October 05 2020

Stable star Glen Shiel booked his ticket for the Champions Sprint with a mighty performance in the Group 1 Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock Park in another successful month for the team at Saxon Gate Stables.

Hambleton Racing’s six-year-old finished a gallant second to Dream Of Dreams on his first outing at the highest level to earn a crack at the Group 1 feature on Champions Day at Ascot – and there was also Pattern success for Archie on the All-Weather early in the month when two-year-old Mighty Gurkha (pictured left) made every yard to win the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes.

Glen Shiel arrived at Haydock on the back of a Group 3 success in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes at The Curragh in August and made a seamless transition to sprinting’s top table, travelling well under Hollie Doyle before finishing ahead of Group 1 winners Golden Horde, Hello Youmzain and The Tin Man.

Archie reported: “I couldn’t be prouder of Glen Shiel. He was a very shrewd buy at £45,000 and took another step forward at Haydock, showing he can compete against the best in Group 1 races. Champions Day at Ascot will be next with him and we’ll hold no fears whatever the ground is.”

Hollie is also relishing the prospect of renewing the partnership at Ascot. “Glen Shiel ran his heart out and thrived on the slow ground,” she added. “It’s great that Hambleton have found a horse like this to take them to the big meetings. After his performance yesterday I’m looking forward to Champions Day even more now!”

On the same afternoon, Mighty Gurkha posted a career-best of his own by landing the Sirenia Stakes at Kempton under Adam McNamara. They son of Sepoy, carrying the colours of Mohammed Rashid, was tough and resolute to repel Godolphin’s Cloudbridge and Andrew Balding’s favourite Mystery Smiles.

A winner on Polytrack at Lingfield on debut, Mighty Gurkha went on to finish a highly creditable fifth in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier in the season before finding only one too good in the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury, so deserved this success.

Meanwhile, Stag Horn continued to give his owners Ben and Sir Martyn Arbib plenty of fun when he supplemented his 10-length win at Catterick with another in a two-mile handicap at Goodwood on 8th September to get connections dreaming of big handicap glory. Hollie made all the running on our 13-8 favourite who readily defied a 9lb rise in the ratings to establish himself among the market leaders for the famous staying handicap, the Cesarewitch, at Newmarket.

Another September highlight was two-year-old Mystery Show’s success in a fillies’ maiden at Wolverhampton on 14th, with the prolific Hollie completing a double. She was entitled to get her head in front after finishing third to subsequent May Hill Stakes winner Indigo Girl on debut at Yarmouth. The daughter of Showcasing was bought for 57,000gns at Tattersalls Book 1 Sale a year ago.

Wolverhampton was also the scene of Grand Deed’s first career success on 21st September. Running in a handicap for the first time, the son of War Front was yet another winner for Hollie on his third start since leaving John Gosden in the summer.

There was a first career success for our three-year-old gelding Tagovailoa who justified favouritism in a Yarmouth claimer on 15th September. Hollie took control of the six-furlong race to score by a comfortable half a length.

Higher Kingdom maintained his promising start by winning for the second time in three outings at the end of the month. Owned by Clipper Logistics, the son of Kingman built on his emphatic debut success at Kempton when he returned from a break to defy a penalty in a six-furlong novice event on Newcastle’s Tapeta.

Kempton was the destination for Will Nash’s consistent gelding Variyann, who achieved his third win of the year in a mile handicap on 30th September for Kieran Shoemark. It was a career-best run from the four-year-old, who overcame a wide position to go one better than his second at Chelmsford City at the beginning of the month.

Finally, there was a deserved accolade for our own Brodie Hampson when she won the At The Races Ride of the Month for August for her pillar-to-post performance on Timetoroe at Bangor. Brodie generously donated her £500 prize to the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.

By Simon Mapletoft