The curtain came down on the turf season at Doncaster on Saturday - ironically, it was Harry Fry who scooped the November Handicap with Grade 1 winning hurdler Metier revelling in the testing conditions.
The Breeders' Cup at Keeneland on Friday and Saturday produced three winners featured in Ahead On The Flat. The trio were all trained by Aidan O'Brien, including Tuesday's brilliant success in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf over an extended nine furlongs. Ryan Moore gave the daughter of Galileo a superb ride producing her on the outside before quickening up to win going away. The former champion jockey comprehensively outrode Hollie Doyle who was stuck in behind horses aboard Nashwa before running on when it was too late. The Ballydoyle team have done a magnificent job with the winner who began her three year old career at Naas on Sunday 27th March and has contested eight Group 1 events this term. She won the Epsom Oaks in June and placed on three other occasions at the highest level. Tuesday featured in the Top 40 Prospects in AOTF - she was the 41st winner of 2022.
The Ballydoyle Juveniles section has unearthed the best of Aidan O'Brien's two year olds this season with four Group 1 winners included. In addition to Blackbeard and Little Big Bear, Breeders' Cup winners Meditate and Victoria Road featured, too.
As far as the jumping was concerned on Saturday, Paul Nicholls was at it again with a four timer at Wincanton. The champion trainer has sent out 12 winners from 25 runners during November which is a remarkable feat. His seasonal CV already contains the Charlie Hall Chase, Haldon Gold Cup, Badger Beer and Elite Hurdle. Frodon produced another excellent weight carrying performance to win the Badger Beer under twelve stone and a rating of 158. McFabulous pulled up after the seventh fence in the Grade 2 Rising Stars Novices' Chase on his fencing bow but the good news is that was reported A1 afterwards.
Stable star Brewin'upastorm unseated Sean Bowen at the first in the two and a half miles conditions hurdle at Aintree but otherwise it was a success afternoon on Merseyside for Olly Murphy with Gunsight Ridge returning to his best in the two miles handicap chase. The seven year old had disappointed over C&D in the Red Rum Chase in April but underwent wind surgery during the summer. A two and a quarter lengths winner off a mark of 133, he will hopefully build on this and bag a big prize this season. Stablemate Doctor Ken made a winning start to his chasing career when staying on strongly to reel in Ree Okka on the run-in in the two and a half miles novices' handicap chase. The six year old didn't progress as expected over hurdles last winter but fences look set to bring out the best in him.
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