Goodbye Alpha Centurai and Saxon Warrior. Hello Too Darn Hot, Quorto and Sangarius.
As the Flat season draws to a close the transient nature of its stars compared to National Hunt was once again emphasised as Irish Champions weekend resulted in the farewell rather than crowning of some of its headline acts.
Saxon Warrior, being a son of Deep Impact, as opposed to Galileo, was always likely to be sent to stud sooner rather than later and departs with the underlying feeling of promise unfulfilled.
The aftermath of his 2000 Guineas victory, in which Roaring Lion played no more than a bit part, suggested that Leger day could see his coronation as a Triple Crown winner, yet instead saw him bow out in the shadow of a rival who in the second half of the season clearly had his measure.
Even getting first run was not enough on Saturday but he will always have his place in history not just as a Guineas winner but also as the one who gave Aidan O’Brien that record-breaking Group victory in the 2017 Racing Post Trophy.
Anyone who witnessed the false step Alpha Centauri took in the Matron would have feared the worst, so probably the disappointment of that being her swansong is mixed with relief that the injury suffered was not a catastrophic one.
Whilst the colts have fought to be top dog, she has been the dominant filly by a mile and very much the star of the season with her performances at Ascot and Newmarket two of the abiding memories of the season.
As regards the juveniles, there were expensive reverses for the new connections of Dark Vision and Rumble In The Jungle but Too Darn Hot went some way towards justifying the hype in the Champagne whilst Sangarius in particular left the impression there was still plenty more to come after being sent down the Frankel path in the Flying Scotsman.
Over in Ireland, Quorto also impressed and was the first leg of a Group One double for Godolphin which saw them set a personal best 19 top level victories worldwide and the resurgence of the boys in blue and the coming of age of Charlie Appleby have again been highlights of the current campaign.
There is still plenty of action to come on the level starting with four meetings on Tuesday where the selections start with:
Swindler really impressed me in the paddock on debut at Windsor having plenty of strength and scope and just got touched off at a big price. With some pricey opposition that lack experience then the market may under estimate the benefit his experience may provide.
Three consistent runs since joining Christine Dunnett including a victory over course and distance off just a 1lb lower mark. After a completely blank 2017 the stable has had a much better time this campaign.
The most interesting horse of the day on his handicap debut having qualified for his mark over distances likely to prove well short of his best.
A dual bumper winner, he completely failed to take to jumping and connections have had to be patient in qualifying for today which surely represents his best chance since his bumper days.
The best bet of the day could be Molls Memory who ran into an in-form Sweet Pursuit at Ffos Las last time out but beat the rest comfortably enough to suggest she could be well treated off a mark just 1lb higher on her second outing in a handicap.
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