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Five things we learnt on Saturday – Ascot should suit Bateel

Sat 10 Jun 2017

From the deeply impressive Bateel at Haydock to the Donkey Derby at Beverely, Tom Peacock takes you on a spin of the best action on a bust Saturday on Racing UK. 

By Tom Peacock

Ascot should suit Bateel

The convincing way in which Bateel took the Betway Pinnacle Stakes would suggest she can succeed at an even higher grade when the ground is soft.

Transferred from David Simcock to Francis Graffard, a young trainer very much going places in France, this five-year-old was already a Listed winner and added a Group Three on Merseyside under a confident Richard Kingscote ride.

Connections believe there is still more improvement in her and are pinpointing the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, an event in which she ran no sort of race in last year, as her main target as easy conditions are often likely.

Given her trainer is still somewhat under-the-radar on these shores, she could pop up at a bit of a price come October.

Journey continues for Godolphin

When Saeed Bin Suroor bemoaned a lack of ready-to-run two-year-olds in a recent interview which seems to have contributed to the downfall of Godolphin’s chief executive John Ferguson, Glorious Journey is the kind he would have meant.

Ferguson bought the colt for 2.6 million Guineas at Tattersalls last year as the joint-highest priced yearling in the world during 2016 and sent him to the Charlie Appleby yard.

As has been a theme to this season, he made a promising winning debut for Appleby at Newmarket, showing enough ability to beat the more experienced Grand Koonta but without being given too hard a time by William Buick.

Bin Suroor might argue that given Glorious Journey is impeccably bred by Dubawi out of Normandie Stud’s Coronation Stakes winner Fallen For You, it would not be a miraculous training feat to have got a horse likely to contest a Group event at the July meeting to land a small maiden. 

Culturati worth the wait:

Appleby proved he is not just nurturing high-quality juveniles with a different demonstration of his skills to complete a rapid hat-trick at Headquarters.

Culturati had been off for 610 days before showing plenty of horsepower in the Porsche Centre Cambridge Handicap. The four-year-old had done nothing wrong as a juvenile before a tendon injury intervened and now could be one to watch at Royal Ascot.

“We felt we had a nice horse on our hands as a three-year-old,” Appleby said. “I was confident coming into the race as his work had been good. He is a horse that we can hopefully head towards the Wokingham with.”

Bookmakers have already trimmed Culturati’s odds to around 14-1 for the Royal Ascot cavalry charge.

Cool Ascot purchases continue

The Cool Silk Partnership has done well targeting Beverley’s big two-year-old fixture with Prince Of Lir debuting in last season’s Brian Yeardley Trophy before landing the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Two promising juveniles carried the white and purple silks for the first time on the Westwood, with it all happening a bit quickly for James Given’s Cool Spirit before he stayed on encouragingly for third behind Cardsharp.

However, the owners’ Chica La Habana, another breeze-up sale purchase and prepared by Prince Of Lir’s trainer Robert Cowell, came good in the Hilary Needler. In beating the clearly quite useful Maggies Angel, she ought to be worth a try at the Royal meeting herself.

Stable performance from Richardson:

Many expensive failures from the sales have ended up being described as donkeys, yet their much-maligned equine cousins contributed to easily the most exciting race of the day. 

Called home with undisguised mirth by commentator Malcolm Tomlinson, the runners in Beverley’s Donkey Derby were more than a match for their professional riders as they refused to start, be steered or go past their rivals.

So a round of applause for Rachel Richardson for kidding Gavin past the post first, while Woody managed to unseat Joe Doyle just as he was trying to overtake her at the line.

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