Atetist puts himself in pole position for next month's bet365 Bunbury Cup on interesting afternoon
Newmarket’s afternoon fixture on Thursday 24th June provided several potential pointers to the future.
Cheveley Park Stud’s Ametist could be heading back to the July Course in just over a fortnight for the bet365 Bunbury Cup following his third success of 2021 in the Join The Great Racing Welfare Cycle Handicap, while Glorious Goodwood is on Passionova’s agenda following her tenacious success in the Nooresh Juglall Memorial Fillies’ Novice Stakes.
We sent Graham Clark along to speak to the winners on the day.
AMETIST COMPLETES THREE-TIMER AND NOW HEADS MARKET FOR bet365 BUNBURY CUP
Ametist jumped to the head of the betting for bet365 Bunbury Cup at the Moet & Chandon July Festival after completing a hat-trick of wins for the season in the Join The Great Racing Welfare Cycle Handicap.
After missing the cut for both the Royal Hunt Cup and Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last week the William Haggas-trained four year old gained compensation with victory in the seven furlong feature under title-chasing jockey Tom Marquand.
Although one of the first off the bridle the gelded son of Dutch Art, homebred by Cheveley Park Stud, quickly hit top gear on the climb to the line to pass the post three quarters of a length clear of No Nonsense.
Following the race, Ametist was trimmed to 8-1 favourite for the prestigious seven furlong heritage handicap on July 10th by race sponsor bet365.
Haggas said of the winning 15-8 favourite: “It was a shame he didn’t get in at Ascot. He was in everything, the Royal Hunt Cup and the Buckingham Palace but he never got in. He did well there.
“He could go for the Bunbury Cup. Is he quick enough for seven? He might need a bit further.
“He was better today than he was last time at Newmarket, when we were a bit disappointed and he gave me a fright. He has big powerful stride on him. He is not a bad horse and he is getting better. I don’t know how good he could be. He is well bred and we have looked after him.”
OAK TREE COULD BE ON AGENDA FOR PASSIONOVA
Trainer George Baker admitted he can begin to “dream a little” with Passionova, who looks set to tackle Group race opposition on her next start following her victory under Pat Cosgrave in the Nooresh Juglall Memorial Fillies’ Novice Stakes.
Despite being burdened with a seven pound penalty for her last time out success at Lingfield Park, the Bated Breath filly made her turf debut a triumphant one in the seven furlong contest after proving a length too strong for Sweet Enough.
Baker said of the 7-1 winner: “She ran here with a penalty in a novice but her options are very limited. She won well on her second run. She had a chip removed from a fetlock which could have been an issue for her
“We knew she would come on for it but to carry nine stone seven pounds against some pretty regally bred types gives us hope going forward. I thought we would win a long way out and we can now dream a little.
“We will look at something at Goodwood for her as that is our local track and that Group Three (The Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes) would be the obvious race.”
TEAM MEADE PLEASED TO BE BACK IN WINNER’S ENCLOSURE
Detail provided Martyn Meade with his first winner in 34 days ahead of what could be a big weekend in Ireland for the trainer when finishing with a flourish to make a winning debut.
The Manton handler will be hoping the victory of the Dabirsim gelding in the Black Type Accountancy British EBF Restricted Novice Stakes is a sign of things to come for stable star Lone Eagle in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.
Appearing to need every yard of the six furlong trip the 12-1 chance, having been slowly away, found plenty during the closing stages to deny rallying 5-6 favourite Maybury by a neck under Sean Levey.
Freddie Meade, son and assistant trainer, said: “He was a bit slowly away but I loved the way he came through all the horses. It was probably a bit lucky he was slowly away as it allowed him to get in behind and get a lead throughout. He was just a very heavy horse as a yearling and we thought gelding him was the right thing to do to give him a chance.
“A couple of our two year-olds have run nicely but the yard has been a bit flat but we are just starting to come out of the other side and that is our first two year old winner of the season.
“Hopefully it is a good sign for the weekend.”
WILLIAMS HOPING AKKERINGA WILL BE BACK FOR JULY FESTIVAL
Stuart Williams has his sights set on an outing at next month’s Moet & Chandon July Festival back at the track with Akkeringa following the three year old’s victory in the Omega Ingredients Signature Natural Flavours Handicap.
The gelded son of Dutch Art, who holds an entry in the Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap at the July Festival, benefitted from a shrewd piece of placing by the Newmarket handler to back up his last time out success at Doncaster by a length in the six furlong contest. He was returned the 2-1 favourite.
Williams said: “He won that well at Doncaster (11 days ago) and it was nice because it was a Sunday it gave me a few extra days to get in with a six pound penalty rather than the eight he has gone up.
“I think he is quite a nice horse. I’ve put him in the six furlong handicap here at the July Meeting and hopefully that will push him into it. He is going the right way and I’m pleased with him. Marco (Ghiani) gave him a great ride.”
REGALY-BRED SPIRIT MIXER GETS ON SCORESHEET
Stamina appears to be the forte of the regally bred Spirit Mixer (11-4), who went one better than on his previous start to open his account at the eighth time of asking on his second attempt over a mile and a half when prevailing by two lengths in the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Handicap.
Hayley Turner, winning jockey, said of the Andrew Balding-trained winner: “He is very well bred being out of Arabian Queen and by Frankel.
“I was just waiting for the gap to come. He knuckled down when I got to the front as I worried he might have a look around.”