Tag Archives: Henry Cecil

The July Meeting -The Falmouth Stakes (Group 1) & Cherry Hinton Stakes (Group 2)

The Group 1 Falmouth Stakes has attracted three French, two Irish and six home fillies and mares to Newmarket in search of summer glory. Sizzling it won’t be. Again we’re let down by the weather and once more the word soft dictates the going description.

The Andre Fabre trained Golden Lilac is a shade of odds on at 10/11 in an attempt to win her seventh race from eight starts. She come here off the back of a Prix D’Ispahan (G1) win over Cirrus Des Ailges and Planteur, her first outing this year. Last year she won the Poule d´Essai des Pouliches ( G1) and Prix de Diane (G1) and you would expect her to improve from the D’Ispahan run. She’s a worthy favourite.

Giofra is the French backup. She bypassed an engagement in the Eclipse at the weekend in favour of this opportunity to take on her own sex. She won first time out this year and then on her second start was 8 L in arrears of Cirrus Des Ailges in the Prix Ganay (G1) (ground near bottomless). Again you’d expect her to come on for the run. Siyouma completes the Gallic raiding party on the back of her proximity to Solemia and Shareta in the Prix Corrida (G2) over 10 f at Lonchamp.

Improvement is something we’ll have to get if Maybe is to trouble the judge. She’s been disappointing this year after a flawless juvenile career. Although she travelled in the 1000 Guineas (G1) she didn’t pick up and in the Oaks (G1) she didn’t quite get home. Aidan O’Brien has given her some time in skipping the Coronation Stakes and this step back in trip was always on the cards after the Oaks.

The John Oxx team got a boost going into the race with the performance of Marvada who took the Brownstown Stakes(G3) at Naas last night. Alanza had got the better of her in the Ballycorus (G3) on her last start. The trainer never travels unless he’s confident of being in the mix.

The home are made up of the John Gosden pair Joviality and Elusive Kate, the Henry Cecil trained Chachamaidee, Barefoot Lady from the Richard Fahey yard, Lay Time for Andrew Balding and from the Mahmood Al Zarooni yard Irish History. William Buick has opted for Joviality having won the Windsor Forest (G2) at Royal Ascot where she had the Cecil, Balding and Fahey fillies in behind. He may have well have had a difficult choice as Elusive Kate was a very progressive two year old only finding the trip to Churchill Downs beyond her for the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2). She’d previously won the Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) beating the July Cup bound Fire Lily.You’d imagine John will have the measure of the Godolphin filly Irish History (third in the Coronation to two of his).

Golden Lilac sets the standard but she’s had one blip on her career, at Deauville where she went down to Galikova on good to soft. That hole in her form gives hope to the others and the one with some from on the soft,well maybe just Maybe, a winner on the ground at Royal Ascot last year.

In the Cherry Hinton Sendmylovetorose should be supported (see the post on Day 4 of Royal Ascot). She was withdrawn having become upset in the stalls and then next time out won a Group 3 at the Curragh. She’ll love the ground.


Cherry Hinton Stakes – Sendmylovetorose 5/2 win

Falmouth Stakes – Maybe 8/1


Juddmonte International Stakes

York, a meeting to saviour. Large crowds who know and love their racing are treated to an August fair. The International is one of the top 10f race in the world on turf and the winner usually merits the term “best in class” at the distance. It’s inaugural running in 1970 saw the one and only defeat of Brigadier Gerard at the hands of that years Derby winner Roberto. No wonder it boasts the prestige it does. This years contest is dominated by Aidan O’Brien and Henry Cecil with only Jo Hughes opposing the pair. Aidan sends the pacemaker in Windsor Palace to set it up for Await The Dawn. He is supported by Roderic O’Connor. Henry sends Midday and Twice Over to overcome the Irish challenge.

Midday overcame the set back at the Curragh with a comprehensive defeat of Snow Fairy in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood. Her running behind Misty For Me was an aberration on her form unlikely to be repeated. She is again asked to take on the colts where she yet to be successful. St Nicholas Abbey saw her off the Coronation Cup when she looked to have the upper hand two out only to be out stayed. She has proven when meeting her own sex formidable at this distance and also over a mile and a half. Her three wins over 10f have been in the Nassau and she has to prove it’s just not the Goodwood track that sets her alight.

Twice Over is a confidence horse and Henry has for the second time had to build this colt’s fragility. It’s worked before in 2009 when two minor events were used prior to winning the Champion Stakes. Henry didn’t have to go that far back this time but the York Stakes win certainly did the job after the Meyden, Newbury and Ascot defeats.

Await The Dawn is a strong favourite here with a race record of five from six. He’s yet to score at top-level and this is really his first big test. The patience of Ballydoyle is all in this horse and reward may not be too far away. In the Harwicke it was easy giving the impression of more to come.

Roderic O’Connor on the other hand is a colt of fiery ability, capable of giant strides. Maturity as in Await The Dawn will be key. However this trip on a fast surface may forward adolescence and the drop in trip from a mile and half for the son of Galileo looks perfect.

Expect a big run from the west of Ireland. Having spent the day looking at what inspired the artist, one can expect French impression will win out on the Yorkshire Dales. Roderick O’Connor to be best in class.

Windsor Forest Stakes

This fillies and mares race for four-year olds and up is a competitive affair.

Thirteen line up including last years first past the post in the Guineas Jacqueline Quest and Music Show, the only Group 1 winner in the field.

Henry Cecil’s mare made a seasonal return in a conditions event at Leicester and went off at odds of 1 to 4 but only managed third. She was reported to be distressed post race so forgive her the run. Mick Channon’s daughter of Noverre best day came in the Falmouth Stakes last year at Newmarket beating Spacious by 2 L. She has run twice this year disappointing on her return over a mile and failing to stay over 10f last time out.

Godolphin are double-handed with Mickael Barzalona riding Anna Salai whose best run came in the Irish Guineas when beaten a short head. Frankie Dettori rides the Bin Suroor trained Sajjhaa who was second to Midday in York’s Middleton Stakes. Giving best to Midday was no disgrace and she’s very interesting.

I’m A Dreamer caught the eye when winning the Dahlia Stakes impressively by 4 1/2 L and is a filly on the up. The same can be said of Tommy Stacks Lolly For Dolly who will be having her fifth run of the season. She’s won twice and was second in her last two runs and should strip fittest of all.

Seta, in the care of Luca Cumani showed her well-being when accounting for Anna Salai by 3 3/4 L in the Conqueror Stakes. She has always been highly thought of and was considered a possible for the Guineas last year. Expect that she will repeat the performance of beating a Godolphin filly again but the battle to the line this time will involve Frankie’s mount with Kieren Fallon coming out on top.

The Coronation Cup

This is one to relish. Midday and St Nicholas Abbey head a small field supported by Indian Days, Clowance and Dandino.

The latter proved himself a very capable handicapper prior to his step into pattern company. He had a run in the St Leger and then went to the Japan Cup where he was not beaten far. Two wins this season including a Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes brings here in top form. His stable companion Indian Days was four lengths behind is likely to improve on that performance. Clowance defeat of Poet in the St Simon Stakes now looks good after The Brigadier Gerard but a preference for some give in the ground will surely be against her. You would expect these three will play a supporting role in this particular drama where the leading man and the leading lady will take centre stage. Who will command that stage is the question.

Midday’s form has been top class with her own sex. A super win against Snow Fairy at York was last years highlight before being touched off in The Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs . Her comeback in the Middleton Stakes this spring showed her well-being promising another super season in front of her. She’s a winner of five Group 1’s including two Nassau Stakes, a Yorkshire Oaks, a Prix Vermille and a Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita in 2009. Her one blot in the copybook is not taking the honours when meeting the colts. Not that she’s had many opportunities. The only time she ventured out of her own sex was at Epsom in April 2009 when beaten in a listed race by last years Arlington Million winner, Debussy. It’s very interesting that Henry Cecil has chosen to return to the track for another crack at the boys.

St Nicholas Abbey brings an altogether different profile. This fella looked like a natural successor to Sea The Stars, as if you could such a successor, at the beginning of last year. As a two year old his Beresford Stakes win marked him out but his Racing Post win showed us something special. He was installed winter favourite for the Guineas only to flop trailing in sixth. Off course that flop was behind Makfi, Dick Turpin,Canford Cliffs, and Xtention who have since bagged seven Group 1’s over a mile since. Maybe its time to forgive him, though there wasn’t much sympathy for him after failing to sparkle on his comeback at the Curragh in April.

The excitement he generated as a two year old was reiginited in Chester’s Ormonde Stakes. A pulverising preformance when winning by nine lengths looked like he was back to his spectacular two year old days. Lets hope this continues for this lightly raced colt and we see a few more days of his brillance.

Who wins at Epsom today is not the issue. Its the style of the leading man and lady that will set the pulses racing. One to relish all-right.