Margot Did secured her second Listed prize within a week with a battling performance in the Scottish News of The World EBF ‘Major Cadeaux’ Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr.
Michael Bell’s three-year-old opened her account for the year when she ran away with last weekend’s Scurry Stakes at Sandown, but the 10-11 favourite was made to work harder at the Craigie track.
The filly travelled strongly towards the front end, but was strongly challenged by Ladies Are Forever from over a furlong out and after seeing off that rival, Celerina came from out of the pack. Hayley Turner punched her mount to the line and had a neck in hand.
The race was the main event of a cracking two-day meeting at Ayr which, despite the inclement weather, attracted bumper crowds to the course.
On the previous evening, the course hosted the Saints and Sinners charity Race night which always attracts both a glamorous and generous crowd, with plenty of money being raised for some very worthy causes.
The crowd was boosted by the appearance of X Factor and I’m a Celebrity star Stacey Solomon, who entertained race-goers after the last race.
On the course, it was a happy night for local connections, with Jim Goldie saddling a treble with Botham winning at 3/1, Daring Dream taking the third race at 11/8 and Namwahjobo taking the 8.20.
Local jockey Lee Newman was the toast of the town, scoring a double at his home course on the aforementioned Namwahjobo and Spes Notra in the 6.40. The final race on the card went to the Linda Perratt-trained Retreat Content at 8/1 for the Jackton Racing Club.
The action continues at Ayr on the July 3 with the Armed Forces family day. For more information, log on to www.ayr-racecourse.com or tel 01292 264179.
Celerina aims for Rockingham
Celerina, narrowly denied by Margot Did at Ayr on Saturday, is likely to have her next race in the Rockingham Handicap at the Curragh next month.
Tommy Stack’s filly had previously finished third to Masamah at York, and continued on the up-slope when flashing home behind Michael Bell’s classy three-year-old. With connections already thinking of a trip to Dubai next year, she is not likely to be seen too many more times this campaign.
“She’s improving the whole time,” said Fozzy Stack, the trainer’s son and assistant. “We might look at the Rockingham for her at the Curragh. There’s also a Listed race at Tipperary we might consider.
“One thing we won’t do is over-race her this summer as we might be thinking in terms of Dubai for her next spring because she handles firm ground. She ran a super race at Ayr on ground that she wouldn’t have liked.
“Margot Did is a very solid filly with plenty of good form in Group races, so hopefully we might enjoy a day out with her somewhere.”
Carlton thrives in HQ spin
Carlton House delighted connections in a workout at Newmarket on Saturday morning ahead of a likely run in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
Ridden by Ryan Moore on Racecourse Side, the Queen’s colt quickened five lengths clear of his lead horse, The Fonz, to confirm his wellbeing ahead of a possible assault on the Curragh Classic next weekend.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained three-year-old has been the subject of huge media interest this season, with an excellent performance in York’s Dante Stakes promoting him to favourite for the Investec Derby at Epsom. Although unsuccessful, he was far from disgraced in finishing third.
Canford duel appeals to Queally
Tom Queally feels a showdown between Frankel and Canford Cliffs in the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on July 27 would be great for racing.
Sir Henry Cecil’s colt maintained his unbeaten record in the St James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday, but Queally’s partner was grimly hanging on from Zoffany close home.
A step up to ten furlongs for the Juddmonte International at York was mentioned as a possibility, but it is more likely the Galileo colt will run against Queen Anne hero Canford Cliffs in the one-mile Sussex Stakes.
Queally, who has ridden Frankel in all seven of his starts, said: “You have to remember he’s never been eyeballed, but I think he’d pull out more if he did get into a battle. All he wants to do is try for you.
“He settled well and I think we can ride him differently now. We can have more of an open ticket about him and play it more by ear and see how his races pan out. It will be an interesting race if Frankel and Canford Cliffs line up for the Sussex Stakes.
“I expected Canford to win the Queen Anne and he really is the top older miler around.
“Clashes like this are what everyone wants to see in racing, and all roads lead to Goodwood now,” he said in his Racing UK blog.
Moore crowned top jockey
A blistering final afternoon at Royal Ascot saw Ryan Moore take the title for the meeting’s leading jockey for the second year in a row.
Moore secured four winners in 2010, but could manage only three this time, all of which came for Aidan O’Brien rather than his boss, Sir Michael Stoute.
Saturday’s success on Maybe in the Chesham Stakes and Await The Dawn in the Hardwicke added to Tuesday’s Coventry Stakes victory with Power. His greater amount of placed finishes saw him swipe the prize from under Richard Hughes’s nose.
Moore said: “I haven’t won it really – me and Hughsie have finished level. It’s nice to have three winners, but I thought I’d have four. I didn’t have any for Sir Michael, but I think I only had five rides for him.
“Fiorente ran very well in the King Edward, just greenness cost him. Modun unfortunately didn’t handle the soft ground in the Duke Of Edinburgh.
“They were the only two really that we thought could win. It’s just the way it panned out, but he’ll get them ready for a big day somewhere else.
“It’s nice to have winners, but you always wish you’d done a little bit better.”
O’Brien was the leading trainer as he also secured the Gold Cup through Fame And Glory in the hands of Jamie Spencer.
Mulrennan suffers broken leg
Paul Mulrennan faces a long spell on the sidelines after breaking a leg at Musselburgh on Friday afternoon. Mulrennan suffered the injury after his mount, Sound Advice, dived through the running rail shortly after winning the Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Handicap.
His agent, Richard Hale, said: “He’s gone straight to hospital and it looks a really bad injury. The horse dived through the rail after winning.”