No Breakdown In AA’s Racing Post Dominance and Farewell To The Flyer
The final Group 1 of the Flat season followed much the same script it has every year since 2013. The name of the winning trainer in each of the past four years has been different, but that of the man on board the winner has remained the same.
Sardinian jockey Andrea Atzeni continued his love affair with Doncaster’s Racing Post Trophy as he powered the William Haggas trained, Rivet to victory. The son of Fastnet Rock was getting back on track here following a slightly disappointing fifth placed finish last time out in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, and on the back of this display looks a likely each way player for next season’s 2000 Guineas. Betfair go 25/1 about the colt for the first Classic of 2017.
Having swept all before him in 2016 Aidan O’Brien recorded an unwanted four-timer of his own in this race, with the Irish Supremo filling the runners up spot for the fourth year in succession. Following in the hoofprints of Johan Strauss, Aloft and Johannes Vermeer, it was the Galileo colt Yucatan who found just the one too good this time around.
On this evidence Yucatan would be some way down the Ballydoyle pecking order but it would be no surprise to see this regally bred sort make giant strides over the winter. Bet365 make him a 20/1 shot for next year’s Derby. It certainly wasn’t all doom and gloom for O’Brien as Rivet’s victory paid a handsome compliment to O’Brien’s easy Dewhurst Stakes winner, Churchill, who remains clear favourite for both the 2000 Guineas and Derby.
With thoughts now firmly turning towards the jumping game and the Cheltenham Festival, this week saw us say a final goodbye to one of the greatest chasers of the past 20 years.
Hailing from the breeding line of the brilliant Nijinsky, Jessica Harrington’s Moscow Flyer worked his way into the public consciousness with a series of spectacular jumping displays. Recording 16 major wins in all, including the Arkle, two Tingle Creek’s and a pair of Queen Mother Champion Chase victories, a horse renowned as much for his heart as his talent finally succumbed to colic at the grand age of 22. Jessica Harrington perhaps summed him up best, stating, “He was the horse of a lifetime, I’ll never have another like him.”
Looking ahead to the coming weekend and we have some excellent jumping racing to whet the appetite. The Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot and the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby look the pick.
The best of the weekend’s flat action comes from Leopardstown in the ultra-competitive Irish November Handicap. The real highlight of the equine action however comes down under as it’s time once again for the “race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup.
Now based in Australia, the former Mark Johnston inmate Hartnell heads the betting here for Godolphin, but there look to set to be a number of live contenders from Britain and Ireland including Aidan O’Brien’s Bondi Beach, Michael Bell’s, Big Orange and Willie Mullins’, Wicklow Brave. You will need to set the alarm clock early on Tuesday 1st November for the 4am off time, but this is one race well worth getting up for.