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Zechariah dominates Haynes, Hanson & Clark rivals at Newbury

Fri 17 Sep 2021

Zechariah led from pillar to post in the 41st Running Of The Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes at Newbury.

The one-mile contest has an illustrious history, with some greats of the Turf on its roll of honour – including Shergar, Rainbow Quest, King’s Theatre and Nayef.

This year’s renewal looked another warm one on paper, with five of the six runners having already visited the winner’s enclosure and three protecting unbeaten records.

Down the field on his first couple of starts at Yarmouth and Newmarket, the Martyn Meade-trained Zechariah opened his account at the third attempt with a smooth success at Sandown in July – and was a 9-1 shot on his first start since under Tom Marquand.

Sent straight to the lead by Marquand, the son of Nathaniel kicked a couple of lengths clear inside the final two furlongs and never looked in any real danger of being caught from there on in.

Westover was two and a quarter lengths away in second, with 5-4 favourite King Of Conquest a further five and a half lengths back in third.

Freddie Meade, assistant trainer to his father, said: “I was really pleased with that – we’ve always thought a bit of him.

“We probably got him a bit wrong early season, because we thought he could be a Jersey Stakes horse and we maybe squeezed him a little bit early, and then he wasn’t himself at Newmarket.

“Since then he’s done nothing wrong. He was really impressive at Sandown and he was impressive again today.”

Zechariah holds multiple big-race entries, including the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster on October 23, but is not certain to run again this season.

“We were a bit worried about the ground today because it was soft at Newmarket, but I don’t think that was the reason there, he just wasn’t himself. He coped with it today, and Tom was really impressed,” Meade added.

“He’s in the Doncaster race, but we’ll just see how he comes out of this. He’s a horse that needs to develop over the winter, and I think he’ll then benefit from that next year.

“I think that might be it for the season, but we’ll talk to everybody and work back from next year. We’ll see what that race looks like.

“He’s by Nathaniel, so we’ll be looking at some nice middle-distance races next year.”

Godolphin runners dominate in Cup

Silent Escape led home a Godolphin one-two-three in the Dubai Duty Free Cup at Newbury.

Previously successful at Newcastle and Sandown this season, Saeed bin Suroor’s filly was a 16-5 joint-favourite to make it three wins from four starts in the hands of champion jockey Oisin Murphy, who was positive from the outset.

The daughter of New Approach led down the centre of the track for much of the way, with the Charlie Appleby-trained pair of D’bai and Al Suhail giving vain chase inside the final furlong.

Silent Escape was not for catching, however, with Murphy pushing her out to prevail by a length and a half from D’bai, with the other joint-favourite Al Suhail close up in third place.

Bin Suroor said: “She won well. She’s improved since her last run and looked good today, even though the ground was a bit soft for her.

“We’re happy with the way she finished her race, but now I want to take her back to Dubai for the season there.

“We’ll keep her on turf. Well, we’ll keep options open, but I would think we’ll keep her on the turf. She’s a nice filly, but I want to look after her for the future.

“She has only lost once, this filly – but since then, she has been improving all the time.

“The big key for her is the ground – when she works on good to soft ground she acts better on it.

“I think she’ll get a mile. But looking at the pedigree, by New Approach, he ran in the Derby. Oisin said a mile is fine for her now.

“There are some nice races for her in Dubai.”

Just 24 hours after William Buick closed the gap to six in the race to be champion jockey courtesy of a treble, the man defending the title, Oisin Murphy, secured a hat-trick of his own at Newbury.

Murphy is now 1-3 favourite with Paddy Power to defend the championship, with Buick a 2-1 chance.

Murphy also sruck in the Dubai Duty Free Nursery Handicap on Ed Walker’s American Star (11-2) – who had been slightly outclassed in the Gimcrack at York but, down in grade and up in trip, proved in a different league to his rivals here.

“David Ward (owner) asked Ed Sackville (bloodstock agent) to buy him a Gimcrack horse – but he found six furlongs too sharp, and we should have run him in the Acomb,” said Walker.

“He did that very nicely, was well-ridden – and it never looked in any doubt to me. I’m not sure what we’ll do now. We may go back up in class but we’ll just wait and see – that looked a good race.”

The champion jockey completed a treble via Neenee's Choice in the finale.

Heredia impresses

Heredia potentially threw her name into the hat for one of the big juvenile contests at the end of the season when maintaining her unbeaten record in the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises British EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes at Newbury.

The Richard Hannon-trained Dark Angel filly had got off the mark with the minimum of fuss at Windsor 20 days ago – but faced three other previous winners here, including Charlie Appleby’s 4-9 favourite Silk Romance who looked smart when winning at Newmarket.

Settled last of the four by Sean Levey, she showed a smart turn of foot deep inside the final furlong to beat the market leader by a cosy neck.

“She’s a lovely filly, a homebred of Andrew Stones (St Albans Bloodstock) and I have to say (pre-trainer) Malcolm Bastard has done an amazing job,” said Hannon.

“She came to me in June and she’s been really sweet ever since. We thought a bit of her when she went to Windsor and she won there.

“I’d say that was a smart race, she looked like she enjoyed the seven furlongs, but where we go know I don’t know.

“There are loads of options, but I didn’t want to put her in anything in case she finished sixth at Windsor and then I’d look a plonker. If we need to supplement for something we can now as she’s paid for it.

“We’ll all have a chat, but I would be keen to run her again looking for some black type.”

Ralph Beckett introduced a nicely-bred newcomer to win the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.

The dogs were barking for Hannon’s Witch Hunter, who was sent off the 7-4 favourite and in a prime position throughout.

Deodar had been slightly outpaced early, but got the hang of things from halfway under Rob Hornby and fairly powered home with the rail to assist him, beating the favourite by a neck, although there was not much between the first five home.

“He’s just come together in the last three weeks, it took him a long time to work out what was required but he’s suddenly realised,” said Beckett of the Juddmonte-owned son of Bated Breath.

“In his last bit of work he put it together between his ears.

“I don’t know what we’ll do with him now, Richard fancied his so I’d say it was a good effort and we’ll have to work out what to do.

“He’s out of a Selkirk mare so should have no trouble getting further. I’d say we’ll crack on with him now.”

Roger Charlton’s Makram (11-4 favourite) survived a stewards’ enquiry to win the Dubai Duty Free Handicap.

James Doyle’s mount drifted out as Calling The Wind challenged, but the view taken was that there was not enough interference to change the result. The winning distance was a head.

“He’s a lovely horse – but I think he’s heading to the sales now because he can earn far more abroad than he can here, unfortunately,” said Charlton.

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