Weekend global stakes review

The return of superstar filly Enable was one of the stars to shine in the weekend's Group/Graded events

The Tin Man, seen winning the Diamond Jubilee Stakes last year, made it third time lucky in the Sprint Cup – Photo: George Selwyn

Third time lucky for The Tin Man

It was a case of third time lucky for the James Fanshawe-trained The Tin Man in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday, partnered by man-of-the-moment Oisin Murphy.

The Tin Man, who had finished second in 2016 and third last year, was asked to make his challenge two furlongs from home in the six-furlong sprint run on heavy ground. As the Kevin Ryan-trained Brando tried to respond, The Tin Man found plenty to win by half a length.

The triumph must have been extra special for Fanshawe, who brought the gelded son of Equiano back to full health after having caught pneumonia on a flight to Hong Kong in December. The Tin Man became the second winner of the Sprint Cup for Fanshawe alongside the late Society Rock, who took the race in 2012.

On ground that he adores, the Andrew Balding-trained Here Comes When proved too good for five opponents in the Group 3 Unibet Mile, a first victory since he defeated Ribchester in the Sussex Stakes last year. Oisin Murphy did the steering and went on to enjoy a wonderful afternoon, bagging three winners on the card.

Brilliant Enable back with a bang

Kempton’s all-weather card featured seven races, two Group contests and one superstar in the shape of star filly Enable, a five-time Group 1 winner in 2017, making her comeback in the September Stakes after an absence of over 11 months.

The daughter of Nathaniel faced a formidable race-fit rival in the Group 3 prize in the shape of King George runner-up, Crystal Ocean. However it prove to be a one-horse race, as Frankie Dettori went to the front on Enable and never saw another rival, scoring by an eased-down three and a half lengths.

Enable and Frankie Dettori

Enable makes a winning return at Kempton – Photo: George Selwyn

Trainer John Gosden had warned that Enable would come on for the run having been off the track for so long, which must sound a note of caution for anyone wanting to take her on in next month’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Khalid Abdullah’s four-year-old is a best-priced 7-4 to successfully defend her crown at Longchamp on October 7.

The Gosden stable also hit the bullseye in the Sirenia Stakes, a Group 3 contest over six furlongs for two-year-olds, with Kessaar. The son of Kodiac proved too strong for four rivals and saw his race out well to score by two and a half lengths under Kieran O’Neill, recording his first Pattern-race victory in Britain.

Home Of The Brave sets up Group 1 bid

On only his second start for Godolphin Australia’s trainer James Cummings, the former Hugo Palmer-trained Home Of The Brave put his rivals to the sword with an emphatic two-length victory in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.

Under Glyn Schofield, the son of Starspangledbanner put the likes of Trapeze Artist and D’Argento under pressure as he made all in the contest. With no response to Home Of The Brave’s speed, the dual European Group 3 winner added another Pattern contest to his CV.

There could be further glory on the cards for Home Of The Brave, with Cummings eyeing a return to Melbourne for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes later this month.

Elsewhere on the Rosehill card, the David Payne-trained Tarka got the better of Dealmaker in the Group 2 The Daily Telegraph Stan Fox Stakes.

While The Autumn Sun encountered trouble in running, it was jockey James McDonald who too his chance on Tarka, the pair kicking clear and holding on to prevail by a short-head.

Chris Waller’s Lean Mean Machine entered the picture for the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes with victory in the Group 2 Run To The Rose Stakes.

The son of exciting Australian sire Zoustar was able to get back into gear after a troubled passage before producing a storming late run that saw him defeat Graff by three-quarters of a length.

There was more for Waller to celebrate soon after when Invincibella got the better of her stablemate Noire in a thrilling finish to the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes.

Both Invincibella and Noire are owned by Star Thoroughbreds and they thundered away from the field as they battled for glory. It was Invincibella who won by a short-head to record her first victory since winning the Dane Ripper Stakes in June.

Nature Strip (Nicconi - Strikeline) ridden by Mark Zahra leads Houtzen home in the Mitty's McEwen Stakes (G2) over 1000m at The Valley Racecourse. 8 September 2018. Photo credit Darren Tindale / The Image is Everything.

Nature Strip gets the better of Houtzen in the McEwen Stakes – Photo: Darren Tindale/Bronwen Healy

Nature Strip takes off

Talented sprinter Nature Strip set the Moonee Valley turf alight when setting a new track record during his victory in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes on Saturday.

Trainer Darren Weir has declared the son of Nicconi the fastest he’s trained and the gelding needed all of his speed to hold off the challenge of Houtzen to win by a short-head.

Discussions between managing owner Rod Lyons and the Australian Turf Club, the last remaining slot holder for the Everest, are set to continue but Weir has identified the Group 1 Moir Stakes as an alternative target for him.

The Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes produced a stunning result when the nine-year-old Magic Consul took the scalps of Hartnell, Homespun and Ambitious to take the Group 2 prize.

The Paul Preusker-trained gelding is now set for a tilt at a support race on the day of the Cox Plate.

Cox continues on upward curve

The superb prize-money on offer at Kentucky Downs helped to attract horses from all over the US for its valuable all-turf card on September 8, which featured four Grade 3 races.

With a first prize of £320,000, the Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup was the most valuable and victory went the way of Arklow, trained by Brad Cox, who is enjoying a terrific season and is responsible for outstanding distaffer Monomoy Girl.

Arklow, a four-year-old son of Arch partnered by Florent Geroux, had enough in reserve to fend off the late challenge of Bigger Picture, Soglio, Bronson and favourite Oscar Nominated, all four trained by Michael Maker, who loves to target the meeting with his better turf runners.

Geroux was also on the mark in the Ladies Sprint with the Darrin Miller-trained Ruby Notion, who proved too good for favourite Lull in the extended six-furlong event for fillies and mares.

A tight finish to the Turf Sprint over an extended six furlongs saw the Michael Stidham-trained Proforma emerge victorious. Joe Bravo kept to the inside on Proforma, a gelded son of Munnings, before switching off the rail to challenge in the straight, running on well to deny favourite White Flag by a head.

Outstanding young jockey Drayden Van Dyke, usually spotted riding on the West Coast at venues such as Santa Anita and Del Mar, where he rode seven winners on a single card in August, got his name on the score-sheet in the Ladies Turf over a mile, aboard the Richard Baltas-trained Insta Erma.

Godolphin’s Japan star back to winning ways

Fine Needle, who secured a maiden Grade 1 victory for Godolphin’s Japanese operation in the Takamatsunomiya Kinenearlier this year, recorded his first win of the new season in the Grade 2 Centaur Stakes at Hanshin on Sunday.

A Darley homebred by their three-time Grade 1 winner Admire Moon out of the Group 3-winning Mark Of Esteem mare Needlecraft, Fine Needle closed on his rivals a furlong and a half from home before asserting his class.

Recoletos takes top honours again

Recoletos recorded a second Group 1 victory on Sunday when his perfectly-timed challenge saw him deny the Andre Fabre-trained Wind Chimes by a head in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp.

The Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained four-year-old, whose other elite level success came in this year’s Prix d’Ispahan, was held up in the early stages by jockey Olivier Peslier before moving out wide to challenge.

The son of Whipper flew home and it was a question of whether or not Wind Chimes would hold on – ultimately it was Recoletos’s stamina that proved the difference. Expert Eye ran a good race back in third.

The Fabrice Chappet-trained Rocques extended her unbeaten record to three when she was a comfortable winner of the Group 3 Prix d’Aumale at Longchamp.

The daughter of Lawman was stepping up to a mile for the first time, with her two previous victories having come over seven furlongs. She found plenty when put under pressure to beat Ceratonia by three-quarters of a length.

Rocques becomes another Group winner for Irish National Stud resident Lawman, the Prix du Jockey-Club and Prix Jean Prat scorer whose progeny are headed by Harbour Law, Just The Judge, Law Enforcement, Marcel and Most Improved.

Head and shoulders above the rest

Anodor is proving a terrific advert for his first-season sire Anodin and made it two from two in the Group 3 Prix des Chenes for two-year-old colts and geldings.

View the Leading First-Season Sires in Europe table

Freddy Head’s charge was not hard-pressed to see off Insandi by two lengths in the mile contest, with British raider Court Poet, trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, an honourable fourth on just his second start.

The Group 3 Prix Gladiateur, a staying contest over just shy of two miles, saw a head-bobbing finish, with the Pia Brandt-trained Called To The Bar getting the better of favourite Holdthasigreen by a short-head.

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