Great Weekend for Godolphin in France and UK
G2 Prix du Calvados at Deauville France
Beyond Reason successfully stepped up in class to land an impressive victory in the seven-furlong G2 Prix du Calvados at Deauville France, on Saturday, 18 August.
The two-year-old filly, with William Buick in the saddle, made all the running for her second win in a row at the course and distance, following a nose victory in the G3 Prix Six Perfections on 28 July.
She was asked to stretch with two furlongs remaining and powered right away in the final furlong to score eased down by three lengths from Lagrandecatherine in 1m 26.57s on good to soft ground. Beyond Reason has now won on three of her five career starts, having also been successful at Kempton Park, UK, in a six-furlong Polytrack novice race in June.
Charlie Appleby said: “It was great effort from Beyond Reason to make all today. “She is a filly that is going the right way and I see no reason why she shouldn’t be able to step up to a mile now.
“Hopefully, we can look at G1 races like the Prix Marcel Boussac (1m, Longchamp, 7 October) and the Fillies’ Mile (1m, Newmarket, 12 October) for her now.”
Speaking about the success of Al Hilalee in the Listed Criterium du Fonds earlier in the afternoon at Deauville, the trainer added: “I was very pleased with Al Hilalee’s win today because he was very green on his first start at Newmarket and he has had to learn on the job.
“It was a tight finish and he has beaten two horses who had more experience than him.
“Going forward, we will look at the races at Prix Jean Luc Lagerdere (G1, 1m, Longchamp, 7 October) and the Royal Lodge Stakes (G2, 1m, Newmarket, 29 September) as potential autumn targets.”
G3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes over an extended 13 furlongs at Newbury, UK
Hamada, trained by Charlie Appleby, recorded his fifth victory in succession when the impressive winner of the G3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes over an extended 13 furlongs at Newbury, UK, on Saturday, 18 August.
The four-year-old son of Cape Cross, partnered by James Doyle, raced in fifth before moving up to fourth after the first half-mile as his stable companion Walton Street, ridden by Adam Kirby, took the field along.
With a mile to race, Hamada moved into third before challenging for the lead entering the final quarter mile.
He took up the running entering the final furlong and lengthened well to score by two and a half lengths from Raymond Tusk with Walton Street keeping on in third, a further nose behind.
The ground was described as Good and the winning time was 2m 51.63s.
James Doyle said: Doyle: “Hamada is a star really. He does everything you ask of him and has steadily improved with each run. I won on him earlier in the season at Wolverhampton believe it or not and he only won a length and a half that day.
“He is one Charlie has been patient with, and he will be on a plane to Australia soon I would say. He will love it [Australian racing].
“He breaks nicely and has the tactical speed to hold a position. I have never ridden in the Melbourne Cup but from my time in Australia I learnt a bit about the racing there and the things you need are to break well and tactical speed to hold a pitch.
“You also need to relax because the go hard early for the first couple of furlongs and then put the brakes on. Hamada is very push button and stays very well.”
Charlie Appleby commented: “I was delighted with Hamada and Walton Street today. They have both booked themselves a trip to Australia.
“We will have to wait and see what the handicapper does, but hopefully Hamada will get a racing weight that will put him straight into the Melbourne Cup (G1, 2m, Flemington, 6 November).
“Walton Street has got himself a bit closer to getting a run in the Melbourne Cup. He will probably have to run in one of the trials when he gets to Australia to give himself more a chance of making the cut for the Melbourne Cup.”
Listed Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield
Osborne Bulls announced himself as a potential spring star with a powerful, last-stride win in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday, 18 August.
Already a winner at Listed level in the final start of his previous preparation, Osborne Bulls got his latest campaign started in style.
Given time to find a rhythm by jockey Craig Williams, the lightly-raced five-year-old came from last in a slowly-run race to join the leaders at the 200m and the grind out a determined victory.
“Only a good horse could do what he did today,” Williams said. “The leaders were entitled to have something in reserve, but he got to them and then fought them off. He showed a touch of class.”
Osborne Bulls, a member of the last southern-hemisphere crop of the former Darley stallion Street Cry, has now won eight of his 11 starts and been placed at the other three.
Trainer James Cummings though enough of the him to enter the gelding in the G1 Stradbroke Handicap two months ago, but he failed to gain a start. Another G1, the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on September 22, is now on the agenda for Osborne Bulls.
“We tried to sneak into a Group 1 with him in the Stradbroke Handicap but he just missed the field, so it’s clear that we have an opinion of him,” Cummings said.
Osborne Bulls got the better of Land Of Plenty to win by a short head with Brave Song in third place.
On the same Caufield card, the evergreen Hartnell indicated he had returned to racing in his usual good form with a second placing in the G2 PB Lawrence Stakes.
One of the best to begin from his wide gate, Hartnell found the fence in the first 150m and then enjoyed a cosy trail behind the leader until he was pushed through along the rail in the final stages.
Hartnell went down by long neck to Showtime with Widgee Turf a further long head away.
While Godolphin celebrated the victory of its son of the ill-fated Street Cry, all of Australian cheered for the stallion’s champion daughter Winx as she registered her 26th consecutive win, and her 19th at G1-level.
Winx won the race named in her honour, the G1 Winx Stakes at Randwick, confirming her place as the world’s highest-ranked racehorse.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin stable has chalked up its 5,000th winner worldwide.
The memorable milestone was reached when Expecting To Fly, trained by Henri-Alex Pantall, ridden by Hugo Journiac, landed a one-mile maiden race at La Teste de Buch, France, on Thursday, 16 August, 2018.
It came 25 years, eight months after Sheikh Mohammed created an elite stable of around 60 of his homebreds and a collection of his best horses already with established trainers in Europe.
His ambition to achieve global success with a stable, whose spiritual home and inspiration was Dubai in the UAE, has been achieved with great passion, flair and innovation.
Since its inception in 1992, Godolphin has won races in 14 countries on four continents.
Godolphin’s first winner came in a six-furlong maiden on dirt at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai, UAE, on 24 December, 1992.
The history-making debut winner was Cutwater, trained by Hilal Ibrahim and ridden by jockey Dennis Batteate.
It would be 13 years before Godolphin reached 1,000 winners, that courtesy of Cherry Mix, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Frankie Dettori, who won the G1 Gran Premio Del Jockey Club E Coppa d’Oro at San Siro, Italy, on 16 October, 2005.
But included among the first 1,000 winners in the instantly recognisable Godolphin royal blue were some of the names that carved a reputation for the stable of excellence and achievement at the highest level.
Balanchine in the 1994 G1 Oaks at Epsom, UK, Swain’s back-to-back wins in 1997-98 in Ascot’s G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Kayf Tara hacking up in the 1998 G1 Ascot Gold Cup, Daylami in the 1999 G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf, and Fantastic Light’s memorable defeat of Galileo in the 2001 G1 Irish Champion Stakes — they were all great triumphs for Godolphin.
But undoubtedly the most significant for the stable were the glorious victory of the great Dubai Millennium in the 2000 G1 Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba, and the exploits of his son, Dubawi, who took the G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas but later earned fame as an excellent winner of the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.
While the first 1,000 winners were 13 years in the making, it took only a further seven years to reach 2,000 winners — when the very smart Certify (later a G1 Fillies’ Mile winner) won a six-furlong turf maiden at Newmarket on 12 July, 2012.
Certify was ridden that day by Godolphin’s retained jockey Mickael Barzalona, who holds a unique place in the stable’s history, as he would also partner the Godolphin’s 3,000th and 4,000th landmark winners.
The memorable 3,000th victory was chalked up by the Andre Fabre-trained Manatee, ridden by Barzalona, in the G2 Grand Prix de Chantilly on 31 May, 2015.
The 4,000th was delivered by the Charlie Appleby-trained Fly At Dawn, again with Barzalona in the saddle, in the UAE 2,000 Guineas at Meydan on 26 January, 2017.
Godolphin’s international achievements are numerous — 273 G1 winners globally, nine Dubai World Cups, six Breeders’ Cup winners, the G1 Caulfield Cup in Australia, four winners at Hong Kong’s International Races, and the coveted G1 Yasuda Kinen in Japan.
Perhaps Godolphin’s most stunning victory in America in recent years came in the 2016 G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park when stable flagship Frosted annihilated his opposition, winning by 14 and a quarter lengths in track record time.
Among the most recent winners was arguably the most noteworthy — the brilliant Masar, ridden by William Buick and trained by Appleby, who triumphed in the G1 Derby at Epsom in June 2018.