World Record Broken as Equestrianism Get Back on Track
Dressage, showjumping, eventing and Group 1 racing were all in evidence of the last week. Oliver Townend broke a world record, the young riders performed in Hungary and Group 1 races in France, Great Britain and Australia kept the betting fraternity on their toes.
News broke this weekend that Tattersalls will no longer be holding the top annual Irish Horse Trials at Fairyhouse. This must be a major blow to the Irish, as in the fifteen years that Tattersalls have run the event, it quickly became the biggest horse trials, so its loss will be felt badly in the future. At the Burgham International Horse Trials, Oliver Townened set a new world record for the number of international eventing classes won at a single event. Among his wins at the show, was the main class, the A.W Jenkinson CCI 4 Star S riding Ballaghmor Class. The event was dominated by Oliver Townend and current World Number One Ros Canter.
The last few days have seen three Group 1’s at the famous York Ebor meeting. The first was the very prestigious Juddmonte International Stakes contested by only five runners, so in any event a tactical riding affair was in the offing. Two Thousand Guineas winner Kameko always had this race in his sites, and in our opinion, this was the race he needed to win if he was to become a serious champion. Sadly, he was fourth well beaten by Ghaiyaath who went out in front from the off and that is where he and William Buick stayed. Previous Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup winner this term Magical was a good second with Lord North third. The second Group 1 was The Darley Yorkshire Oaks – dominated for the past couple of years by Enable. This year, she did not run which left the way open for this year’s One Thousand Guineas and Epsom Oaks winner Love to win easily from Alpine Star – in third was One Voice. After the race, trainer Aidan O’Brien said that Love was the best filly he had ever trained and she would now go for The Arc. The Arc de Triomphe is looking like a mouth-watering contest and could be the world wide race of the year. We wait in great anticipation. The final Group 1 of the week was the Nunthorpe Stake, a sprint over five furlongs. Battaash was sent off favourite having already won the race twice and he once again made the contest his own winning by a length in the eight runner contest. Outsider, Que Amoro was second in a surprise run as the filly had only been a moderate listed winner so far in her career and needed to step up hugely in this contest, which she did! It has to be said though that Battaash had frightened off a lot of the decent sprinters and so this was not a particularly strong re-newel of the race.
In other racing news, The Group 1 Winx Stakes,run in Randwick in Australia and run in honour of the great mare, had 15 runners over seven furlongs. New Zealand bred Very Eleegent prevailed to win ridden by James McDonald and trained by with Chris Watter, who also trained the second home Star of the Seas, also bred in New Zealand. In third was Fiece Impact, this time bred in Japan.
In the USA at Del Mar, there were two Group 1’s on the dirt. The first was the 1 mile 1 furlong Del Mar Oaks which was on by Red Lark and the second was the 1 mile 2 furlong contest – The TGV Pacipic Classic Stakes which was won by the Bob Baffert trained Maximum Security. Both races were for 3 year olds only.
Finally in Deauville, France, there were two Group 1 races. The first for 2 year olds only, the Prix Morney over six furlongs with 9 runners. This is one of the most prestigious two year old races in Europe so it was no surprising that the UK trainers sent over four runners including Tactical owned by The Queen from the Andrew Balding stable who ended up being fifth. Wesley Ward, trainer from The USA also sent over Campanelle with Frankie Dettori taking the ride and was sent off favourite. He duly won with Clive Cox’s Nando Parado coming and third, also British trained by Richard Fahey Rhythm Master. The second big race at Deauville was the Darley Prix Jean Romanet for 4 year old fillies where there were 12 runners, mainly from French trainers. However, this was also won by a British trainer, James Fanshawe who was responsible for Audaraya, the outsider denying French trained horses once again, although the winner is a French Bred filly by recent Coolmore purchase, Wotton Bassett. Meanwhile in sales news, Tattersalls Ireland have now re-located their top September Yearling sale to Newmarket from Fairyhouse, its home for the last 30 years or so.
In Hungary, where the European Young Rider Championships have been taking place, The Dutch won Team Gold and Marten Luiten took the Individual Gold with 77.559%. In the team event, Germany took Silver in a very close contest with Denmark getting Bronze. Lia Welschof took the individual Silver medal for Germany and Holland’s Daphne Van Peperstraten took Bronze. In the music Freestyle, the first three positions were reversed with Daphane Van Peperstraten taking Gold and Marten Luiten taking Bronze.
In the UK, British Dressage finally got to stage their Winter National Championships. Behind closed doors, the Intermediate 1 was the best of the forty or so classes and was won by Danny Morgan riding Knox’s Figaro with 72.5% in a rain and windy setting at the Harpury Arena.
At last some relief for international 5 star events as this week, as The Tops International Arena in Holland is to stage a Global Champions Tour round with an FEI CSI 5 star grand Prix to be the highlight. The show is to take place between the 10th and 13th of September.
There were a raft of CSI 2 and 3 stars over the weekend, but the best of the bunch was the 4 star competition at Grimaud in France. The Andrea Colombo from Italy designed course was jumped under lights with 44 competitors lining up for the 100,000 euro class. There were participants from 15 different nations in this class making it a truly international affair including the World Number 1 Steve Guerdat from Switzerland. Scott Brash from Great Britain won the class riding Hello Jefferson with a double clear and in 39.52 seconds beating Edward Levy from France in second on Rebeca LS and Belgium’s Jos Verlooy in third. There were seven riders clear in the first round and a further seven had only 1 fault so time was tight. Five riders complete a double clear. The CSI showjumping event at Maastricht, which was due to be held in November has been cancelled.