Weekend global stakes round-up

A look back at last weekend's of Group/Grade racing across the world that saw stunning performances and thrilling victories

Too Darn Hot too good at Sandown

Too Darn Hot produced yet another thrilling display at Sandown when scorching to a four-length victory in the Group 3 Solario Stakes on Saturday.

The John Gosden-trained two-year-old had burst onto the scene with a devastating seven-length victory at the Esher track in August and continued his rapid progression when easily sweeping aside the long-time leader Arthur Kitt, winner of the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

A homebred for Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber, Too Darn Hot is the third stakes winner produced out of their Singspiel mare Dar Re Mi, who won three Group 1s. This makes him a brother to So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar, as the trio are all by Darley’s flagship sire, Dubawi.

Dar Re Mi wins the Yorkshire Oaks

Dar Re Mi, seen winning the Pretty Polly Stakes, is also the dam of So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar. Photo: George Selwyn

The Solario Stakes boasts an impressive recent history – this year’s Derby hero Masar won the race last year, multiple Group 1 hero Kingman was victorious in 2013 and Breeders’ Cup Classic scorer Raven’s Pass, who landed the race for Too Darn Hot’s trainer Gosden, scored in 2007.

Frankel was represented by a 22nd Group winner on Saturday when the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Veracious was a comfortable winner of the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown.

The filly, who tracked the William Haggas-trained Awesometank throughout, was travelling easily with two furlongs to run before hitting the front and pulling away to win by a length and a quarter.

A Cheveley Park Stud homebred, Veracious is a half-brother to the dual Group 2-winning Mutakayyef and is out of the Pivotal mare Infallible, herself a Group 3 winner and runner-up in the Coronation Stakes.

Frankel, who stands at Banstead Manor Stud at a fee of £175,000, has made a great start to a career at stud. His progeny are headed by top-level winners Mozu Ascot, Soul Stirring, Cracksman and Without Parole.

O’Briens lead the way at the Curragh

Aidan O’Brien and son Donnacha were the men to follow at the Curragh on Saturday, winning two Group 3 contests together and four races apiece on the card.

The beautifully bred Just Wonderful relished the step up to a mile in the Flame Of Tara Irish EBF Stakes for two-year-old fillies, outpointing stable companion Peach Tree by a length and a half.

The daughter of Dansili is out of the Group 2-winning mare Wading, herself a full-sister to Irish Oaks heroine Bracelet and a half-sister to Athena, winner of the Belmont Oaks in July for the O’Brien stable.

Ten Sovereigns, a son of first-season sire sensation No Nay Never, completed the O’Brien Group-race double in the Round Tower Stakes for two-year-olds over six furlongs, scoring a decisive success over Bruce Wayne to preserve his unbeaten record.

Find out where No Nay Never sits in the Leading First-Season Sires in Britain and Ireland table here

The other Group 3 race on the afternoon, the Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes, was won by the Jessica Harrington-trained I’m So Fancy and Colm O’Donoghue. I’m So Fancy is by the little-known sire Rajj, an unraced son of Danehill whose dam Makarova was a half-sister to Fillies’ Mile winner Sunspangled – trained by Aidan O’Brien.

Pharoah’s half-sister falters

All eyes were on American Pharoah’s half-sister Chasing Yesterday in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes (7f, dirt) for two-year-old fillies at Saratoga on Saturday.

The daughter of Tapit, like her illustrious Triple Crown-winning sibling trained by Bob Baffert, was a short-priced favourite to follow up her easy debut success at Del Mar in July.

Racing for her breeder Summer Wind Equine, Chasing Yesterday was under pressure with two furlongs to run and eventually trailed home seventh of the 11 runners, as victory went to the Gary Contessa-trained Sippican Harbor under Joel Rosario.

The Grade 1 Woodward Stakes for older horses (1m1f, dirt) also went the way of Joel Rosario, riding Yoshida for trainer Bill Mott.

The Japanese-bred son of Heart’s Cry, seen at Royal Ascot in June finishing an honourable fifth behind Accidental Agent in the Queen Anne Stakes, relished his first start on dirt at the age of five, finishing with a flourish down the outside and staying on strongly to defeat Gunnevera by two lengths.

Rosario enjoyed a day to remember at Saratoga, also taking the Grade 3 contest on the card, the Saranac Stakes (1m1f, turf), on the Chad Brown-trained Raging Bull.

Over on the West Coast at Del Mar, the Grade 1 Debutante Stakes (7f, dirt) for two-year-old fillies was won in style by Bellafina, trained by Englishman abroad, Simon Callaghan.

Bellafina saw off her four opponents with ease, powering home four and a half lengths clear of the Bob Baffert-trained Mother Mother, a performance that prompted her handler to describe Kaleem Shah’s daughter of Quality Road as “the best filly I have trained.”

For Callaghan, who trained in Britain up to 2009 before leaving for the US, it was a second top-level success of 2018, having sent out American Gal to take the Humana Distaff Stakes at Churchill Downs in May.

Memsie thriller

The Darren Weir-trained Humidor returned to his very best on Saturday with a last-gasp success to land the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield, the first top-level event of the Melbourne Spring.

Humidor, whose previous success at the highest level came in last year’s Makybe Diva Stakes and Australian Cup, was one of three horses in the Memsie Stakes for Weir and was steered to victory by jockey Damian Lane.

Vega Magic, a dominant winner of the Bletchingly Stakes last month, sprinted for home at the final turn but was unable to use his trademark turn of foot.

Humidor had been settled back in the field by Lane and gained ground along the rail to make his challenge and deny the luckless Kementari by a short-head.

Humidor wins the Memsie Stakes

Humidor (green) strikes under Damian Lane to win his third Group 1 in the Memsie Stakes. Photo: Bronwen Healy

A son of Darley shuttler Teofilo, Humidor now has seven wins to his name and Aus$2,604,415 in prize-money. A repeat bid in the Makybe Diva Stakes seems the likely next destination for the six-year-old.

Darley Australia sire Sepoy posted his ninth stakes winner on Saturday when the Darren Weir-trained Native Soldier ran his rivals into the ground to claim the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes at Caulfield.

Jockey Dean Yendall had the son of Sepoy positioned at the front of the field and never allowed his rivals to get in the mix.

After such a dominant performance that impressed his trainer Darren Weir, Native Soldier has firmly entered the picture for the Caulfield Guineas next month.

Sepoy, who reverse shuttled to Dalham Hall Stud for five seasons until last year, is also the sire of dual Group 1 heroine Alizee and the German 1,000 Guineas scorer Unforgetable Filly.

Joe Pride’s success with progeny of late broodmare Parfore continued on Saturday when his sprinter Ball Of Muscle landed the Group 3 Moniek And Susanne Sambor Heath 1100 on Saturday.

Already a Group 2 winner, Ball Of Muscle is a half-brother to the Group 1 winners Terravista and Tiger Tees, both of whom who were trained to success by Pride.

Ball Of Muscle, having his first start since March, took to the lead quickly and never looked like being beaten. Voodoo Lad mounted a late challenge but Ball Of Muscle hung on to win by a length with Brave Smash back in third.

Ellicazoom, trained by David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, emerged victorious on her first start for the stable when sweeping to success in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes at Caulfield.

Previously trained by Neville Parnham, Ellicazoom produced a powerful run in the home straight that left her rivals in her wake to win by an authoritative two and a quarter lengths from I Am Excited and I Am A Star.

A daughter of Testa Rossa, the Lindsay Park team said after the race that the Group 3 How Now Stakes at Caulfield could be on the cards for her next start.

Doubles at Randwick

Randwick’s Saturday card featured four Group races and trainers Chris Waller and Peter and Paul Snowden shared the spoils.

Waller struck with Comin’ Through in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (7f) and Unforgotten in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1m), both winners by top Australian sire Fastnet Rock.

The Snowdens saw top sprinter Redzel regain the winning thread in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (5f) while Pure Elation, a three-year-old daughter of I am Invincible, claimed the Group 2 Darley Furious Stakes (6f).

Tarzino Trophy

Melody Belle showcased her determination when running out the winner of the Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on Saturday, providing a memorable day for her trainer Jamie Richards.

Richards was celebrating a first Group 1 win in his own name after taking over training the Te Akau Racing operation at the start of the season and he was duly rewarded when the daughter of Commands showed her class to beat Hiflyer by half a length.

This was a second win at the highest level for Melody Belle, having struck in the Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes as a two-year-old, and only her second start of the season having won the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa last month.

While Melody Belle didn’t have the most productive three-year-old season, she looks back to her best and more than capable of striking in more top-level events in New Zealand this season.

Bin Suroor German joy 

Best Solution continued where he left off in Germany last month by returning to claim his second Group 1 of the year in the Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden-Baden on Sunday and set up a tilt at this year’s Melbourne Cup.

Last seen winning the Grosser Preis von Berlin in August, Best Solution was kept handy by Pat Crosgrave as Defoe and Night Magic set the early pace. The 2016 winner Iquitos came alongside Best Solution to challenge but it was the four-year-old who found plenty to win by a neck from Defoe.

The son of Kodiac has now added Germany’s most prestigious race to his eight wins for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor, who won this race in 2002 with Marienbard and 2003 with Mamool.

After the race, Bin Suroor revealed that Best Solution will now head to Australia and target both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in the spring carnival.

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