Doncaster report: Spanish Mission powers to victory in Doncaster Cup

Fri 11 Sep 2020

Spanish Mission ran out a very impressive winner of the bet365 Doncaster Cup for Andrew Balding.

A smart performer for David Simcock last season, he has now won both his races since joining Balding.

Still only a four-year-old, the Noble Mission colt arguably had to prove his stamina over two and a quarter miles – and he clearly answered any lingering doubts.

Selino, who had finished behind Spanish Mission at Chester, kicked for home over two furlongs out, but William Buick had him in his sights on the 6-4 favourite.

On entering the final furlong Spanish Mission quickened impressively and powered away to win by three lengths.

Sir Mark Prescott’s Revolver, who was stepping up in class having won six handicaps on the bounce, briefly threatened to take a hand in the finish before his effort petered out and he was passed for third by The Grand Visir.

Buick said: “He was over-racing at stages, not the whole way, but just at stages. Two miles two is a long way, but he was never really doing too much.

“He was always going to come into the race easily – it was just whether he’d see it out, and he did see it out very well.

“He’s got that bit of class against these stayers, that turn of foot. That together with his stamina is a good combination.

“I’m sure all those races will be on his radar. Who knows – potentially next year, he might even make up into a Gold Cup horse.

“Connections will have a chat – and in that staying division, he’s going to be a lively contender.”

Balding said: “I thought it was an excellent performance – I’m delighted to have a horse of his calibre in the yard.

“He looks like he could be a Gold Cup contender next year, which is very exciting.”

Paddy Power cut Spanish Mission to 8-1 from 12-1 for the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on October 17.

Balding added: “That is really the only race for him if he is going to run again this year, but the ground might have gone too soft for him by then, so we’ll see.

“I’m just delighted with his performance today and thrilled to have a horse like him in the yard.”

Ubettabelieveit bounces back to form

Ubettabelieveit bounced back to form to provide rider Rowan Scott with a first Group-race winner in the Bombardier Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster.

Trained by Nigel Tinkler, the Kodiac colt finished last in the Gimcrack Stakes last time out on his first attempt at six furlongs, when running free, and was dropping down to the minimum trip on Town Moor.

Prior to York, the 40-1 outsider had won a Listed race at Sandown and on that evidence looked a big price for his Town Moor assignment.

There were plenty in with chances a furlong out, as Frenetic, Steel Bull, Ventura Tormenta and Sacred all spread across the track on a blustery day.

Sacred seemed sure to gain compensation for her narrow Lowther Stakes defeat at York, but Scott managed to keep Ubettabelieveit on a true line, as the 11-10 favourite began to veer to her left.

The pair crossed the line together, before Tinkler’s juvenile was given the verdict by a short head. Measure Of Magic was third.

Tinkler said: “He showed how good he was in the National Stakes (at Sandown) – he’s a very, very good horse.

“Last time, I probably shouldn’t have run him over six there. He ran too keen, and the ground was horrific.

“Everything went wrong, but luckily Oisin Murphy looked after him. But he’s a very good horse, and I don’t often say that.

“How he was 40-1 – it was probably because I trained him! National Stakes winner, 40-1 for this, unbelievable.

“You’re always wondering at this time of year, quite a long season – ‘is it too late in the year’?

“But he was working well, and this is brilliant. He was given a fantastic ride by the jockey.”

The North Yorkshire trained added: “There’s a one per cent chance he could run in the Abbaye. He wouldn’t run there if it was soft, but that’s the one race (this season) you’d have to possibly think about. It’s one per cent, because it might be soft by then.

“We’ll see how he is – the ground would have to be no worse than good.”

He added: “This is brilliant – great for Yorkshire, great for Malton to get a win like that.

“It’s unbelievable. Getting up every morning at half-past five to feed the horses, it makes it all worthwhile.”

Scott, meanwhile, was thrilled to add such a race to his CV.

He said: “I’m delighted to get a Group winner so soon after riding my claim out.

“The horse did it very well, he didn’t make it easy for himself, but it’s happy days.

“It was a big race so I wanted to do everything right, but you have to treat it like another race.”

Dettori guides Mandate to narrow success

New Mandate needed to be brave under Frankie Dettori to gain a narrow verdict over Laneqash in the bet365 Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster.

Ralph Beckett’s youngster was trapped on the rail as Jim Crowley brought Laneqash with what appeared to be a race-winning run on his outside.

Dettori held his ground, however, and New Mandate’s greater experience proved vital as he battled back tight against the rail to win by a head at 17-2.

“It was very tight,” said Dettori, who rides Irish Derby hero Santiago for Aidan O’Brien in the St Leger on Saturday.

“I’m delighted, because Marc Chan is a new owner and a friend of mine from Hong Kong.

“This is his first year in racing. I was second (short-head, on Valeria Messalina) at Glorious Goodwood for him, and (now) I’ve managed to get my first winner for him – so I’m delighted.

“I know he’s watching in Hong Kong – well done, good start.

“He’s a very tough horse and it was a good race – he did it the hard way, but we’ve done it.”

He added: “He showed a lot of courage. Ralph said he was very pleased with him at home – I’m delighted for connections. Well done, Ralph.”

Roger Varian’s Apparate (5-1) returned to his best form, and continued a fine St Leger Festival so far for winning jockey David Egan, in the bet365 Mallard Handicap.

Egan, twice a winner on day two of Doncaster’s big meeting, outgunned 2-1 favourite Alfaatik by three-quarters of a length.

“The boss gave me free rein – he said there was going to be no pace, don’t take him back,” said Egan.

“Riding for Mr Varian, he fills you with lots of confidence beforehand.

“He got a lovely run through, and picked up the last furlong. Then he really stuck his head down and stuck it out well – which was nice to see.

“Fitness-wise, he’ll probably come on for that, and he’s definitely a progressive horse with a nice future.

“He won a Lavazza Handicap at Ascot last year, so he’s a top-class horse, and I hope he can go on from here.”

Ray Dawson is another jockey currently in prime form, and he extended it with a fine ride to win the bet365 Handicap on David Loughnane’s Tranchee.

The 7-2 second-favourite was always prominent and led inside the final furlong, beating Sunset Breeze and favourite Ghalyoon by half a length and a neck.

Dawson made good use of his reconnaissance, having found the long Doncaster straight testing his own stamina when he ran the track before racing.

On four legs, however, he had the necessary reserves.

“Watching his last few runs, the races collapsed on heavy ground, and he got left out in front a little bit long,” he said.

“I ran (the track) earlier on, and I thought the last furlong felt long. But it’s even longer when you’re on a horse and you’re hitting the front – it’s a long way home, with a headwind and a crosswind as well.

“But I didn’t feel it too much today, thank God.”

Sorrel just got the better of her tussle with Albaflora in the opening British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap, for Sir Michael Stoute and William Buick.

Stoute’s Almareekh, chasing a four-timer, was sent off the 5-4 favourite but was well held in fourth of five as her stablemate instead came out on top by a head at 2-1.

Buick expects continued improvement, perhaps up in trip, after Sorrel’s second successive victory.

“She’s a lovely, staying filly – and she’ll get further,” said the winning jockey.

“She’s really put her head down, she’s tough.

“I liked her – she feels like she’s still learning, and there’s still improvement in her.”

Buick, who sat off the pace before hitting the front in the last furlong, was always confident he had things in hand.

“She went through the gears nicely,” he added.

“When she came off the bridle, she always kept picking up.

“She didn’t win by far, but I always did feel I was going to hold on.”

Stoute completed a first and last-race double – and Crowley warmed up with a victory before his big-race ride on Hukum in the St Leger – when 11-10 favourite Tawaareq prevailed by three-quarters of a length in the Gary Reid Memorial Maiden Stakes.

Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s well-bred colt was one of only three in the 10-strong field of juveniles with previous race experience, having finished fifth on his Sandown debut last month.

Tawaareq was still very fresh, but Crowley’s patience was eventually rewarded with a decisive success from 9-1 shot Cordouan.

The winning jockey said: “He got a bit warm before the race. He owed me that (win), because he dropped me at the start!

“But he’s got plenty of ability – he just needs to settle down.”

The rangy Tawaareq has an early 2021 Derby entry, and Crowley confirmed he is a long-term project.

“We went steady, then sprinted, so he could be okay,” he added.

“It will be all about next year really.”

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