There is a big element of nostalgia on Wednesday at Doncaster when the St Leger festival gets under way. The fourth race in the seven-contest card is the Fudge And Smudge Leger Legends Classified Stakes. It is a race over 1600 metres and several retired British jockeys are back to ride for a charitable cause. There are some names that will get instant recognition. Pat Eddery, who retired in 2003, will be in action. Ernie Johnson will return. John Francome, multiple English champion, will ride. Dale Gibson, Jamie Osborne, George Duffield, John Reid and Charlie Swan, among others, are listed to take part. Kevin Darley, a recent retiree, will be there.
Longchamp hosted the Group I 1600-metre Prix Moulin on Sunday. There were six runners and two heads separated the first three finishers. Fuisse, a 14/1 chance trained by Mme C Head-Maarek, roared through the stretch from last to first to win in a photo. Stephane Pasquier rode Fuisse.
Richard Hannon’s Paco Boy, ridden by Richard Hughes, was the 10/11 favorite with the British bookmakers. Hughes had Paco Boy in third. He may not have had enough horse when the heat was on and Hughes tried to find a run along the fence. He was not able to get through. Aga Khan’s Siyouni and the Godolphin-owned Rio de la Plata separated themselves from the rest in the last 400 metres and waged a duel. Fuisse found his best stride late in the lane and caught the pair in the last jump. The time was 1 37.83. Fuisse paid 9.90/1 in the French tote. Lope de Vega, second in demand and the French Derby hero in June, pulled hard, could not settle down and had little to offer when it mattered.
Fuisse is a four year-old colt by Green Tune. The dam is Funny Feerie who is by Sillery. Fuisse was coming off a fourth place finish in the Jacques le Marois won by Makfi after winning three in a row at Maison Laffitte, Chantilly and Longchamp.
The Prix Moulin did not go without incident. Fuisse unseated jockey Pasquier twice. The colt galloped around and walked back a mile after being caught. The start was delayed by 15 minutes. The stewards did not want a five-horse field. I am sure that the odds drifted because of Fuisse’s antics.
Trainer Maarek said, “he (Fuisse) can be temperamental but he’s brilliant when in mood to race. Newmarket’s Champion Stakes is next.”
Richard Hughes was brief. “It was a messy race. Paco Boy did not finish the way he normally does. We got a bit shut in on the rail.”
In Germany, also on Sunday, a Godolphin runner was sent off the favorite in a Group I race. Cavalryman, Frankie Dettori up, was the 13/10 chalk in the Grosser Mercedes-Benz Preis Von Baden at Baden Baden. The 2400-metre race was won by Night Magic, a four year-old filly, ridden by Filip Minarik and trained by W Figge. A 22/5 chance, Night Magic won by a length and three quarters in 2 32.7 seconds. Quijano, the well-travelled international star, was the bridesmaid. Cavalryman salvaged third in the seven-runner field.
Night Magic is by Sholokov out of Night Woman by Monsun, the well known German stallion. In her last outing, Night Magic ran second to Lady Jane Digby in the Group I Zuchtrennen at Munich on July 25.
Here is news about Majesticperfection, the sprinter who has been in the headlines recently. Satish Sanan-owned Majesticperfection has suffered a condylar fracture (right foreleg) and will undergo surgery. It is feared that the injury may be career-ending. The purpose of the surgery is to insert a screw to stabilize the cannon bone.
Jockey Ryan Moore won his first race after the injury he suffered on August 9. The British champion was in action at Goodwood on Tuesday. Moore won with the Brian Meehan-trained Indigo Bay at 11/2. He did not stop there. He rode two more winners. The second was with the Sir Michael-Stoute-trained Longliner, the 10/11 favorite. Moore’s third winner was the Richard Hannon-trained (8/1) Compton Blue. It was a 110/1 treble for Ryan Moore who has 106 winners but trails Paul Hanaghan in the title race.
In England on Tuesday, jockey George Baker emulated Moore’s feat with a three-timer at Lingfield. . Baker won with the 11/8 Thomas Tompion, with the 2/1 Secret Love and the 11/8 Blitzed. Graham Lee won three races on Tuesday at Sedgefield, a jumps course. Lee won with two 5/4 favorites, Cailin Na Ri and Maska Pony. Lee’s third winner was the 13/2 Calcualite.
Dar Re Mi has been retired. The five year-old mare, trained by John Gosden, won three Group I races. A fourth Group I was taken away from her. She won the 2009 Prix Vermeille but the French stewards chose to disqualify her. Lady and Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber, Dar Re Mi’s owners, made an unsuccessful appeal. Dar Re Mi’s biggest win came in the Sheema Classic at the Meydan in March.
The other two Group I races that Dar Re Mi won were the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in June 2009. In the 2009 Yorkshire Oaks, Dar Re Mi had the beating of Sariska. She was third to Conduit and Presious Passion in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November 2009. Her last race was in the Eclipse at Sandown in early July won by Twice Over who made it all. Dar Re Mi is by Singspiel out of Darara by Topville. With six wins from 17 trips postward, Dar Re Mi won $4,359,112. William Buick was aboard in the Sheema Classic. Jimmy Fortune was the rider in the other two.
Here is a look at the Darley Debutante that was run at Del Mar on Saturday. Wickedly Perfect was going for three for three and was the 5/2 favorite with Rafael Bejarano. The Doug O’Neill-schooled two year-old filly led into the stretch and had a break of two lengths with a little over a furlong to go. Tell A Kelly, Alonso Quinonez up, was last of 10 runners, found room between horses after a spot of trouble coming into the lane and emerged from the chasing pack. For a moment or two, it appeared that Wickedly Perfect would stay on. The hope was short-lived. As Tell A Kelly got her motor going, the result was not in doubt and there were 50 metres to run. Tell A Kelly’s acceleration was such that she ended up winning by four and one half lengths in 1 23.05 for the 1400-metre trip. The first 1200 metres were run in 1 10.27 and that tells you how fast the fractions were.
John Sadler trains Tell A Kelly who is by Tapit who is by Pulpit. Evrobi by Tabasco Cat) is the dam of Tell A Kelly. The Darley Debutante carried a $250,000 purse. Tell A Kelly paid $11.20. After placing fifth in her debut in late July, Tell A Kelly broke her duck in impressive fashion on August 15.
Jockey Quinonez spoke. “I had to find the trip. I tried to follow the horses that would keep me going. I did not want to stop. Everything set up perfect.”
In the next blog, we will look at more action from Del Mar and Saratoga. Monday marked the last day of the 40-day meeting at Saratoga.
News from Bangalore relieved me of some anxiety. It is a question of buying time. Legal procedure consumes time but only postpones the inevitable. A new racecourse is the only option. I am hoping the BTC management begins work in earnest.
About the Invitation Cup in Chennai in 2011, I am getting news that Dr MAM may elect to have the four big races in one day. Not a bad idea. Chennai needs to be in the limelight. It is too precious a track to be thrust into oblivion.
My father died on September 7, 1988. It has been twenty years. I thought repeatedly about him today.
Chicago, Tuesday, September 7, 2010