Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Saturday Review

09-July-2023 16:15
in General
by Admin

Aidan O'Brien won the Coral Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday for a seventh time - his fifth win with a three year old - when Paddington fended off the persistent challenge of Emily Upjohn in an exciting finish. The son of Siyouni was winning for a fifth time this year, gaining his third win at the highest level, having begun the campaign in handicap company in the spring. Stepping up to ten furlongs, Ryan Moore's mount kept finding inside the final furlong crossing the line half a length in front of the John and Thady Gosden trained runner-up. It was six lengths back to the third. Thriving with racing, Paddington is expected to revert back to a mile in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood (2nd August). Emily Upjohn, who was conceding seven pounds to the winner, will step back up to a mile and a half in the King George at Ascot (29th July). She remains a top-class filly capable of adding to her Group 1 haul during the second half of the season.

As discussed, I was working for Racing TV at Haydock and, unfortunately, for Royal Ascot Update followers, the rain didn't arrive in time for La Yakel, who was due to contest the Old Newton Cup. There were showers for around 35/40 minutes an hour before racing but they made little impact. The thunder and lightning did arrive, but not until 4pm. The heritage handicap was won by Wootton'Sun who was only second reserve when the declarations were published. Given a canny ride by Joe Fanning, it paid to be handy with those in rear never getting involved. The feature event, the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks, was won by the Karl Burke trained Poptronic, who turned the tables on Sea Silk Road. The pair had met in the Group 3 Lester Piggott Stakes over the same C&D last month with William Haggas' filly coming out on top on that occasion. However, the Burke runner dug deep in the closing stages to prevail by a neck providing Sam James with his biggest win to date. Indeed, it proved a red letter day for the Spigot Lodge team with 5 winners from 19 runners.

La Yakel has now been denied the opportunity to race three times this year finding the ground too quick at York's Dante meeting in May before being balloted out of the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot. He remains a possible contender for the Sky Bet Ebor at York next month but with his rating of 92, the four year old needs a rise in the weights because a mark of 100 was necessary to get in the 2022 version. 

The curtain came down on Keith Dalgleish's training career on Saturday with Alright Sunshine finishing eighth in the aforementioned Old Newton Cup. The Scotsman rode Yavanna's Pace to Group 1 success in August 2002, also partnered the likes of Attraction (2 from 2) and Lucky Story (2 from 2) in a riding career which spanned 5 seasons (1999 - 2004). His personal best was 72 winners in 2002. He rode 15 Pattern winners, in total. As a trainer, Keith had 974 winners between 2011 and 2023, 820 of which came on the Flat. In 2021, he sent out a personal best 93 winners on the level. A major loss to Scottish racing, in particular, he is not the first K.Dalgleish to end his career on Merseyside. 


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