Racing: Doncaster Cup glory for Pallastor

Doncaster racing
Doncaster racing

Pallasator showed both sides of his character as swept to victory in the Socialites E-Cigarettes Expert Doncaster Cup on Town Moor.

The six-year-old gave Andrea Atzeni a hard time as he tried to get him down to the start, but once proceedings began it was a different story.

Pallasator changed from being as stubborn as a mule to a professional racehorse and got into a good rhythm behind his pacesetting stable companion William Of Orange.

The latter remained in front heading inside the final three furlongs before Pallasator (9-2 favourite) took over with plenty still in the tank.

Royal Ascot winner Clondaw Warrior came out of the pack to lay down a challenge late on, but Sir Mark Prescott's charge was not for catching and came home three-quarters of a length to the good with Suegioo third.

"We know what he's like - he can be a bit quirky before the race, but once the stalls open he's very professional," said Atzeni, who picked up a one-day ban (September 25) for careless riding on Bear Cheek earlier on the card.

"He travelled well and I got a lovely lead into the race. I probably got there sooner than I wanted. He was getting a little bit lonely in front, but he was on a going day today."

A tilt at the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot (October 17) on a showpiece card sponsored by his owner Sheikh Fahad appears the likely next port of call for Pallasator, whose trainer was not at the course.

Sheikh Fahad said: "He's quirky, but very talented. Sir Mark's done a great job and to get him to the start was something to see as well!

"As long as he gets to Champions Day, we'll be happy. He picks up at this time of the year. He did last year as well.

"It is frustrating, but with horses you have wait until they are right and patience is rewarded."


Irish raider Turret Rocks eventually wore down Marenko to claim top honours in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Jim Bolger's filly brought solid Pattern-race form to the table having run well in defeat in both the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown and the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh and was a 7-2 chance in the hands of Kevin Manning.

Marenko, looking to complete a major double on the day for Richard Hannon following Gutaifan's strike in the Flying Childers, was smartly away in the hands of Sean Levey and soon bowling along merrily at the head of affairs.

The Hannon runner looked to have cut loose when taking a couple of lengths out of the field heading inside the final furlong, but her stride soon began to shorten and Turret Rocks stayed on best to get up and score by three-quarters of a length.

Manning said: "She has a great attitude. When you're rowing away at her three-and-a-half or four (furlongs) down, you know when you pick her up and change your hands she's going to keep lengthening across the line.

"I think she's a filly that's really a three-year-old and when she steps up in trip next year you'll see the best of her.

"I'd be very surprised if she didn't get a mile and a half."

Bolger said: "I had two fillies in the race, one for top of the ground and one for soft ground. The top of the ground one won out.

"She ran very well at the Curragh over seven furlongs. They went a really good pace here from start to finish and basically she's a mile-and-a-half filly for next year.

"I think she gets most of the stamina from the dam's side and she comes from a good family that includes Goldikova. It's a staying pedigree."

Hannon, responsible for the fourth home Light Up Our World as well as the runner-up, said: "I'm delighted. The filly that finished second ran a super race. She got a nice lead in front and just got caught in the last 100 yards.

"She's in the Fillies' Mile and will make a lovely filly next year.

"The other filly has surprised me. She's a good filly and Jim (Crowley) said if she'd had soft ground she'd have gone very close."

Marenko carries the colours of Cheveley Park Stud and managing director Chris Richardson said: "She likes to set her own pace and being out in front.

"Take nothing away from the winner who is obviously useful. Our filly looked like she was coming back at the winner.

"The Fillies' Mile is a possibility. She's done nothing wrong today and she might go for a Guineas trial next year."


Tashweeq took a step up to Listed class in his stride with an authoritative success in the Weatherbys Stallion Book Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster.

Runner-up on his debut at Newbury before going one better at Newmarket a fortnight ago, John Gosden's juvenile was the 15-8 favourite to follow up under Paul Hanagan.

The dual champion jockey settled his mount towards the rear before unleashing his challenge inside the final two furlongs and Tashweeq quickened smartly to run to the lead.

Haydock scorer Haalick kept the market leader honest, but Gosden's charge was ultimately well on top at the finish, scoring by a length and a half in a race won by Frankel in 2010.

The well-supported Mohab was third.

Hanagan said: "Since I rode him work, he gives you a lot of confidence. He's always given me a nice feel at home.

"John and the team have done a great job with him. He switched off lovely there.

"He was bit spooked going down and he just got lit up a little bit, but once I got him cover he dropped his head."

Roger Varian said of the runner-up Haalick: "It's been a frustrating day. That was our third second, but we've had a winner at Chester.

"No plans for him, but that was a promising run."


Aidan O'Brien has decided on the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger at the Curragh on Sunday for Order Of St George in preference to the English version at Doncaster

The three-year-old was a wide-margin winner of a trial for the Curragh showpiece last month but had been declared against his own age group on Town Moor on Thursday morning.

With rain forecast at both venues, a late call looked likely but O'Brien pulled Order Of St George out of the Doncaster race early on Friday afternoon. The master of Ballydoyle also runs Kingfisher in Ireland.

Many felt Kingfisher was unlucky in the Ascot Gold Cup when second to Trip To Paris but he was a long way behind Order Of St George last time out when O'Brien made it clear he would come on for the run after a mid-season break.

O'Brien said: "Order Of St George had a setback at Derby trial time. He was going to go to Lingfield instead of Kilimanjaro, but he got a temperature and we just had to give him a bit of time off. We had been very happy with him up until that point.

"We were very happy with him going to the Curragh and he handled the ease in the ground well. Obviously he won very nicely and we were delighted.

"He has form on good and fast ground, but he is one of those horses that handles ease very well.

"Kingfisher had a nice break after the Ascot Gold Cup prior to running in the St Leger Trial at the Curragh last month and we hope, and think, that he has come forward a good bit for that last run."

Splitting Order Of St George and Kingfisher in the trial was John Oxx's Sea Moon, winner of the Hardwicke Stakes in his younger days with Sir Michael Stoute.

He has spent the last couple of years in Australia, but returned to training with Oxx as it was felt he was more suited to the European style of racing.

"I was very pleased with his reappearance at the Curragh as we didn't really know what to expect, and he was beaten by a good horse on the day," said Oxx.

"He ran a terrific race and seems to have come out of the race well and has stepped forward a bit.

"He's won on fast ground, but I don't think he liked it out in Australia, and I'd prefer some ease rather than good to firm. He didn't mind it soft last time."

Forgotten Rules looked set to dominate the staying division when maintaining his unbeaten record on Champions Day at Ascot last season but he was only third in the Gold Cup on ground quicker than ideal and disappointed when turned out quickly behind Doncaster-bound Bondi Beach.

He is one horse who will be well at home if the forecast rain arrives.

"He's been doing very well. He ran a superb race at Royal Ascot and I was probably wrong to run him in the Curragh Cup. The ground dried throughout the day," said Weld on At The Races.

"I walked the track that morning and thought it would be OK, but by 4.30 that afternoon it had really dried and it was a very good race. Order of St George is a class horse so he ran well, but he has to have soft ground or good to soft.

"I want rain if he's going to run."

Weld also saddles Good Tradition, with Willie Mullins represented by Wicklow Brave.

There is a strong challenge from Britain, headed by Brian Meehan's Agent Murphy, an easy winner of a Group Three at Newbury last time out.

Second Step represents Luca Cumani and moves up in trip, while last year's winner Brown Panther is back again for Tom Dascombe and Michael Owen.

Stoute is represented by Gospel Choir, the mount of Kevin Manning.

Chris Richardson of owners Cheveley park Stud said: "Sir Michael (Stoute) said this was the plan after he ran at Windsor.

"We knew the ground was to his disliking and you can't take anything away from the winner as it was very impressive, but she (Beautiful Romance) was receiving a huge amount of weight of us.

"He is a horse that needs to go to the racecourse as opposed to going up and down the gallops at Newmarket, as at his age he is getting used to that whereas a race makes sure he has a good blow .

"Although the last run was not ideal he has come out of it fine. He has certainly proved effective over a mile and a half and the step back up (in trip) should suit."


Moviesta heads to the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday looking to confirm the good impression he made last time out.

The move to Eddie Lynam from Bryan Smart had failed to reap dividends on his first three outings of the season, although there was promise when he was not beaten far in the Sapphire Stakes.

However, he put a poor run at Goodwood, when he burst a blood vessel, well behind him with an authoritative display in the Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh.

That was over six furlongs, though previously most of his best form had been over five, and part-owner Ritchie Fiddes does not see the return to the minimum trip posing a problem.

"It was nice to see him return to his best," said Fiddes.

"When Eddie got him he felt he'd been training like a six-furlong horse, though it was a rush to get him to Ascot.

"He had two runs at five and then stepped him up to six and he won easily.

"That was his first Group win over six so it was nice to get that, but I wouldn't have thought coming back to five would be a problem.

"The plan is to run in this as long as the ground is OK and then go for the Abbaye, which he ran so well in last year.

"Obviously there's a lot of rain forecast and if it's no worse than good to soft that should be fine, but any softer and it wouldn't suit.

"It's exciting to have him back, we went through a stage of never knowing what to expect with him, hopefully that's over now."

Lynam is also represented by his stable star Sole Power.

There are plenty of challengers making the journey from Britain.

Robert Cowell saddles both Hot Streak and Iffranesia, but not King's Stand winner Goldream who heads to France instead.

Paul Midgley sends over Line Of Reason, the mount of Joseph O'Brien, with Irish regular Stepper Point (William Muir) and David Barron's Pearl Secret also making the journey.

They will be joined by David Griffiths' Take Cover, who was due to run in the Nunthorpe but was withdrawn after getting under the stalls.

"He's going over on Saturday morning, unless there is an absolute deluge on Friday night," said Griffiths.

"He's fresh and well and we're really looking forward to running him so I just hope it doesn't rain too much.

"I think he's got a brilliant draw in stall one.

"He was right back to his best at Goodwood, Muthmir only just beat him and he's one of the best sprinters around.

"Then at York I don't know what happened, he just went under the stalls, he's never done it before.

"He did a stalls' test at Haydock last week and all went well.

"We've never taken him to Ireland before and he might be one of those that thrives for travelling.

"Although he's eight he had very little racing as a young horse.

"He worked well the other day and is in great order. A bit of rain would be fine as it's quick ground now, but I just hope they don't get too much."


Charlie Hills plans to give Muhaarar a racecourse gallop before tackling the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot next month.

Although yet to decide where it will be, the Lambourn handler stressed he wants to take the three-year-old for a workout before the Group One contest on October 17.

The son of Oasis Dream has been a revelation since being dropped back to sprint trips after finishing down the field in the French 2000 Guineas, claiming a hat-trick of top-level victories in the Commonwealth Cup, the July Cup and Prix Maurice de Gheest.

Hills said: "Muhaarar is perfectly well and we are now just waiting for Ascot.

"It is a long wait between now and then and I would like to give him a racecourse gallop within the next three weeks."