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Article 24th July 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark

Carolina Reaper left her jubilant connections excited about a first foray into Group race company on her next start after proving too hot to handle in the Juddmonte British EBF Restricted Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket today.   

Named after the world’s hottest chilli pepper the daughter of Too Darn Hot made the most of a drop back down in class having finished sixth in the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out to strike gold in the seven-furlong contest.

Bounced straight out into the lead by James Doyle the 7-4 favourite stayed in pole position throughout before clearing away smartly late on to score by four and a half lengths to initiate the opening leg of a 15.5-1 double for trainer Charlie Johnston. 

Jock Bennett, assistant trainer, said: “She missed the kick at Beverley but the way she finished that race she was the one to take out of it and it was then a great run in the Chesham.

“She has learned from that, and the Beverley run. She behaved better in the stalls at Ascot, and she was good again today.

“She deserved to win that on her Chesham run and she had to be the one to beat in this race. I loved her attitude and the way she did it today. 

“She had got quite an easy lead but as soon as he gave her a push she responded well and I like the way she really put it to bed.”

Following the race connections earmarked the Group Three Molson Coors Sweet Solera Stakes over course and distance on August 12th as the next target for Carolina Reaper, a race her triumphant owners Gallop Racing claimed 12 months ago with Lakota Sioux. 

Bennett added: “I’d say she will have the same plan (as Lakota Sioux) and I would think that (Sweet Solera Stakes) would come into the equation. 

“She has got a bit of character, but she doesn’t quite flash her tail as much as Lakota Sioux did.” 

Dutch Decoy (5-1) produced arguably the loudest cheer of the day when giving members of the Owners Group plenty to shout about after maintaining his unbeaten course record in the Lettergold Handicap to complete Johnston’s double. 

Winless in his seven previous starts this season the gelded son of Dutch Art changed that statistic when getting up close home to deny Hafeet Alain by a neck to secure a third course and distance win. 

Bennett said: “He does prefer quicker ground and I thought when this rain came it might be too much for him, but we have probably got away with it. 

“I’m really pleased that he has won as he has run some terrifically game races this year and he is such a great horse as he gives this group so much. 

“He ran at Goodwood last year and I think he will probably go back there.”

Following the race Dutch Decoy was trimmed from 20-1 into 16-1 for the Coral Golden Mile by Paddy Power at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. 

Trainer Tom Tate described Classic winning jockey Tom Queally as a ‘master’ of his trade after steering veteran sprinter Equiano Springs to his second win on the July Course and sixth victory in total across both tracks in the town. 

With four victories on the Rowley Mile to his name the nine-year-old gelding doubled his tally of wins on the July Course when wearing down Abate late on in the Visit Handicap before prevailing by three quarters of a length. 

Tate said of the 5-1 winner: “That’s six wins across the two Newmarket tracks now. He was in very good order and that is all I can say but Tom is as master, though he doesn’t think he is, but he is. 

“Tom said that wasn’t his ground, but personally I think he (Equiano Springs) must have got some help from it, and it can’t be that bad. 

“Of course, it also helped that he was a bit lower than his last winning mark.”


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