03 Aug Heroic Dragon Flies Our Flag At Top Level
Our heroic colt DRAGON SYMBOL again flew the flag for Saxon Gate with great distinction in July, producing two more scintillating performances at Group level.
He found only Starman too good in the Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket before filling the same position behind French raider Suesa in the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes at the Goodwood Festival three weeks later.
The grey son of Cable Bay fared best of the three-year-olds at Headquarters, keeping on gamely to scoop over £100,000 for his owner Yoshiro Kubota and supplement his second in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot the previous month – a race he lost in the stewards’ room.
Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy’s mount was dropping back to five furlongs at Goodwood where he again confirmed himself a versatile, high-class sprinter whose options now include the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, the Haydock Park Sprint Cup and the Flying Five Stakes at The Curragh – all Group 1s.
Dragon Symbol wasn’t the only Archie Watson-trained horse to acquit himself well in Pattern company in July. Hambleton Racing’s consistent stayer Outbox finished second in the Group 3 John Smith’s Cup at York in the hands of Paul Mulrennan to remain on track for a possible crack at the valuable Ebor Handicap over the same course and distance.
Meanwhile, yard favourite Corinthia Knight struck a purple patch in July with two wins at his beloved Pontefract. He acted well on rain-softened ground when beating Golden Apollo in a Class 2 handicap at the West Yorkshire course at the beginning of the month, thanks to an enterprising ride by Hollie Doyle.
She was on board again a few weeks later when this time Corinthia Knight scooted over faster ground to beat Highly Sprung in another 6f contest, this time defying a welter burden of 10st 6lb to record his 14th career success for proud owners Ontoawinner.
Hollie was in the saddle when Archie and the team completed a double at Lingfield Park on 12th July. She landed a 5f Novice Stakes on Ronald Arculli’s Showcasing filly Red Showgirl, who confirmed the promise of a solid second in similar company at Wolverhampton on her second career start.
Later, Will Nash’s Colonel Faulkner rounded off a memorable day by getting up under a strong Hollie drive to justify favouritism in a mile handicap. It was his second career win, following victory in a conditions race on the All-Weather in France as a juvenile.
Hambleton Racing’s Arctic Emperor (pictured above) continued to progress, completing a hat-trick in a mile handicap at Brighton the following day. It was Hollie’s first win on the Territories three-year-old, who had previously scored for Luke Morris at Bath and Kieran Shoemark at Haydock.
Southern Voyage also continued his progress by winning a mile and a half handicap at Ascot on King George Day for Clipper Logistics and their retained rider Danny Tudhope. The son of Wootton Bassett had previously got off the mark over 10 furlongs at Redcar and relished the step up in trip.
The month began on a winning note when Stone Soldier built on his third place in testing ground at Haydock in May with a seven-furlong win at the Lancashire track for Andrea Atzeni. It was his fourth win for the stable and his first on turf after registering three wins on the Southwell Fibresand.
If Stone Soldier set the tone for another productive month, Chief’s Will ended it in style with a four-length victory in a seven-furlong novice event at Musselburgh. Sporting cheekpieces for the first time, he dominated under Andrew Mullen to get off the mark at the third attempt for his owner Hamad Rashed Bin Ghedayer.
By Simon Mapletoft