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Wuheida stars but Brook springs Classic surprise - 1000 GUINEAS DAY - NEWMARKET

10/05/2018
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CONSIDERED likely to be a match between the respective might of Godolphin and Ballydoyle, in reality Sunday’s 1000 Guineas proved to be a surprise to virtually all with the unheralded Billesdon Brook springing a massive shock for her, seemingly, stunned connections. Trained by Richard Hannon and ridden by Sean Levey, the 3yo chestnut filly by Champs Elysees could only finish fourth in the Nell Gwyn Stakes less than three weeks earlier, but significantly raised her game to claim Classic glory. Fillies’ Mile heroine Laurens looked the likely winner when committing for home early, but she was mowed down late by Billesdon Brook and had to make do with the runner-up spot. Sporting the silks of Pall Mall Partners, Levey, riding a first Group One winner, said: “It’s a massive shock, to be honest. “When she ran in the Nell Gwyn she was a bit gassy, but that was her first run since September and I thought she ran well.” 

“She had a lot to find with a few but she was settled throughout and then found a turn of foot. I kicked on fully 2f out, which I thought might be a bit early, but I didn’t want to disappoint her. “I’ve had plenty of winners and opportunities but I’ve always needed that Group One, so I’m truly delighted.” Hannon added, tongue firmly in cheek: “This is great. I knew she’d win! “My Guineas winners aren’t terribly popular with the punters as they tend to be big prices. “All of our Guineas winners have needed their first run and they tend to get beat in their trials. I’m just delighted for everybody at the yard and for Sean. “She’s obviously a very good filly and it’s great for her syndicate; they’ve been in the game a long time and they’ve worked hard for a day like today.

“It’s great for Sean. It’s put him on the map. He was already on it but this is great. He’s there every day and works very hard. “You are not defined by how many winners you ride or train, but by how many good ones. I’ll sleep well tonight, I think.” Trainer Karl Burke was proud of Laurens and said: “I know she didn’t win but we can’t be disappointed. It’s just a shame they didn’t get the extra rain on Monday but there’s nothing we can do about that. “She’ll come on and I imagine it will be the Prix de Diane now. She’s in the Irish Guineas but I imagine it will be France.”

Class prevailed in the 1m1f Dahlia Stakes, restricted to fillies and mares and won emphatically by Godolphin’s Wuheida, defying a penalty earned for her victory in the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf last year for Charlie Appleby. Ridden again by William Buick, she streaked clear inside the final 2f, finally crossing the line four lengths clear and justifying connections’ decision to supplement her; she was only entered at the five day stage when, after a nice winter in Dubai, she was added to the field for £6,000. That proved a wise call considering first prize was worth a shade less than £60,000.

Settled in midfield by Buick, the pair closed passing ‘the Bushes’ and the race was over when she applied the turbo running down into ‘the Dip’. “That was like a piece of work up the Limekilns for her, and that’s a great starting point for the season,” said Appleby. “We weren’t going to come here originally but these good horses bring themselves forward and she’s done well for wintering in Dubai. “As she was only 80% fit, that stands her in good stead for a good year. We may stay close to home after that instead of taking her back to the US.” Buick added: “Wuheida is a pleasure to ride as she does everything so easily. I was never in any danger and I would say she’s quick enough for a mile.”

Later on the card, Lah Ti Dar made it two wins from as many starts in the 1m2f Listed Pretty Polly Stakes for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. A sister to Group Three winner So Mi Dar, the 3yo homebred daughter of Dubawi out of 2010 Sheema Classic heroine Dar Re Mi, impressed when winning on debut at Newbury last month and she confirmed that promise with a three and a quarter length win over Appleby’s Expressiy. It took Lord Lloyd Webber’s filly a while to get on top, and she didn’t look completely at home on the faster ground, but she came home really well for a decisive victory in the end. Gosden said: “She is, potentially, a very nice filly and we will have to look at Epsom and the Oaks with her.

We will probably take her for a look at the Epsom track beforehand and, if the ground was softer than today, she would have to be a contender you would like to think.” Meydan regular Grey Britain was a shock 50/1 winner of the opening 1m4f handicap, ridden by Gerald Mosse for John Ryan. A 4yo gelded son of Arcano, he ran twice at both the 2017 and 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnivals but was winning for the first time since last May when victorious in a 1m2f Listed race on the same Newmarket Rowley Mile course. Owned by Dr Ali Ridha and trained by Hugo Palmer, Gifted Master was never headed in the 6f handicap, registering a tenth career success in the process.

Adam Kirby rode a double for Clive Cox, initiated by juvenile debutant Konchek in the 5f maiden and completed, in a 1m2f handicap, by He’s Special. Of Konchek, who started favourite, Cox said: “He was rather green, but it’s the first time he’s been away from home since he was at the sales. “He’s been great from the start. He has a laid back attitude and he’s clearly very talented. “I think he’s entitled to improve from that first run and we certainly hope he’ll be going to Royal Ascot after that performance.”

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