Doubles All Round for Charlotte Dujardin and The O’Brien Trainers
In a rare feat for this year, Keysoe Equestrian managed to complete its second FEI dressage competition on schedule. It was doubles all round for Charlotte Dujardin in the dressage and The O’Brien trainers also completed a double in The Fillies Mile and Dewhurst. Britain’s Scott Brash has been away for so long now, one wonders whether he remembers where home is, but he did have a win in France. In daily changes from various governments over Covid, racing and sport horse competitions are still somehow managing to keep going.
Dressage FEI in UK
At Keysoe in the UK, the second scheduled FEI 3 star dressage CDI took place – a rarity for the world of dressage!! There have been only two FEI dressage events in the UK this year, and that is all there will be, both at the same venue. With so few opportunities for the top UK international dressage riders this year, the Grand Prix class was well subscribed with 23 combinations taking the floor. Charlotte Dujardin took the top two places with her international rides, Mount St John Freestyle with 83.196% and 79.348% for her second ride Gio. She also won both the Grand Prix Special and the Grand Prix Freestyle, the former with Mount St John Freestyle and the music with Gio. Taking Charlotte out of the equation, Gareth Hughes riding both Classic Briolinca and KK Woodstock came third in the Grand Prix, second in the GP Special and third again in the freestyle with Carl Hester riding En Vogue one place behind him in the Grand Prix and Special. The top eight places all scored over 70% from the five international judges from France, Sweden, Germany, New Zealand and UK. The small tour of Prix St Georges and Intermediate 1 were both won by Laura Butler riding Amiek C.
Thoroughbred Yearling Sales
It is somewhat extraordinary that last week’s October Yearling Sale part 1 at Newmarket conducted by Tattersalls was the first this year to be held on the due date and at the correct venue in Europe. It just shows how the calendar for all equestrian activities has been so ravaged by the covid pandemic. The sale itself saw the highest price paid for a filly by some margin – 3.4 million guineas – in the world. The filly in question was always going to be the stand out lot as she is a full sister to Japan, Mogul, Sir Isaac Newton and Secret Gesture. She was brought by MV Magnier of the Coolmore group and will be trained like her siblings by Aiden O’Brien at Ballydoyle. There were six other millionaires over the three day sale who were brought by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, and Qartar Racing as well as Coolmore. In fact Godolphin and Coolmore were responsible for 26 million guineas between them. Sheikh Mohammed spent over 16 million of that on 22 lots, accounting for 20% of the whole sale turnover. The sale figures were down to the levels of five years ago which given the circumstances was not a surprise. The clearance rate was down to 79% from 82 last year. Both the median and average prices were also down by 13% a piece. Tattersalls and their vendors were appreciative that buyers from all around the world were in attendance, particularly with those from the USA, Australia and of course the Middle East all playing an active part in the proceedings.
HOT OFF THE PRESS: Enable, the wonderful race mare has been retired to stud and will not race again it has been announced today. She will visit Kingman next season.
As racing recovered worldwide from the massive Group 1 bonanza of last weekend, the Group 1 calendar this weekend was rather more controlled. The main races were the Dewhurst and the Fillies Mile at Newmarket, both for two year olds only, which so often give a pretty accurate guide to who may win the classics in the following year. The Bet 365 Fillies Mile had ten taking their place for a gallop up the Rowley mile on soft going. Pretty Gorgeous trained by Joseph O’Brien, who was re-routed from Longchamp last week, and John Gosden’s Indigo Girl looked the main protagonists before the off in a strong renewal of the race. Pretty Gorgeous, ridden by Shane Crosse gradually made their way up to lead in the final furlong and win by half a length from Indigo Girl. In third was another O’Brien trained Snowfall. However, it transpired that in fact the third home was Mother Earth, another trained by Aidan O’Brien, but in a very rare mistake, the wrong saddle cloths were put on each of Aidan’s horses before the race. The matter was subject to a steward’s enquiry and has been referred to the BHA in London for adjudication. It would be expected that both runners, Snowfall, who in fact came last and Mother Earth would be disqualified.
The Dewhurst Stakes run over seven furlongs, this year saw 14 runners going to post. In another strong renewal, the O’Brien trainers took the first three places. St Marks Basilica, Wembley and Thunder Moon were all mid division until the final 2 furlongs when the three broke from the tight pack and went onto take the places. St Mark’s Basilica ridden by Frankie Dettori won by ¾ of a length with Wembley coming second, both trained by Aidan and Thunder Moon was third trained by son Joseph. The winner was by Siyouni out of a Galileo mare.
As the season comes to an end in the northern hemisphere and is just getting going in the southern, there were other Group 1’s in both Australia at Caulfield where their Guineas were run and in the USA where the search for next year’s highlights were sought in further 2 year old contests.
In Caulfield, Australia, Ole Kirk won the 14 runner one mile Ned Caulfield Guineas; ridden by William Pike by ½ a length from Alysar. Michael Wayne and John Hawks are the joint trainers. In Randwick, the Moet Chandon Spring Champions stakes for 3 year olds over 1 mile a 2 furlongs was won by David Payne trained Montefilia. The winner was ridden by Jason Collet beating Lions Roar by ¾ of a length. There were thirteen runners.
In Belmont Park, the two Group 1 races for 2 year olds over a mile started with the Champagne Stakes, which was won by Jackie’s Warrior in rather a procession by over 5 lengths. There were six runners with the winner ridden by Joel Rosario and trained by Cash Asmussen. In the second race, The Frizette Stakes, for fillies only, again with six runners, the winner was Dayoutoftheoffice, ridden by Junior Alvarado in a tighter contest by ½ a length.
At the Grimaud bonanza jumping near St Tropez in France, the weekly FEI CSI 4 star Grand Prix was won by Scott Brash from Great Britain riding Hello Jefferson. He beat Italian Emanuele Gaudiano into second place by nearly ½ second in the jump off. In third was Simon Delestre from France. There were four who completed double clears in the Colombo Andrea designed course with 46 starters.
Sports Horse News
The good news is that it has been announced this week that the dressage and showjumping legs of the World Cup qualifiers in Lyon in France will go ahead at the end of the month. There will be 1000 spectators allowed, but otherwise protocols and limited access to the show will be maintained. Sadly though, Corruna in Spain have cancelled their World Cup competitions which were to have been held in mid-December. Out of the thirteen European qualifiers originally anticipated, only six have thus far survived.
In The UK, the delayed Queen’s Birthday Honours list saw David and Patricia Thompson, owners of the Cheveley Park Stud in Newmarket awarded CBE’s for services to charity. They have given millions of pounds to their foundation, The Thompson Family Charitable Trust which was set up some years ago. Others noted for their work within the equestrian industry included Paul Lee, chairman of the Levy Board until March this year and Jonny Weatherby for his work as The Queen’s Representative at Ascot. He received a personal award from The Queen, The Royal Victorian Order.
The world rider rankings,, published for October last week have not altered since September. Steve Guerdat from Switzerland remains as number one in the showjumping and Germany’s Isabell Werth occupies the same position for the dressage. In eventing, Olly Townend from Great Britain remains at number one with Tim Price and Christopher Burton at two and three, both from the Antipodes.