Newmarket Friday review –

A review of the action from Friday's meeting at Newmarket where Commissioning was slashed for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas after an impressive Rockfel win.
Commissioning is as short as 6/1 for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas after landing the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Rockfel Stakes.
The daughter of Kingman was always travelling strongly and went through the gears quickly once popped the question, never really looking in any danger once going clear of the chasing pack.
Electric Eyes, another once-raced winner having made a winning debut at Thirsk three weeks ago, came home well to fill the runner-up spot, some two and three-quarter lengths adrift of the winner.
Paddy Power cut Commissioning to 6-1 from 16-1 for the Classic with Sky Bet introducing her at 8/1 and cutting her to 6/4 for the Fillies’ Mile back here later in the month.
Their Head of Sports PR Michael Shinners said: “That was a very taking performance from Commissioning to make it two from two. If connections decide to go for the Fillies’ Mile she will be very hard to beat, however, long term the 1000 Guineas looks an obvious target.”
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Winning trainer John Gosden said: “We wanted to give her a bit of time after her debut as she was growing and she is not a big heavy robust filly. She has trained nicely up to this race and we thought we would wait for this race as opposed to going for the May Hill.
“We are thrilled with her. She is owned by an owner-breeder Isa Salman and he owned the mare and he had her with us. It is always very exciting when you buy a mare, and she raced, she ran in a Ribblesdale and finished seventh then she produces something so quickly like this it is very fulfilling for an owner-breeder.
“Frankie was surprised (on debut) as he said he couldn’t pull her up as she went all the way to the very end and it was quick ground there to. She was just getting rolling with a furlong to go there, and it was slightly the same today she met the rising ground and flew. The July Course is much easier for the horse to handle and there are certain reasons for that.
“It (the Group One bet365 Fillies’ Mile on October 8th at Newmarket) comes quickly but she doesn’t have to run again. It is close to home and we are not travelling the length and breadth of the country. If she is happy and well we might look at it. She will get that mile. There is also a Breeders’ Cup invitation. We did that before we went to Del Mar with a filly that won this (Juliet Capulet). She didn’t stay a mile but this one will.”
Jockey Rab Havlin added: “She travelled lovely today. Between the three and the two I had to waken her up a bit and almost got into trouble by getting there too soon, so I just sat there at the two pole.
“When she picked up it was kind of immediate and I got a bit lonely in front. She would stay a mile no problem this filly. I ride her quite a lot at home and we’ve always thought that as she finishes her work strongly. She can be busy in the mornings but is uncomplicated at the races. She can be a bit impatient on the gallops but after half a furlong, she is pretty push button.
“The boss and Thady give horses time when they need time. It looked as if she needed time so we just laid off her and picked her back in the last month. The rewards are showing for themselves.”
Karl Burke, trainer of runner-up Electric Eyes, said: “She is a very good filly and that is why we came here. She is a potentially high class filly and she has proved that today. She got a little bit sandwiched coming out of the stalls Danny (Tudhope) and we didn’t want to be that far back.
“She is quite a keen travelling horse and she always wants a bit of cover. There is plenty of improvement in her. I’d say we won’t run again. She is an inexperienced filly but she is a big raw filly and this time of the year I don’t want to run her back quick and we are running out of options.
“The Group Three (Oh So Sharp Stakes) in two weeks will come too quick but I’ve not looked beyond that. Why not (think of the 1000 Guineas). The horse that finished second in this last year didn’t do too bad in the 1000 Guineas (Cachet). She is a good filly and a progressive filly.”
Eve Johnson Houghton, who saddled the third Rage Of Bamby, said: “She was third in a Group Two which was great but I definitely think she was the second best horse in the race.
Both trainer Charlie Hills and jockey Jim Crowley attributed first-time blinkers as the key to getting Mutasaabeq’s head back in front in the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Joel Stakes over a mile.
Shadwell’s homebred four year old Invincible Spirit colt had not entered the winner’s enclosure since making a winning reappearance at Thirsk back in April. He had run some notable races in defeat however, most notably when runner-up in the Group Two bet365 Mile at Sandown and in the Summer Mile at the same level at Ascot.
In Friday’s contest, the 5/2 chance made all for a three-quarter length victory over the staying-on El Drama.
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Charlie Hills said: “I think they (the blinkers) have helped as he has worked twice in them since his last run and we were happy with him so why not leave them on him. He had a nice easy time of it in front here which suited and he has won here twice before so he likes the track. The Challenge is in a couple of weeks’ time but I will speak to Sheikha Hissa and Angus Gold.
“He has run two mediocre races at Goodwood so we probably won’t go back there again. At Sandown he looked unlucky and at Epsom he ran a good race. He has run some solid races this year. He is a sound horse and is solid and consistent and now he has had a win of this nature hopefully he can step up. He just seems to enjoy it here. He has won here three times now. He has got a nice action and he probably handles those undulations better than others.”
Jockey Jim Crowley added: “He is a horse that maybe doesn’t give you his full attention and the blinkers have helped. I just bounced out and let him use himself today. I wanted to get the rail on him in front with a set of blinkers on to give him something to run against and it has worked out well.
“He’s a lovely horse and physically he’s a good stamp. Although it has taken a while this summer it’s nice to get his head in front eventually. There is not long left now and I don’t know what the plans are but he’s a good solid horse and hopefully will be around next season.”
Trainer Roger Varian said of runner-up El Drama: “He ran great. We will see how he comes out of the race but he ran really well. Hopefully he can run another once or twice in the autumn. It was a good run so there is plenty to look forward to with him.
“There was a point where I thought he would get there. I was just ruing we didn’t get a bit of room earlier but that is how the race unfolded however he has run great. Hopefully there will be another day for him in the future.”
Eternal Pearl set herself up for a deserved first tilt at Group One level after extending her winning to four races when demonstrating that stamina is very much her forte when staying on best of them all in the Princess Royal Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Stakes.
The Frankel filly has not looked back since opening her account at Kempton Park in June after adding a second Group Three to her name having scored at the same level in Deauville last month in the Prix Minerve.
Victory looked to be heading the way of the Roger Varian-trained Peripatetic, who appeared to slip the field under Ryan Moore entering the closing stages of the mile and half prize.
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Despite looking to still have plenty of work to do the 6-4 Favourite started to eat up the ground inside the final furlong before forging past Peripatetic inside the final 100 yards and prevailing by three quarters of a length.
Following the race Eternal Pearl was trimmed from 10/1 into 8/1 by Paddy Power and Betfair for the Group One QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on October 15th which Appleby confirmed would be her next target. Sky Bet are 8s from 12s.
Appleby said: “She is a lovely big scopey filly by Frankel and they stay for fun. The one thing she has needed to do is develop to allow her to be strong enough to stay the way she is doing now.
“She is not the quickest from the gates and she has to warm into the race. At half way I thought William is going to have to find some gaps from where he was as they are all nice fillies and they were travelling away and quickening at the same time.
“One thing she does is stay well as we saw once she hit the rising ground and hit top gear. She is not a slogger, she quickens and you could visibly see that once she hit the rising ground.
“She is doing it all the right way round. It has always been my plan to come here as we missed the Vermeille to get some more confidence and experience behind her to look at the Fillies and Mares.”
While a trip to Ascot next month now beckons for Eternal Pearl the Godolphin handler confirmed that she will stay in training at four.
He added: “She will stay in training next year. To be fair to William he mentioned when she broke her maiden it is all next year with this filly. That is why I’ve not gone to the sword at Group One level with her.”
Following the race winning rider William Buick was confident Eternal Pearl would be able to step up to Group One level.
Buick added: “She just warms into her races and showed a good turn of foot there. She has got a great attitude and that is another step up from what she has done. She is progressing the whole time.
“I absolutely think she can step up again. I am not sure what the plan is but the Fillies and Mares on Champions Day would be considered over a mile and a half I would think. She wouldn’t want extremes of ground but she seems to handle a bit of cut.”
In-form trainer Roger Varian continued his hot streak to win his 12th race in just seven days when Zanbaq secured the biggest victory of her career with a battling success in the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai British EBF Rosemary Stakes.
Having saddled an across the card 9,290/1 seven-timer on Saturday, Newmarket-based Varian enjoyed further success on his closest track after the daughter of Oasis Dream claimed her first victory outside of novice race company in the Listed event.
Sitting just off the early pace the 10/3 chance, who finished second in the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, moved on with 9/4 favourite Crystal Caprice and Whitebeam inside the final quarter mile.
After mastering Crystal Caprice it was left to Whitebeam to throw down one last challenge, but the line came in time for Zanbaq, who held on by a head from the Harry and Roger Charlton-trained filly.
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Varian said: “She is a really tough filly and I’m delighted that she has won for Sheikha Hissa and Shadwell. She has been a touch unlucky through the summer and she deserved a clear run. Jim gave her a good positive ride and she was tough at the finish.
“We kept her just behind the pace to keep it uncomplicated. Newmarket is a hard track to ride especially when the ground is on the top side. It is a little bit undulating and Jim rode her perfectly.
“She has got no plans but she might run again but we will see how she comes out of this race. The most important thing is that she has won today.
“She has got a lovely pedigree and she is now the winner of a black type race which is important for her.”
As for winning rider Crowley he believed the application of positive tactics were a key factor behind her success.
Crowley added: “She is a grand sort and has just been a bit unlucky this year. She was second at Royal Ascot and probably got a bit too far back last time at Ascot.
“She has been working extremely well and ridden a bit more prominently today, it helped I’d say it is Good ground. It’s a bot loose on top and the overnight rain has taken the sting out of it.”

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