Bay Bridge (8-11 Favourite) returned to form in impressive style when coming home the decisive winner of the opening contest at Kempton Park today, the Group Three Unibet September Stakes.
The five-year-old New Bay horse won the Group One QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot last season but had been out of luck in his three previous starts this season.
Racing in the colours of James Wigan and making his inaugural appearance over a mile and a half, Bay Bridge raced in third as Max Vega made the running. He was asked for an effort entering the final quarter mile by jockey Richard Kingscote and quickly put the race to bed, lengthening well to score by three and three-quarter lengths from the staying-on Candleford (11-1).
Bay Bridge’s victory was a record-extending seventh success in the contest for his trainer Sir Michael Stoute following Shernazar (1985), Dihistan (1986), Sacrament (1996), Imperial Stride (2005), Modun (2011) and Arab Spring (2016).
Stoute said: “We were unsure about the distance so we’ve ticked that box. That’s a real big plus.
“We’ll do some thinking now with the owners (James Wigan & Ballylinch Stud) as to where we go next.
“The ground stopped him earlier in the season, so he had an enforced break.
“He was very impressive today and I like the way he did it.”
Unibet make Bay Bridge a 7-1 chance to defend his crown in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot (October 21st) and 20-1 for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Longchamp, October 8th).
Enable (2018) landed the September Stakes before going on to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe success.