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Article 25th October 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark

Dreams of having a runner in next year’s Betfred Derby at Epsom Downs moved a step closer for Anzac Day who secured what connections described as an ‘absolutely fantastic’ success in the Visit Maiden Stakes at Newmarket today, Two Year Old Day.     

The Andrew Balding-trained colt, who is named after Australia’s national day of remembrance, built on an encouraging debut fourth at Goodwood after turning the mile and a quarter contest into a one horse race. 

Striking the front around three furlongs from home the son of 2014 Derby hero Australia quickly bagged the stands side rail before bounding on relentlessly out in front under James Doyle to score going away by five lengths from newcomer Tribal Star. 

Following the race Anzac Day was introduced at 33-1 for the Derby by William Hill while Paddy Power went 25-1 for the Epsom Downs Classic. 

Sue Johnson, of owners Brook Farm Bloodstock, said of the 13-2 winner: “He was absolutely fantastic. We expected him to come on for the run at Goodwood but not to win in the style that he did.  

“He was slow away at Goodwood but he was just learning on the job. Jason (Watson) said once he clicked at Goodwood he really went and he finished encouragingly. 

“We are dreaming of the Derby next year but we need to talk to Andrew first. We are the dreamers and he is the realist, but you buy into racing for the dream.”

Charlie Appleby watched on with delight after Point Sur shone brightest of them all to add his name to a growing list of horses that good things are expected of next season after getting off the mark at the second attempt in the Visit Maiden Stakes

Named after a lighthouse located of the California coast the son of Too Darn Hot put his previous course form to good use when getting the better of a late battle in the seven-furlong prize with runner-up Native Warrior by a head.  

Appleby said of the successful 13-8 Favourite: “He put his experience to good use. He is a horse with a nice pedigree and we know his family. Next year stepping up in trip he is a horse who we will see further improvement from.

“He was a horse that we were keen to get another run into. The ground is testing out there and probably in some ways I don’t think he handled the ground, but it brought his stamina into play as on pedigree he has an abundance of it.  

“To be fair Kevin Stott, who rode him last time, said you could probably leave the hood off but I thought I will give him one more experience in it up here then put him away. 

“He won’t go out to Dubai, and he will winter here before we look at something in the spring. It could come into the category of being a Feilden (Stakes) type of horse next year.”

George Downing believes High Point (6-1) has got a ‘lot of avenues’ to look at next year after showing an abundance of stamina to run out a ready winner of the feature British EBF Ruby Anniversary Nursery Handicap.  

After appearing to appreciate the step up to a mile and a quarter when opening his account at Windsor last time out the Eve Johnson Houghton-trained son of New Bay added to that effort over the same trip when prevailing by a length from Monterosa. 

Downing said: “He is a proper galloper and he hadn’t really had the trips to run over until his last one. I thought his last effort was good at Windsor. There was a question mark if he was good enough in this class. 

“We were quite confident coming in as he was in good form at home and he showed how good he is today. 

“He will possibly stay a mile and three quarters next year on similar kind of ground. He has got a lot of avenues to look down next year so I’m quite happy with him. 

“The way I see him is that he could be a good quality handicapper moving into next year.”

Ralph Beckett is one of a handful of trainers that will not want the 2023 campaign to come to an end after Shemozzle (2-1 Favourite) continued what has been the best season of his career with a debut victory in the Fillies’ Restricted Novice Stakes. 

One of two runners in the seven-furlong event for Classic-winning handler Beckett, alongside stablemate Malinka, the daughter of Gleneagles showed a likeable attitude when defying her inexperience to get the better of So Logical by three quarters of a length. 

Beckett said: “Both fillies had shown up well at home and I think the other filly needed it a bit more than this one. 

“I trained her mother (Sibilance) and she was quite good as she was placed in the Michael Seely Stakes. She was quite good and hopefully this filly can do the same. 

“She didn’t come to me until quite late and she has pretty much got there on her own. I’m very pleased she has won for her owner. She will get a mile no problem. 

“The other filly (So Logical) had the rail, but she still showed a good attitude to get past her.”




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