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Hollie Doyle gallops to 100th winner of the year

Hollie Doyle chalked up her 100th win of 2021 as Oakenshield triumphed at Yarmouth on Wednesday evening.

The rider registered 151 winners in 2020, second to only Ben Curtis, in what was a curtailed campaign due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Doyle became the first rider this year to hit the century mark as the Linda Stubbs-trained Oakenshield prevailed by three-quarters of a length in the first division of the QuinnBet Handicap.

The Flat jockeys’ championship runs from May 1 to October 16, and Doyle currently sits in fourth, with reigning champion Oisin Murphy setting the pace.

She took her annual tally to 101 when she completed a double as Tom Ward’s 13-8 favourite Moonshiner won the closing race on the card, the QuinnCasino Handicap, by a head.

Doyle later posted a tweet, which read: “Over the moon to have hit 100 winners this year, massive thanks to all trainers, owners & connections for the support so far!”

Ghiani on target again at Yarmouth

Marco Ghiani partnered his first winner since riding out his claim when Romantic Time took a big step forward in the British Stallion Studs EBF Restricted Novice Stakes at Yarmouth.

Italian Ghiani, no doubt on a high following the football exploits of his countrymen at Wembley on Tuesday evening, was one of three jockeys to register doubles on the card – alongside Tom Marquand and Dylan Hogan.

Ghiani, one of the most promising apprentices around, had ridden Sonny Liston to victory at Sandown on Friday. But that came within his period of grace, when he could still claim 3lb, so Romantic Time has the honour of being his first winner without assistance against the professionals.

William Stone’s filly was still full of herself after the line, unseating her jockey, who was unhurt.

Reflecting on the 12-1 victory, Ghiani said: “It felt so good.

“We thought if she settled she had a great chance to win. She travelled nicely – and when I asked her to quicken she was more than able.

Romantic Time (left) was taken up the rail by Marco Ghiani
Romantic Time (left) was taken up the rail by Marco Ghiani (Tim Goode/PA)

“It was worth a try getting on the rail, having noticed a few of the earlier races.

“When we stopped she got a bit excited and she got rid of me!”

Ghiani’s second winner came in the closing Download The Free At The Races App Handicap, on 5-1 shot Internationalangel.

It was also a good day for another apprentice, as Hogan doubled up on True Courage (6-5 favourite) and Dark Scimitar (6-1).

The famous Anthony Oppenheimer colours were earlier carried to victory by Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Golden Love (6-4 favourite), in the second division of the quinnbet.com Handicap over a mile.

Beautifully bred, by Dubawi out of a half-sister to 2000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand, it is fair to say connections probably imagined she would be up to more than winning a handicap off a mark of 50.

But having left Charlie Fellowes after just two outings, Golden Love may continue to progress – which is what jockey Pat Cosgrave is hoping.

Golden Love (red hat) opens her account for Jane Chapple-Hyam
Golden Love (red cap) opens her account for Jane Chapple-Hyam (Tim Goode/PA)

“I think this is Jane’s first horse for the owner, so it’s pretty important,” Cosgrave told Sky Sports Racing.

“I was unlucky the last day – inexperience caught her out.

“She was a bit keen today and a bit worried, but she still came good.

“She carries her head a bit high. But it was a winnable race, and hopefully she’ll go and win another one.”

In the first division, Marquand kickstarted his double – in pursuit of Oisin Murphy and William Buick at the top of the championship – on Mick Appleby’s Mostallim (16-5).

Marquand made it two on the day when well-bred debutante My Astra proved easily the best in the QuinnBetCasino Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

The winning jockey described William Haggas’ 15-8 favourite as “an extremely nice filly” following her seven-length victory.

Roger Charlton had a quiet first half of the season, but there appear to be green shoots of recovery in recent weeks.

His Boltaway (10-11 favourite) had won his previous two races before the QuinnBet 2nd To The Favourite Special Handicap, and duly made Paul Mulrennan’s journey south worthwhile with a comfortable success.

“That’s three wins now, and he’s learning on the job, but he’s still very raw and he was a little on and off the bridle,” said Mulrennan.

“I’m doing well on my trips down south, obviously Euchen Glen being the highlight.”

New Science steers Royal Ascot course with winning debut

New Science appears to have earned himself a place in Charlie Appleby’s Royal Ascot squad after making an impressive start to his career at Yarmouth.

Plenty was expected of the Lope De Vega colt in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes, with solid support ensuring William Buick’s mount went off the 13-8 favourite.

The youngster was soon in front and always appeared to have matters under control, quickening clear and passing the post with a length and a half in hand over Reach For The Moon, despite being eased in the closing stages.

Next on the agenda for New Science is the Chesham Stakes, a race Appleby won with the brilliant Pinatubo two seasons ago.

Appleby said: “I was delighted with him. His homework had been nice, and we were going into the race confident he’d be a player.

“William was very pleased with the way he did it. We kept it simple – he popped away and led at his own gallop – and picked up at the right end as well.

“Realistically all roads lead to Ascot now for a tilt at the Chesham. Pinatubo started at six furlongs and stepped up to seven at Ascot, whereas this horse has bounced straight out over seven – and with his pedigree, he’s going to be more suited to going further in time.”

Appleby and Buick went on to complete a quick-fire double, with 5-4 market leader Kemari proving a different class to his rivals in division one of the QuinnBet Maiden Stakes.

Runner-up on his Newmarket debut a fortnight ago, the gelded son of Dubawi showed the benefit of that run as he pulled six lengths clear of outsider Fantasising with the minimum of fuss.

Charlie Appleby and William Buick
Charlie Appleby and William Buick (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Appleby added: “We were pleased with his first run, which was very much about trying to put some manners on him – he’s a playful character, shall we say?!

“We put the hood on him at Newmarket, but Adam (Kirby) was happy for that to come off after that run – and we left it off today.

“William was delighted and said he was very professional. He popped out and made his own gallop and stretched out well.

“Staying is going to be his forte for the future. He’s not going to get into Ascot, because he’s only got two runs under his belt, so he doesn’t qualify for any of those heritage handicaps.

“We’ll sit tight for the minute and map something out further on down the line.”

Royal Ascot could also be on the agenda for Title, after he got off the mark at the third attempt in division two of the maiden.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned juvenile was not winning out of turn, having been beaten a neck and a short head on his two previous outings at Newbury.

Hot favourite Sea Karats (6-5) – who is a full-sister to the exciting Al Aasy and was second in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes last time – did her best to make a race of it, but Roger Varian’s 15-8 chance asserted late on to prevail by a length and three-quarters.

Harry Herbert, Highclere’s managing director and chairman, said: “He’s always been held in very high regard by Roger, who was excited with his work coming into this.

“After his last run at Newbury, we were considering a Derby trial. But Roger said he’d like to give him more time, so we knocked the Derby on the head.

“I think he’s a really exciting prospect. We’ll talk it through with Roger, but the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot would have to be a likely next target for him.”

Marrakech Moon shines bright for Gosden and Havlin

John Gosden celebrated a winner on the day he said farewell to Enable after Marrakech Moon struck gold at the second time of asking at Yarmouth.

Despite showing signs of greenness in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes, the 5-2 favourite picked up well late on in the seven-furlong prize to reel in Aquaman and score by half a length.

Robert Havlin, who partnered Enable to glory on her debut at Newcastle in 2016, said: “It’s a sad day, but a happy day as well. It is a sad day, but it is good for her that she can now relax and enjoy herself.”

He added of the winner, who is a son of No Nay Never: “He still showed signs of babyness and that was very much the case on his first run.

“He was on and off the bridle that day, but finished well and he has taken that step forward today.

“I was keen to keep him handy as I didn’t want to give too much ground away, as it was borderline heavy out there.

“I loved his attitude as he knuckled down well and handled that ground and there is a good chance we will see him out again before the end of the season.”

Oisin Murphy expects plenty more to come from the Andrew Balding-trained Opera Gift (11-4) who backed up his last time out victory at Pontefract to claim the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap by three lengths.

Murphy said: “Andrew felt he was better than his opening mark and it was a good spot by him to get him to win at Pontefract last time.

“Hopefully he will go on and progress. He stays well and handles that ground and I think he will get further than that.”

After the race the reigning champion jockey issued his own tribute to Enable following news of the great mare’s retirement.

Murphy said: “I competed against her, but I never managed to beat her.

“She has been a star for racing and credit to the whole team at Clarehaven Stables and Juddmonte and everyone connected to her.”

Andrea Atzeni can expect to be kept busy during Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, and he kick-started his build up with a facile success aboard Whitehaven in the Visit attheraces.com Handicap.

Atzeni said of the Hughie Morrison-trained 9-2 shot: “The ground here is hard work and although she did win with cut in the ground at Lingfield it was a bit heavier here. I spoke to Hughie before the race and he said the race at Kempton didn’t suit her, but today she settled nicely and pulled away well.”

Looking ahead to Ascot, the Classic-winning rider is most excited about being reunited with Ebor winner Fujaira Prince, who will be stepping up to two miles for the first time in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.

He said: “It was a great performance in the Irish St Leger (second to Search For A Song) and maybe the ground had dried up a little bit too much for him.

“He likes Ascot and I think he will stay the two miles. He is in great order and we are very hopeful.”

Aldaary, from the yard of William Haggas, put in the performance of the meeting when running out an impressive winner of the British EBF Novice Stakes.

Jim Crowley, rider of the 11-4 joint-favourite, said: “He jumped and travelled well and did it all professionally. It was a very taking performance for his first start.”

Arousing impresses with debut success at Yarmouth

Arousing appeared to be another smart individual to emerge from the yard of William Haggas judging by the manner of her debut success at Yarmouth.

The Kodiac filly, who is a half-sister to Group One-winning stablemate One Master, made the perfect start to her career with victory in the British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

Although slowly away, the 4-1 shot gradually worked her way into contention in the six-furlong prize before defeating odds-on favourite Ville De Grace by a neck.

Maureen Haggas, wife of the winning trainer, said: “She did it well, but she is still quite babyish. She has just done it on raw ability. She is related to One Master, who didn’t run until well into her three-year-old career, but she is by a different stallion who produces more precocious types.

“I think she has enough scope to change a bit and make a three-year-old.

“Once she got the hang of it she came through really well, which was good to see as there has not been much come from off the pace.”

Luke Morris believes the best is yet to come from the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Bodyline, who gained a deserved first success of the season when prevailing by a length and a quarter in the Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap.

The winning rider said of the 13-8 favourite: “He was back in calmer waters today and it was good to get his head back in front.

“A couple of times this year he hasn’t got the rub of the green. He ran at Royal Ascot, then we backed him up too quickly at Newmarket and the ground went against him at York in the Melrose.

“I think he will be an even better four-year-old and hopefully he will be a nice horse for those feature handicaps.”

Crystal Pegasus formed the opening leg of a double for Ryan Moore when following up his victory at Bath last time with a front-running length-and-a-quarter success in the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Handicap.

Moore said of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained 11-8 shot: “He had it all his own way in front and he did the job well, so I’m very happy.

“I think he had just been unfortunate that he had been beaten by a smart horse previously at Wolverhampton before winning at Bath.

“There is nothing wrong with his attitude. It was a case of finding a good spot the last day and today as well. He is a 10 to 12 furlong horse going forwards.”

Hamish Macbeth (11-4), from the yard of Hugo Palmer, completed Moore’s haul after ending a losing streak stretching back more than a year with a decisive two-and-a-quarter-length victory in the Moulton Nurseries Handicap.

William Buick matched Moore’s effort’s with a brace of his own, started by the nine-length success of the Mark Jonhnston-trained Forest Falcon (10-1) in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.

Charlie Johnston, son and assistant, speaking away from the track, said: “He has always physically been a nice horse and we were a little bit disappointed with his first couple of runs. When there was only three in this race at 9.59am on Tuesday, we thought it was about time we saw him again.

“He has taken a massive step forward and the extra furlong has helped. Hopefully the handicapper won’t get too carried away.”

The Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Al Saariyah (4-6) completed Buick’s brace when going one better than on her two previous starts in claiming the Ken Lindsay Memorial Nursery Handicap by half a length.

Caspian Prince highlights Yarmouth treble for Tom Marquand

Caspian Prince continued to defy his advancing years when forming the highlight of a treble for Tom Marquand at Yarmouth with a front-running success in the Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Handicap.

Although now in the twilight of his career, the Mick Appleby-trained Dylan Thomas gelding showed he still retains plenty of ability at the age of 11 after setting a new five-furlong course record of 58.57 seconds on his way to the 21st victory of his career.

Making the most of his sharp exit from the stalls, the 11-2 shot found more than enough to repel the late challenge of dual course and distance winner Texting by a neck.

Marquand, who rode Caspian Prince as a teenager while working with his former trainer Tony Carroll, said: “What a legend. It was a fair effort making his own running.

“I was lucky to sit on a horse like that aged 13 and I’m still lucky to be sat on him aged 22. He is a soldier.

“There were a few times there I thought we were beat, but he kept finding a little bit more.

“He has been a cracking horse over the years. He is still winning races at 11 years of age and it is testament to everyone that has kept him in one piece.”

A return trip to Dubai in the winter could be on the cards for Caspian Prince according to the winning trainer, provided he remains in good heart.

Appleby, speaking away from the track, said: “This is the third year we’ve had him and he has been a good old boy. He still shows plenty of enthusiasm at home.

“If the ground stays quick, then we will keep on running him over here. It’s a possibility that he could go back to Dubai as he does go well out there.”

William Haggas has saddled plenty of talented individuals to their first victory at the Norfolk track, and Ready To Venture (4-6) could be another after getting the ball rolling for Marquand with a length-and-a-half success in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.

The Newmarket handler said: “You never know the quality of these races, but she could do no more than win. I think she is a top of the ground filly and hopefully she is useful.”

Ready To Venture holds entries in the Group Two Shadwell Rockfel Stakes and Group One bet365 Fillies’ Mile, both at Newmarket, however Haggas will let the dust settle before making future plans.

He added: “We have got her in a few smart races, but we will work out what to do nearer the time. Her mother, Wonderstruck, was a very good stayer that stayed a mile and a half well.”

Nicklaus took full advantage of a drop in the weights to complete Marquand’s hat-trick, and bring up a double for Haggas, by gaining his first victory since scoring at the track two years ago when battling back to defeat King Ragnar by a head in the attheraces.com Handicap.

Haggas said of the 7-1 winner: “He obviously loves the sea air. I thought he did very well as he got headed then picked up well.

“The handicapper let him down 3lb after his last run and he needed every pound of that as he had not won for two years.

“I’m very pleased for (owner) Highclere Thoroughbred Racing as I didn’t think I was going to get a winner for them this year. It is great as four of them have come up to see him as well.”

Doyle delivers aboard Majestic Noor at Yarmouth

Hollie Doyle further strengthened her partnership with owner Imad Al Sagar after steering Majestic Noor to glory in the EBF Stallions John Musker Fillies’ Stakes at Yarmouth.

Having already celebrated a brace of Group Three wins aboard Extra Elusive for the Classic-winning owner since becoming his retained rider in July, the 23-year-old celebrated further big-race glory for her new boss with victory in the Listed feature at the Norfolk track.

Despite being faced with a wide draw in stall 13, Doyle quickly got the John Gosden-trained filly settled into a prominent position just behind early leaders A La Voile and Bighearted before taking command of the race over a furlong out.

Responding well to pressure, Majestic Noor stayed on strongly to hold Black Lotus at bay by a length and a half to give champion trainer Gosden back-to-back wins in the race having claimed the prize 12 months ago with subsequent Hardwicke Stakes winner Fanny Logan.

Doyle said of the 9-2 winner: “It was pleasing performance. She jumped well and I was lucky enough to get the box seat and the further I went, the better.

“I got there in a great position (from wide draw) in the end and luckily I was not caught out three wide. She is a very straightforward filly that made my life easy.

“It was a really open field. She ran over 12 furlongs last time out in France and I know they don’t think she really stayed, but I know she stays 10 furlongs through and through, so I made a bit of use of her.

“I watched her run in Longchamp and it was the day I met Imad and Tony (Nerses, racing manager) and I thought ‘I can’t wait to ride next time, stepping back in trip’. I needed a bit of company as she wasn’t doing a whole lot when I hit the front, but she has gone away nicely.”

Doyle believes Majestic Noor is capable of scoring back in Group race company, should connections decide to take that route.

She added: “She has been tried over 12, she didn’t quite get it in a Group Three at Longchamp, but 10 furlongs she gets easily. I’d like to think there is a Group race in there and I’m sure Mr Gosden will be on the case. Over here or France would be ideal.”

In what has already been a season to savour for Doyle, who claimed her first Royal Ascot winner in June, and a first Group race success at Newmarket the following month, she feels her new retainer has worked out better than expected.

She said: “I’m pretty jammy aren’t I? I’ve had two Group Threes on Extra Elusive so he is probably my biggest one for the owner, but this is up there as well.

“It has gone really well. I was in the right place at the right time.”

Highly-regarded Emissary back to winning ways at Yarmouth

Hugo Palmer can begin to be more ambitious with his plans for Emissary once again following his impressive front-running victory at Yarmouth.

Big things were expected of the Kingman colt – who is a half-brother to 2010 Derby winner Workforce – following his winning debut at Wolverhampton in October. However, until this success, things had failed to go his way in three previous starts this season.

Having filled the runner-up spot in a Listed contest at Goodwood on his comeback, the Khald Abdullah-owned colt finished down the field in the Epsom Classic before beating only one rival home on his handicap debut at Newmarket last month.

Wearing a first-time visor, Emissary bounced back to form in emphatic fashion, making all under James Doyle in the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap over an extended mile and three-quarters to defeat Tritonic by two and three-quarter lengths.

Palmer said: “I looked at his door card last night and I forgot that he was a May foal so things might have just come a bit too soon for him.

“He has shown much more like he did early in the year today, and hopefully this is the first step back in the right direction with him.

“He worked very well for James the other day in the visor. I don’t think he is ungenuine, but the visor has just helped focus him.”

Assessing future targets, the Classic-winning handler earmarked next month’s bet365 Old Rowley Cup at Newmarket as a potential port of call.

He added: “I did put him in the Old Rowley Cup as it was an early closer, so that is a possibility.

“We didn’t run him in the Derby to give everyone a day out, we thought he was a good horse. Today he looked like a good horse for the first time since his debut.

“I think he will be a lovely horse next year and hopefully he will develop into a type for the Hardwicke.”

Robert Havlin and Colony Queen (orange and green) on their way to victory
Robert Havlin and Colony Queen (orange and green) on their way to victory (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Robert Havlin timed his run to perfection aboard Colony Queen as she claimed her third victory of the campaign when getting up by a neck to spring a 40-1 surprise in the British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap.

Havlin said of the Steve Gollings-trained winner: “I thought the track would suit her. She is a filly that likes to be on the bridle, but she has toughed it out.

“I thought at the two-pole she found for me and when you put her in a fight she is quite tough. She has been ultra consistent all year.”

Kingmania (5-4) kept up the recent good run of trainer Chris Wall when making it third time lucky with a length success in the Visit attheraces.com Nursery Handicap.

Wall said: “She was still quite green and they didn’t go as quickly as I thought they might do. Just as she settled they quickened up. It took a little while for her to work out what was expected of her, but she won quite nicely in the end.

“She has only won that off 67, but we are on the mark which I’m pleased about.”

Hollie Doyle celebrated a double at the Norfolk track, initiated by the length-and-a-quarter success of Minsky (14-1) in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.

Trainer John Butler said: “We got him out of Joseph O’Brien’s last month and he ran a smart race the other day at Wolverhampton. It looked a hot enough race today, but I think he has done it well. There is improvement left in him and he is for sale.”

The Archie Watson-trained Tagovailoa (13-8) completed Doyle’s brace when prevailing by half a length in the Moulton Nurseries Of Acle Classified Claiming Stakes.