It was another red-letter Saturday for Oisin Murphy who is having a season to be remembered. The Irish Man had already won the Coral-Eclipse, Sussex Stakes and Juddmonte International this season and added the Haydock Sprint Cup to this fast-growing list of Group 1’s.
Hot-favourite Harry Angel helped set the pace in the early stages having got slightly wound up in the stalls. It was clear that he was racing far too enthusiastically in the hands of Adam Kirby and as they went inside the final furlong he was swamped by the closers. Chief among these was The Tin Man who hit the front at the furlong marker and fended off the persistent challenge from Brando and Gustav Klimt.
The admirable six-year-old had finished placed in the race for the last two seasons, he’s win is made all the more incredible considering that James Fanshawe’s stable star nearly died when contracting pneumonia on a flight to Hong Kong in December.
“I’m so lucky to have found so many good horses in such short space of time. This was great. He’s a horse I’d looked forward to riding all week.
“The race didn’t really go to plan. I didn’t travel great early, but he’s a very good horse and deserved this.
“It wasn’t until Monday or Tuesday until I got the call to ride. I had a few sleepless nights, but I believed the horse could win.”
Of the runner-up Brando Kevin Ryan said:
“He’s run a fantastic race—it was typical Brando as he’s the forgotten horse in every group 1,” said the trainer. “They’ve gone hard up front, but he’s done everything right.”
Unsurprisingly Murphy also won the other Group race at Haydock when steering the Andrew Balding-trained Here Comes When to victory in the Superior Mile. This represented a drop in class for last seasons Sussex Stakes winner and in all reality its a race he should have been winning.
The Group 3 September Stakes was the curtain raiser at Kempton on Saturday and we were treated to a fantastic display from last season’s superstar Enable on her return to the track following a break.
Frankie Dettori made all on John Gosden’s four-year-old filly and stretched clear under a hands and heels drive, to win eased down from Crystal Ocean. The runner-up is no slouch, having won three times earlier in the season including the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. Sir Michael Stoute’s charge also finished second behind stablemate Poet’s Word in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on his penultimate start.
This gives the form a very strong look even though it was only a four-runner affair. Afterwards, Gosden said:
“I was confident Enable would do that today as she’s high class. That was a nice race for both horses if you’re having a prep for an Arc, and it was good to see Enable back, as it’s been a long wait”.
“That was awesome. I wasn’t sure how fit she was as she’s only being going a mile at home, but then she’s trained by a master trainer. She got the job done and felt as good as ever. Bring on the Arc!” for which she is the current 7/4 favourite.
In France, Recoletos proved that his Royal Ascot flop was a once off when getting up late to land the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on Sunday. The son of Whipper was settled in midfield by Olivier Peslier and quickened well inside the final furlong to justify favouritism.
The Andre Fabre trained Wind Chimes ran a huge race and looks like a very progressive filly that on the back of this looks well up to winning a Group 1 contest. Expert Eye stayed on well to take the third spot from late on from Plumatic.
A clearly delighted Laffon-Parias said:
“I had the best horse and the best jockey in the race—Olivier has been with me for all my best triumphs—and when he came there, I thought he would win more easily, but Wind Chimes really fought hard at the end.
“What he’s done this year has been extraordinary, and this was a proper group 1. We have beaten all the best around except, of course, Alpha Centauri.”