BOLGER TAKES NEW APPROACH THE OLD ROUTE TOWARDS CARTIER GLORY
New Approach asserted his superiority over his peers with a resounding front-running victory in the Group One Bank Of Scotland (Ireland) National Stakes at the Curragh on September 16, that put him firmly in the vanguard of the race for the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt Award.
Jim Bolger’s star juvenile is unbeaten in four starts and boasts an identical race record to former stablemate Teofilo, who ended the 2006 season by gaining the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt Award.
New Approach took his points tally to 56 as he defeated the top-class pair of Godolphin’s Rio De La Plata (32) and the Tommy Stack-trained Coolmore acquisition Myboycharlie (48) in the seven-furlong contest.
Group Two Coventry Stakes winner Henrythenavigator and Kingsgate Native, who defeated older horses in the Group One Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, both have 36 points and there is still all to play for with the big end of season deciders looming.
The Cartier Racing Awards, now in their 17th year, are European horseracing’s most prestigious accolades, and will be presented during a glittering ceremony in London on November 14, 2007. The coveted eight horse awards celebrate the champions of the Turf, plus one person.
Horseracing’s equivalent of the Oscars, the Cartier Racing Awards are determined by points earned in Pattern races combined with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists plus votes from readers of the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph, a system which accurately rewards supreme excellence.
The Cartier Older Horse division remains enthralling following the recent victories of Dylan Thomas (148) and Manduro (120).
The latter scored a brilliantly smooth success in the 12-furlong Group Two Prix Foy at Longchamp on September 16, ahead of a planned assault on next month’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Baron Georg von Ullmann’s brilliant five-year-old, the highest-rated horse in the world after stunning Group One victories over a mile and 10 furlongs this season, sadly sustained a career-ending injury in the race but may have done enough in a sensational unbeaten campaign to secure the Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Older Horse awards.
The admirable Dylan Thomas bounced back from a length defeat at the hands of Authorized in the Juddmonte International at York when securing the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes for the second year in succession at Leopardstown on September 8.
Godolphin’s Ramonti (96) could not add to his two Group One triumphs this season when a creditable second to the three-year-old filly Darjina (112) in the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on September 9, whereas Yeats (72) maintained his 100% record this term with a last stride defeat of stablemate Scorpion in the Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh on September 15.
Yeats looks set for a second Cartier Stayer Award but the Aidan O’Brien-trained six-year-old’s successor as champion stayer could also reside at Ballydoyle as stablemate Septimus (32) scored an emphatic victory in the two-and-a-quarter-mile Group Two GNER Doncaster Cup on September 14. Geordieland (48), runner-up to Yeats in the Gold Cup, filled the same position on Town Moor, five lengths behind Septimus.
Darjina, a triple Group One winner whose only defeat in six starts came in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Indian Ink, is pressing the O’Brien-trained four-time Group One heroine Peeping Fawn (148) for the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly title following her Longchamp triumph.
Mrs Lindsay’s (56) 16/1 success in the Group One Prix Vermeille Lucien Barriere on September 16, puts her in the shake-up along with Classic winners Finsceal Beo (88) and Light Shift (68).
Lucarno (80) and Soldier Of Fortune (88) both laid down claims in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt division, which is currently headed by Derby victor Authorized (112).
Lucarno took the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster for American owner George Strawbridge on September 15, while the following day saw Irish Derby winner Soldier Of Fortune strengthen Coolmore’s potential Arc hand with a decisive success in the Group Two Prix Niel at Longchamp.
The sprinting division was blasted wide open following the victory of Red Clubs (56) in the Group One Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 8, who now leaps to the head of the points table having held French raider Marchand D’Or (52) by three-quarters of a length.
The Jim Bolger-trained Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Saoirse Abu (68) still heads the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly category from the French-trained Natagora (40), but the Jeremy Noseda-trained Fleeting Spirit (28) could press them hard after her victory in the Group Two Polypipe Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster on September 14, which sets up the possibility of her taking on her seniors alongside Kingsgate Native in the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp.
Harry Herbert, Cartier’s racing consultant, said today: “I am relishing the prospect of the big autumn meetings at home and abroad when we will undoubtedly see performances of excellence from the leading Cartier Awards contenders.
“New Approach appears to be a superstar in the making, while Authorized could prove to be a real champion if he succeeds in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, when he will face the best of Europe’s middle-distance performers.
“The premature retirement of Manduro robs us of a phenomenal racehorse but that cannot tarnish the lustre of the horse’s amazing season in which he thrilled all with imperious performances from a mile to a mile and a half and carried the aura of a great competitor.”
Lester Piggott came to Newmarket's NatWest Rowley Mile Racecourse this morning to see the "Lester The Legend" display being assembled in the Eclipse Marquee and to discuss final plans for his big day this Saturday, September 22. He and his wife, Susan, will be hosting lunch for family and friends in the Royal Box.
Lester Piggott Day, sponsored by Victor Chandler, will provide a wonderful opportunity for Lester's legions of fans to pay tribute to their hero on the racecourse where he rode seven Classic winners, the first on Crepello 50 years ago in the 1957 2000 Guineas. Each race is named after one of his Guineas winners and the footage of their Guineas will be shown on the big screen, with the BBC radio commentary of Crepello's victory being played as no TV footage of that race exists.
Lester's daughter Tracy, who presents horseracing on RTE, Ireland's main television channel, is flying in for Saturday and will conduct interviews over the public address from the winner's enclosure with some of Lester's contemporaries who will reflect on Lester's career. Sir Peter O'Sullevan and Peter Walwyn will both be interviewed and it is hoped that Julie Cecil, Joe Mercer, Jimmy Lindley and Bruce Raymond will be others to join Tracy during the afternoon.
Lester's young son, Jamie, will be present and, depending on whether they have to accompany runners elsewhere, it is hoped that his daughter Maureen and son-in-law William Haggas will also be there.
Lester and Sir Peter O'Sullevan will both sign copies of Sir Peter's book "Horse Racing Heroes", in which there is a chapter on Lester. Lester will also sign copies of his own book, "Lester's Derbys". Proceeds from the sale of the books will go to Lester's nominated charities - Racing Welfare, the Injured Jockeys' Fund and Sir Peter O'Sullevan's Charitable Trust. The signing will take place in the Eclipse Marquee from 2.25pm, where the "Lester The Legend" display is located. Proceeds from the sale of the Lester Piggott merchandise in the marquee will also go to Lester's charities, as will the entire £2 admission fee to the marquee.
There will be a souvenir racecard, which contains Lester's own reflections on each of his seven Guineas winners, and the "Lester The Legend" display will feature a series of iconic photos of Lester, as well as some pictures and memorabilia from Lester's own home.
Lester will present a number of trophies during the afternoon, including the one for the big race, the Victor Chandler Nijinsky Handicap.
The day had to be postponed in May when Lester was taken ill in Switzerland.
"The weather forecast is very promising and it should be a fantastic day," said Newmarket's Managing Director, Lisa Hancock. "Newmarket has never staged a day like this before and Lester is really looking forward to it. He's in great form."
Premier Enclosure admission costs £22 (£12 for senior citizens and other concessions) and Grandstand & Paddock £14 (£9 for senior citizens and other concessions), with all accompanied children under 16 admitted free of charge. For more information visit www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk or call 01638 675 500.
THE VCBET.COM EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF RACING SCHOOLS CREPELLO APPRENTICE HANDICAP
The first race on Saturday is the VCBet.com European Association of Racing Schools Crepello Apprentice Handicap, which will feature 10 promising young riders from across Europe experiencing their first taste of international competition.
"We had hoped for a full field of 15 horses in the race, allowing 3 apprentices from each of the five countries to take part, so it is disappointing to have just the ten declarations," said Newmarket's Director of Racing, Michael Prosser.
"I feel very sorry for the five apprentices who are missing out, but it remains a wonderful opportunity for the ten who are riding. With the greatest jockey of them all, Lester Piggott, presenting the prize to the winning rider, they have a huge incentive to come home in front."
The European Association of Racing Schools (EARS) includes representatives from the racing schools in France, Italy, Germany, Ireland and from both the British Racing School and the Northern Racing College in the UK. The aim of the Association is to provide an opportunity for dialogue on the training of young people in racing and hopefully to spread best practice.
The annual apprentice race rotates each year around member countries and has previously been held at Chantilly, The Curragh, Pisa and Doncaster. It provides an important opportunity for young jockeys to broaden their experience.
Erwan Bureller 18-y-o. 70 rides; 7 winners. Chantilly/Gouvieux AFASEC school. Apprenticed to Alain de Royer Dupré for 3 years, then Mathieu Boutin and now Mikel Delzangles. First ride June 2005 at Lyon Parilly.
Frankie Leroy 18-y-o. 65 rides; 8 winners. Chantilly/Gouvieux AFASEC school. Apprenticed to David Smaga. First ride June 2006 at Longchamp; first winner 2 days later at Compiegne.
Fabian Xaver Weißmeier 17-y-o. 82 rides; 5 winners. First racing licence: 19 January 2006.
Lisa Krüllmann 18-y-o. 148 rides; 15 winners. First racing licence: 24 February 2006 as apprentice (2004 – 2006 – amateur licence)
Conor O’Farrell 18-y-o. 45 rides; 3 winners. Apprenticed to Patrick Prendergast. First ride September 2006; first winner at Gowran Park in July.
Keiran O’Neill 20-y-o. 70 rides; 2 winners. Apprenticed to Declan Gillespie. First ride October 2004; first winner at Gowran Park in June 2006.
Concetto Santangelo 20-y-o. 9 winners. Graduated from racing school: 2003. Apprenticed to Riccardo Menichetti in Rome.
Andrea Deias 19-y-o. 5 winners. Graduated from racing school: 2006. Apprenticed to Laura Grizzetti in Milan.
William Carson 18-y-o. 200 rides; 12 winners. Graduated from British Racing School 2005. Apprenticed originally to Clive Brittain and now to Stuart Williams. First ride August 2005; first winner at Southwell in January 2006.
Jack Mitchell 18-y-o. 152 rides; 19 winners (including 4 in Jersey). Graduated from the Northern Racing College. Apprenticed to his father, Philip. First ride February 2005 (as an amateur); first winner at Newmarket in July 2005 (as an amateur).