Tag Archive for: Weatherbys Super Sprint

Relief Rally powers to Super Sprint glory

Relief Rally sent the large Newbury crowd home happy when justifying favouritism in the featured Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes.

Tom Marquand’s mount was drawn near the stands’ rail and had to race alone for much of the last furlong and a half as the filly attempted to reel in those who had a clear advantage up the middle and towards the far rail.

To her credit, the evens favourite scythed through the good to soft ground and having collared long-time leader Dapperling (33-1) inside the final furlong, drew readily clear for a three-length success.

It was just compensation for Marquand and trainer William Haggas, who saw the daughter of Kodiac touched off by American raider Crimson Advocate in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Haggas said: “She was in front before the line and after the line, but not on the line at Ascot. She ran a good race there. She is a pretty good filly.

“I don’t know where the second on the stands’ side finished, but she won easy and when he asked her, she picked up well.”

Marquand admitted he had plenty of ground to make up in the second part of the valuable five-furlong contest, which was worth just shy of £123,000 to the winner.

Yet he felt confident the Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned juvenile would reel in the leaders.

“To be honest, I was getting towed as far as I could while being happy, but whilst never worried that the other side had a bit of an advantage on us.

“I was lucky enough to be on her at Ascot, so I know the turn of foot she has.

“I was confident that this ground was even more to her liking. It was as straightforward as you would have hoped it would be, but it doesn’t always prove straightforward.

“The other side did have a march on, but she is a very good filly and thankfully she has had a decent day in the sun now and I’m sure she will have a few more.”

He added: “She is every bit as exciting as you’d want her to look for the future and I think my heart is still broken (after Ascot), but it is gluing back together a little bit after that.

“She has done it well. She has got bags of speed, she is super-straightforward, I think she is improving, and I think she improved for having a day like she had at Ascot – she had to race that day and it was obviously a frustrating day, but she will have come on for that and I think she showed that today by the way she just raced on by herself on her side.”

Haggas could swerve York’s Nunthorpe, as he potentially eyes the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp.

When asked of a possible Nunthorpe bid, he said: “I don’t think so – I think the Abbaye, but who knows?

“I think the French race is such a draw race. If you get a low draw, it is such an advantage, whereas the Nunthorpe you can win from anywhere.

“In France, you cannot win wide. If our luck is in at the that time of the year, we will get a low draw. We will see.”

Haggas looking for third Super Sprint success with Relief Rally

Relief Rally will bid to give trainer William Haggas his third success in the Weatherbys Super Sprint when she takes on 20 rivals in the valuable five-furlong dash at Newbury.

Haggas, who struck with Superstar Leo in 2000 and Jargelle eight years later, feels the daughter of Kodiac has plenty going for her – and so do the bookmakers, who make her a warm favourite for the prize which is worth £122,925 to the winner.

Royal Ascot’s Queen Mary has been a good pointer to the Newbury sprint and having finished runner-up to American raider Crimson Advocate, who ended Relief Rally’s unbeaten run and foiled a hat-trick bid, Haggas feels she is the one to beat.

The last nine winners have come from stall 13 or higher and Tom Marquand’s mount is handily placed in stall 18, with Eve Johnson Houghton’s fancied pair Bobsleigh and Juniper Berries berthed in stalls 16 and four respectively.

“She’s a good filly and she’s very well,” said Haggas. “She won’t mind any rain. I don’t know about the draw.

“She is drawn with Bobsleigh and away from Juniper Berries, but there’s not much we can do about that. She has a good chance.”

The weight carried by a horse in the Super Sprint is determined by its sale price and as such, Juniper Berries, who finished fourth, four lengths behind Relief Rally at Ascot, is in receipt of 7lb this time.

Johnson Houghton said: “I was absolutely thrilled with Juniper Berries in the Queen Mary – she ran a blinder – and fourth at Royal Ascot is quite a feather in your cap.

Trainer Eve Johnson Houghton is double-handed in the Super Sprint
Trainer Eve Johnson Houghton is double-handed in the Super Sprint (John Walton/PA)

“Relief Rally is obviously the main danger but we have a huge weight turnaround, so I am hoping that will be enough to change the placings.

“Bobsleigh has come out of the Coventry in very good form, I am very happy with him. He ran a storming race (at Ascot, beaten three lengths by River Tiber), which has turned out to be very strong form.

“That (five furlongs) would be my main worry. He has won over five and a half, but he looks like he gets the six furlongs well. They normally go very fast in the Super Sprint, so I am hoping that he we will be picking them up at the end.”

Irish raider Son Of Corballis has won two of his three starts for County Laois handler Kieran Cotter, latterly talking the scalp of the well-regarded Coolmore-owned colt Alabama in a Listed sprint at Tipperary.

Though he won on yielding ground on debut, Cotter is hoping the unsettled weather forecast is wrong.

He said: “We actually would want quickish good ground. He won on quick ground twice and I’m hoping it doesn’t rain to be honest.

“The way I look at it, if Alabama was in the race, he’d be hot favourite after previously running well at Ascot (fifth in the Windsor Castle) on the wrong side of the track. We’ve beat him twice this year with two different horses. He’s a fair horse.

“Before he won, he’d been working really well and we really fancied him. But since then, he’s been really laid back in his work, he just couldn’t be bothered.

“He has gone very relaxed altogether. So, when we were going for the Listed sprint, we thought cheekpieces would be needed, as these sprints are won by short heads.

“He is one of these horses who just pulls it out on the day, which is good, as we’ve had too many horses who will fly up the gallops and then you go to the track and they let you down a bit.

“He’s drawn 13 and that was our one big worry. The lads were saying if he was drawn one or two, you might just turn round the box.

“If you’d have given me the 13 stall yesterday I would have taken it. He’ll jump and go and we’ll see how far he gets.”

Roger Teal is thankful of a good draw for Rosario
Roger Teal is thankful of a good draw for Rosario (Hugh Routledge/PA)

Roger Teal was also delighted with the 20 berth that Ffos Las debut winner Rosario has been accorded.

A son of Harry Angel, he had the reopposing Heed The Call and Relentless Warrior behind when scoring by a length and a quarter under George Rooke, who retains the ride.

Teal said: “He did it nicely on his first day at school. It all went very nicely and hopefully he will have improved for that, so fingers crossed.

“He is owned by my wife and we think a bit of him. He’s got a good draw, but the only worry would be the rain that is supposed to come on Saturday.”

He went on: “That could just mess us up a bit – he’s quite a good-moving horse and he wouldn’t want the ground too soft.

“Other than that, he’s pretty straightforward and he did the job nicely, so we’re looking forward to it.

“I’ve had bad draws all year, so it’s about time we got a good one. I don’t know what I’ve done right – they must have got my name mixed up in the computer somewhere!”

Relief Rally aiming to plunder Super Sprint riches for Haggas

Relief Rally will bid to better her runner-up finish in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot when she goes for the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury.

The William Haggas-trained filly heads 23 confirmations for Saturday’s £250,000 feature, which this year marks 30 years of Weatherbys’ sponsorship

A Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned daughter of Kodiac, should Relief Rally be successful she would be a third Haggas winner of the five-furlong showpiece, after the top-class Superstar Leo in 2000 and Jargelle eight years later.

Relief Rally made her debut at Windsor in April, before taking a conditions race at Salisbury and then heading to the Royal meeting, where only American raider Crimson Advocate was too good, by a nose.

As a 58,000 genuine yearling, carrying a small penalty, Relief Rally will have significantly more weight than Superstar Leo, who was bred in partnership by Haggas’ father-in-law Lester Piggott and Tony Hirschfeld and was bought back for a mere 3,400 guineas by his wife Maureen at the sales.

Haggas said: “Relief Rally got the entry for the Super Sprint because she was bred to be quick and cost less than the ceiling £65,000, so it’s been on our radar for a while. She got a small penalty for her Salisbury win, but it would have been a much bigger one if she had won the Queen Mary, although we would have been happy to have taken one there.

“The American filly was obviously very quick in the Queen Mary, but we were unfortunate not to win, as she was in front a stride before the line and in front again a stride after it, but not on the line.”

He added: “Unlike Superstar Leo, who had no weight despite having won the Norfolk Stakes, Relief Rally has 9st, but if she’s good enough to win on Saturday I think she’ll go for the Lowther, then the Flying Childers, which Superstar Leo also won, and then the Abbaye, where Superstar Leo was second to Namid.”

Superstar Leo ended the year the highest-rated juvenile filly on the classifications, and she has gone on to have major lasting significance for the stable.

Haggas said: “She’s been marvellous. She introduced us to the Jacksons, of Lael Stables, who have been big supporters ever since, and she bred Enticing (winner of the Molecomb and King George Stakes), who was the dam of One Master (three-time winner of the Prix de la Foret). Her sister Starship is the dam of Rivet, who won the Racing Post Trophy for us.

“It’s been a hell of a family for us and a wonderful story, and the Jacksons were so fond of Superstar Leo that when she retired they flew her back to Kentucky so that she could spend the rest of her life in their front paddock.”