal Ascot, four Goodwood Cups, three Lonsdale Cups and two Yorkshire Cups.

With his chief rival Trueshan missing this potential clash on account of unsuitable ground, Stradivarius was the 4-11 favourite to regain his crown on Town Moor – and the result was scarcely ever in doubt.

Given a confident ride by Frankie Dettori, the son of Sea The Stars cruised into contention in the home straight, with the popular Italian looking round for non-existent dangers as he moved alongside the front-running Nayef Road.

Once given his head, Stradivarius readily extended clear – passing the post with two and a half lengths in hand over Alerta Roja, who beat Nayef Road to the runner-up spot.

Gosden said: “He’s a wonderful horse. He’s been great at home. He’s enjoyed all his training. He loves his racing and likes coming racing.

“He’s a phenomenon.

Frankie Dettori celebrates with a flying dismount
Frankie Dettori celebrates with a flying dismount (PA)

“I had no qualms about coming here. He senses a horse coming to him and plays cat and mouse with them now.

“I couldn’t have been more thrilled with him. I’m sorry the other horse (Trueshan) didn’t run but maybe we’ll meet one day.

“He’s had a great season. He’s won three out of four. Frankie’s ride in the Gold Cup wasn’t his greatest. The winner was mighty impressive and the sad thing for me in the year is that we couldn’t run at Goodwood, because he adores Goodwood.

“His enthusiasm is there 100 per cent and I can assure everyone who loves him, the moment it’s not there he will be retired. Until that day comes, which he will tell us, he will race.”

Gosden is now considering the autumn options in France and Britain for Stradivarius.

He said: “There are two races in the autumn – the Cadran and Ascot (Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup). Ascot last year was heavy and he hated it. Those are the options. It will be one not both.

“He’ll go on summer soft but not when it goes autumn deep. He cannot take it. It was a mistake to run him in it last year and in the Arc.

“He lives a bit on the edge. He lets us know what he wants. I’ve always adored stayers and to train him is a dream come true.”

Dettori added: “That was great. It’s probably the easiest race he’s had since last year when he was here.

“He made it look easy again. He still loves his racing.”

Caturra’s late charge claims Flying Childers

Caturra came from the clouds to claim top honours in the Wainwright Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster.

Successful in a novice event at Bath and the Listed Rose Bowl at Newbury earlier in the season, Clive Cox’s juvenile was last seen filling the runner-up spot behind the re-opposing Attagirl at York.

The son of Mehmas was a 7-1 shot for this Group Two assignment, with much of the pre-race attention focusing on the Richard Hannon-trained Armor – who was dropping in distance and class after finishing fourth in the Prix Morny.

The market leader looked slightly outpaced at halfway, but picked up well in the final furlong to grab the lead under Ryan Moore.

Unfortunately for favourite backers, however, Caturra came from even further back in the hands of Adam Kirby – displaying a brilliant finishing kick to get up and beat Armor by a neck.

Cox said: “I wish I wasn’t stood at the furlong pole – I wish I had been closer to the line as I was a bit worried when he passed me. I didn’t think he was going to get there, but he’s always shown us a pleasing turn of foot.

“I’ve never had a sprinter with such a sober approach. He had a lay down at the races when he arrived here today.

“He’s got a wonderful mind and lot of speed. We just had to fine tune how we were riding him as he was using up a little bit too much too early.

“That was fantastic and brilliant Adam (Kirby) got there.”

The Lambourn handler raised the possibility of Caturra returning to six furlongs at some stage, adding: “He does get six and ridden this way, he’s switching off so well in his races we can think about that as well.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s done it really well today. Also he’s coped with softer ground last time than I thought possible.

“He showed more of a versatile approach than we imagined, so I’m really pleased.

“His turn of foot was amazing and to do that over five is very special.

“From a management point of view, his laid-back temperament is a big asset.”

Trueshan misses Doncaster Cup

Trueshan will miss his intended re-match with Stradivarius in the Doncaster Cup, because of a lack of significant rain on Town Moor.

Trainer Alan King had indicated on Thursday that the Goodwood Cup winner would not take his chance in the Group Two feature unless overnight rain softened the forecast good to firm ground.

It was therefore no surprise when King made an early announcement on Friday morning that Trueshan will be a non-runner because of the going – leaving John and Thady Gosden’s brilliant stayer Stradivarius with just five opponents as he bids to regain his Doncaster title.

The going at Doncaster remains good to firm, after 5mm of rain on Thursday.

Dettori all smiles with Doncaster treble – and Stradivarius to come

Frankie Dettori tuned up for the ride on his “favourite horse” Stradivarius with a fantastic treble on day two of the Cazoo St Leger Festival at Doncaster.

The effervescent Italian proved there is still plenty of life in his 50-year-old body when partnering Inspiral and Free Wind to two easy victories in both Group Two races on the card.

But perhaps the victory which gave him the biggest thrill of the afternoon was that of Harrovian in the closing Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Conditions Stakes, having been sent off the outsider of the three runners at 7-2.

While William Buick’s mount Secret Protector dropped away as Dettori set the pace, Ryan Moore hit the front on Sinjaari – but to the winning jockey’s delight, Harrovian dug deep to get back up and prevail by a head.

“That was amazing. I thought he (Moore) had me beat, but in fairness he stuck his neck out,” said Dettori.

“All my friends are here today, and my wife, so they gave me a cheer – it’s been a good day.”

Casting his mind forward 24 hours to Friday’s feature, the Group Two Doncaster Cup, he added: “Strad is my favourite horse, and I can’t wait to ride him.”

Earlier, Inspiral strengthened her position at the head of the betting for the 1000 Guineas with a straightforward win in the Cazoo May Hill Stakes.

Inspiral was in complete command in the May Hill
Inspiral was in complete command in the May Hill (Mike Egerton/PA)

“She’s a work in progress, and I think she’ll be better next year when she strengthens up,” said Dettori.

“At the moment she’s all frame. I think that (Fillies’ Mile) is where we should go – and then she’s got all winter to strengthen up.

“Potentially she’s a Guineas horse.”

Free Wind, sent off the 15-8 favourite, put up a startling performance in the Hippo Pro3 Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes – streaking seven lengths clear of her rivals.

Frankie Dettori produced his famous flying dismount after Free Wind won
Frankie Dettori produced his famous flying dismount after Free Wind won (Mike Egerton/PA)

“She hasn’t stopped improving. Wow, what a performance today – she’s improved a lot,” said Dettori.

“I suspect the Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend will be next.

“I rode her on loose ground in Deauville, and good to firm today, and she’s getting better.

“She’s quite tiny – but she’s got a massive heart, with a big engine.”

All three winners were trained by John and Thady Gosden.

Dettori cherishing every moment with Doncaster-bound Stradivarius

Frankie Dettori paid tribute to the longevity of Stradivarius ahead of his bid to win a second Doncaster Cup – four years after he finished third in the St Leger on Town Moor.

John and Thady Gosden’s chestnut won on his only other visit to South Yorkshire in this corresponding event two years ago, which was part of an incredible 10-race winning streak.

While he has perhaps not quite been at his brilliant best this year, he did return to winning ways last time out in a tremendous tussle with Spanish Mission at York. And Dettori has formed a close bond with the seven-year-old.

“I think he only does what needs to be done these days. He’s been great for the sport, I love him dearly,” said the Italian.

Stradivarius (right) just got the better of Spanish Mission at York
Stradivarius (right) just got the better of Spanish Mission at York (Nigel French/PA)

“He got a tremendous reception at York. He’ll probably get one at Doncaster. He’s not going to be here forever, so let’s enjoy him.

“He’s done so much for the sport. Let’s hope he does the business.

“As for tactics, I usually improvise with him. With him we have to play it by ear. Luckily, he knows where the winning post is.

“He’s been fabulous for the sport, and the reception I got at York was such a thrill. People love him, it’s great.”

The task facing Stradivarius appeared to become significantly easier when, as widely anticipated, old rival Trueshan was declared a non-runner on Friday morning because of the good to firm ground – which has not eased, despite 5mm of rain the previous evening.

Stradivarius has been a magnificent servant to his connections
Stradivarius has been a magnificent servant to his connections (Nigel French/PA)

Thady Gosden said: “Stradivarius is in great form at home and still loving every second of it.

“It was an unbelievable day at York, to have a fight like that. He’s been there so many times, he knows where the winning post is!

“He goes there in good form on Friday.

“He might be a bit more sensible now (than he used to be pre-race).

“But he’s been good recently. At home as well, he’s his usual self, a very flamboyant horse, he likes to let you know he’s there – and is just generally full of love and enjoyment for the game.”

With Subjectivist sidelined by injury, and Alan King’s Trueshan a late absentee, David Simcock’s improver Rodrigo Diaz has emerged as perhaps the main danger to Stradivarius.

Simcock said: “Staying was always going to be his game.

“He’s a horse who has taken a lot of time to develop and is now getting better and better with racing. The track suits him, and the trip should really suit him too. He also enjoys fast ground.

“There’s plenty between Rodrigo Diaz and Stradivarius at the weights still. But the fact that he ran so well at Newbury over a trip we felt was inadequate for him gives us hope, because we know there’s going to be improvement when he steps up in trip.

“Half of him has been sold to Australian Bloodstock, and we still have the Melbourne Cup in the back of our minds. Although it’s far from straightforward logistically, this year could be as good as any to be involved so far as the depth of the race goes. A decision will be made after Doncaster.”

With Subjectivist out of action, Mark Johnston relies on Nayef Road – who has been below form recently.

Johnston said: “Nayef Road might not have been running to his absolute best this year, but he’s not a long way short of it and he deserves to win one of these.”

Sir Mark Prescott is following a familiar route with Kirsten Rausing’s three-year-old Alerta Roja.

“Alerta Roja is wonderfully tough and she’s already exceeded what we thought was possible for her,” said Prescott.

“On the figures she doesn’t have a chance, but we did win it with Alleluia, who was very similar and was also a three-year-old filly.

“Alleluia won five, and this one, who is from the same family, has won three and been Listed placed. While ostensibly she’s got no chance, she seems in good form and she gets a lot of weight. Nothing is impossible with this family.”

Free Wind breezes home for impressive Park Hill verdict

Free Wind continued her rapid progression when routing her rivals the Hippo Pro3 Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster.

A second Group Two winner of the afternoon for Frankie Dettori and John and Thady Gosden, Free Wind was sent off the 15-8 favourite and ran out a hugely-impressive seven-length winner.

Victorious in three of her four outings this season, this was undoubtedly a career-best performance and Dettori always looked in control.

Yesyes took over at the head of affairs three furlongs from home, but Dettori was still motionless before beginning to make his challenge against the far rail.

Free Wind had questions to answer about her stamina, but the filly just pulled further and further clear.

Hugo Palmer’s Golden Pass stayed on into second with Yesyes holding on for third.

Free Wind delighted Thady Gosden
Free Wind delighted Thady Gosden (Mike Egerton/PA)

Paddy Power go 9-2 about Free Wind’s chance in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot next month, although the daughter of Galileo has another option in France.

Thady Gosden said: “That was very pleasing.

“Obviously the trip was an unknown. She’d only won over a mile and a half before in France.

“She could have run in the St Leger. We’ll never know what would have happened. Obviously today’s race was a different kettle of fish.

“She settles well off any pace really and also has a turn of foot that most of those others wouldn’t necessarily have.

“Frankie rode her perfectly – he put her to sleep and she quickened up nicely.

“The obvious options are the fillies and mares race on Champions Day and there’s also the Prix Royallieu on Arc day as well.”

Frankie Dettori would be favouring France for Free Wind
Frankie Dettori would be favouring France for Free Wind (Mike Egerton/PA)

Dettori feels next month’s ParisLongchamp contest could be the best option.

He added: “She hasn’t stopped improving. Wow, what a performance today, she’s improved a lot.

“I suspect the Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend will be next.

“I rode her on loose ground in Deauville and good to firm today and she’s getting better.

“She’s quite tiny but she’s got a massive heart with a big engine.”

Inspiral makes light work of May Hill rivals

Inspiral solidified her position at the head of the betting for next year’s 1000 Guineas with a straightforward success in the Cazoo May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Owned by Cheveley Park Stud, the John and Thady Gosden-trained filly was sent off at the prohibitive price of 2-9 having won her first two races stylishly.

A daughter of Frankel, she was settled in the middle of the field by Frankie Dettori in the early stages, as Prosperous Voyage took them along at a sedate tempo.

When the pace quickened at halfway Dettori moved into the centre of the track to take up the running from Banshee.

While she perhaps did not quite display the same startling turn of foot on show at Sandown, the further she went the better she looked.

Dettori gave her one tap behind the saddle and she pulled well clear in the final furlong, taking a while to be pulled up.

Prosperous Voyage stayed on again for second after being outpaced when the taps were turned on, but she was beaten three and three-quarter lengths.

Coral make her the winner their 7-1 favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas and 10-1 for the Oaks.

Cheveley Park’s Richard Thompson said: “Having a wonderful filly like this, trained by Thady and John – these are the days we live for and dream about.

“She looks special. It’s fantastic to come up here and see her win the May Hill.

“We’ve won the Fillies’ Mile a couple of times (Red Bloom in 2003 and Nannina in 2005) and we’ve won the 1000 Guineas once (Russian Rhythm in 2003), but it was a few years ago.

“We’ll go for the Fillies’ Mile first anyway and see how we go.”

Thady Gosden said: “She’s done it very well. Obviously there were a few good fillies in the race and the ground was probably a bit too quick for her, but she showed plenty of class.

“She an exceptional filly, but if you see her walking around here she’s still got plenty of growing to do, so we’d be hopeful she’ll progress through the winter.”

Dettori said: “It was a bit messy as the first two furlongs were slow, she had to learn today to follow a slow pace and then quicken which isn’t her style.

“She’s a work in progress and I think she’ll be better next year when she strengthens up.

“At the moment she’s all frame. I think that (Fillies’ Mile) is where we should go and then she’s got all winter to strengthen up.

“Potentially she’s a Guineas horse.”