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Horse Racing News

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Pinatubo rated best European juvenile since 1994

Pinatubo has been given an official rating above the legendary Frankel at the same age and the highest for a juvenile racehorse in Europe for 25 years.

The horse, trained in Newmarket by Charlie Appleby for owners Godolphin, earned a rating of 128 at the end of his campaign as a two-year-old.

That is the highest since Celtic Swing (1994) and Arazi (1991) were rated 130.

Frankel was 126 after his races aged two, but later rose to 140.


Enable voted Horse of the Year at Cartier Awards

Enable has been voted Horse of the Year for the second time at racing's Cartier Awards.

The mare, ridden by Frankie Dettori for trainer John Gosden, was also named the top older horse.

Leading stayer Stradivarius and filly Starcatcher were others to win awards for the Dettori-Gosden combination.

Nine-time Irish champion Flat jockey Pat Smullen, who is being treated for pancreatic cancer, was given the award of merit.

In September, Smullen persuaded 20-time champion jump jockey AP McCoy and eight other former top riders to come out of retirement to take part in a race which has raised more than 2m euros for cancer research.

In the Horse Of The Year category, Blue Point, Magical, Star Catcher, Stradivarius and Waldgeist were nominated alongside Enable.

It is the fifth time in six years Gosden has trained the leading horse in European Flat racing's end of season awards - after Kingman (2014), Golden Horn (2015), Enable (2017) and Roaring Lion (2018).

And a fifth award for Enable - who was top older horse last year and leading three-year-old filly in 2017 - matches the record of the legendary Frankel, also owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte operation, in securing five wins at the awards.

Enable, who will stay in training next year, just missed out on a historic third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe victory when beaten by Waldgeist last month.

The four-year-old mare won the Coral-Eclipse Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks either side of a thrilling triumph over Crystal Ocean to become the first horse to regain the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.


Enable and Dettori denied as Waldgeist wins Arc de Triomphe

Enable and Frankie Dettori were denied a record third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as Waldgeist pipped her on the line to win Europe's richest Flat race.

Hot favourite Enable, the 2017 and 2018 winner, was a length clear entering the closing stages at Longchamp.

But Waldgeist, ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, was able to give French trainer Andre Fabre a record eighth Arc win.

Enable's trainer John Gosden said the five-year-old's owner, Saudi prince Khalid Abdullah, will make the decision whether to retire the mare after the defeat.

It is just a second defeat for Enable, who was the strong favourite going into the Arc off the back of impressive wins in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and the Yorkshire Oaks at York.

She was roared on in the closing stages by the French crowd but could not keep up with 16-1 Waldgeist's fast finish.

Fellow five-year-old Waldgeist, beaten on each of the three previous occasions they had met, finished fourth in last year's Arc.

It was a first win in the race for Frenchman Boudot and sees Waldgeist take the 2,857,000 euros (£2,543,458) winner's prize.

Sottsass finished third under Cristian Demuro for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget at 8-1.


Royal Ascot 2019: Blue Point wins the King's Stand Stakes for a second successive year

The Charlie Appleby-trained Blue Point won the King's Stand Stakes for a second successive year on the opening day of Royal Ascot.

Just as in 2018, Blue Point finished ahead of Battaash, who had started as the 2-1 favourite.

Blue Point, priced at 5-2, was ridden by James Doyle and becomes only the 12th horse to win the race twice.


Grand National: Tiger Roll unlikely to seek third straight title next year

Tiger Roll is unlikely to go for an unprecedented third successive Grand National win at Aintree next year, according to owner Michael O'Leary.

On Saturday, the nine-year-old gelding became the first horse since Red Rum 45 years earlier to claim back-to-back victories.

Red Rum claimed a record third win in 1977 but no runner in the race's 180-year history has won three in a row.

"I feel no pressure to go back and try to win a third time," said O'Leary.

"Tiger Roll isn't Red Rum - he's Tiger Roll."

The Ryanair chief has said his target next season would again be the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and Tiger Roll could be retired if he wins, meaning the horse would bow out after a fifth victory at jump racing's big March fixture.

However, O'Leary's comments have been met with scepticism as he had warned Tiger Roll would not go to Aintree this year after winning at Cheltenham last month.

Sent off the 4-1 favourite on Saturday, the horse, ridden by Davy Russell and trained by Gordon Elliott, was the shortest-priced winner since Poethlyn 100 years ago, seeing off runner-up Magic Of Light by just under three lengths despite carrying 6lb more in weight than last year.

O'Leary, who owns the horse through the Gigginstown House Stud operation he runs with his brother, knows he would almost certainly be made top weight in 2020 for the handicap chase, which would mean another 5lb to carry.

Tiger Roll has looked an even better horse this year, and the way he travelled so sweetly in the National had some observers suggesting he should run in next year's Cheltenham Gold Cup.


Cheltenham Festival 2019: Al Boum Photo claims Gold Cup glory success

The 12-1 chance Al Boum Photo, ridden by Paul Townend, put in a superb display to give trainer Willie Mullins a first Cheltenham Gold Cup victory.

Mullins, the Festival's most successful trainer, had previously finished second six times in the prestigious race.

Al Boum Photo had some anxious moments with his jumping but raced away to win by two-and-a-half lengths.

Fellow Irish challenger Anibale Fly (22-1) was second with the grey Bristol De Mai (18-1) back in third.