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25 Sep 2017
Issue Number: Issue 620
5 Minutes with Dane O’Neill
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It’s all in the blood and blue at that - UK RACING


GENES play a huge part in horseracing so, on that basis, it was no surprise when Mori landed the Listed Height of Fashion Stakes, over just short of 1m2f and restricted to 3yo fillies, at Goodwood. A 3yo daughter of Frankel, winner of the Group 1 Sussex Stakes, Goodwood’s biggest race of the season, in both 2011 and 2012, her dam, Midday was an unprecedented triple winner of the Group 1 Nassau Stakes, the course’s annual feature for fillies and mares. Homebred, like her parents, by Prince Khalid Abdulla, she did not race as a juvenile before finishing second, in April, at Newbury in a maiden.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, she shed her maiden tag three weeks later, at Ascot, two weeks before this career best effort with Ryan Moore aboard on all three occasions. Moore allowed her to race prominently throughout in company with Coconut Crème. It was clear early in the straight that the pair would fight out the finish, with Mori eventually poking her head in front with half a furlong to run before going on to win by almost two lengths. Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to the owner, said: “She is bred to win at Goodwood, as her father won two Sussex Stakes and her mother won three Nassaus.

If we were ever to breed a winner for Goodwood, this is the one. “When she won at Ascot, she was doing her best work in the last furlong and really today it was pretty much the same thing. “I think all being well we will head to Royal Ascot for the Ribblesdale and take it from there. On that, you’d be pretty confident she’d have no problems getting a mile and a half. “She was green first time out at Newbury, and it was a learning curve at Ascot, but she was quite professional today. She was really well balanced and relaxed.”

Earlier, Godolphin’s Masar produced an excellent effort to make a winning debut in the opening 6f juvenile novice stakes with William Buick and Charlie Appleby continuing their rich vein of form. The 2yo homebred son of New Approach is the second foal out of Kawlah, Godolphin’s 2011 UAE Derby and Oaks heroine. Although one of the first off the bridle and racing in rear, he managed to weave his way to the front to deny Invincible Army by a short-head. Assistant trainer James Ferguson said: “He did it the right way, as he learnt a lot during the race. As you can see by his breeding and the way he won, he wants further.

“William Buick said he was very happy with him. To be honest, with a horse like that, you would look at Royal Ascot. “He is qualified to run in the Chesham and if we are going to send him there, that would be the one to go for. We do like him and I think he has a lot of class.” Connections were denied a double when Secret Advisor was unable to overhaul Eynhallow in a handicap over 1m1f. Jamie Spencer partnered the winner for Roger Charlton. Sheikh Hamdan’s Hadeeqa, on her third start, was involved in a titanic struggle with Apphia throughout the final furlong in a 3yo fillies only maiden over the same almost 1m2f trip as the feature.

With Jim Crowley riding for Simon Crisford, Hadeeqa, a homebred daughter of Cape Cross, looked set to make it third time lucky after one previous outing as a juvenile and another this year, but the Ed Walkertrained Apphia and William Buick fought back valiantly. As the two protagonists flashed past the post in unison, but well apart on the track, opinion was divided as to who had prevailed. It transpired both had; the judge announcing a dead-heat. 

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