Spain Burg (right) pulls clear under Frankie Dettori
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By Tom Kerr 3:11PM 23 SEP 2016
Report: Newmarket, Friday
Shadwell Rockfel Stakes (Group 2) 7fm, 2yo fillies
THE provincial French racecourse La Teste de Buch has probably never before been the site of a prep race for the Rockfel but it proved an ideal warm-up venue for unheralded Gallic raider Spain Burg, who defeated Frankel filly Fair Eva in a shock result at Newmarket.
A first British winner for trainer Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte, Spain Burg was delivered with a withering late run by Frankie Dettori and swept by the always-prominent Fair Eva, who finished over a length down in second.
Sent off the 4-9 favourite, Fair Eva was bidding to bounce back from a first defeat last time out but instead suffered another surprise defeat and has now lost at long odds-on twice on the trot.
She initially tracked Miss Infinity through the early stages before moving through with Glitter Girl to challenge for the lead in the closing stages.
Fair Eva was just about getting the best of that scrap when Spain Burg began motoring for Dettori and the French raider proved an easy winner in the end.
“She was slightly disappointing and to be honest with you, I thought she ran below form,” said Fair Eva’s trainer Roger Charlton. “The trip is fine and I hope that she gets a mile next year.”
A winner of three of her four starts, Spain Burg has done all her racing to date in south west France, most recently with a Listed win at La Teste de Buch, a seaside town near Bordeaux probably best known for its close proximity to Europe’s highest sand dune – the 110-metre high Dune of Pilat.
It could now have a new claim to fame as an unlikely producer of a British Classic challenger, with Spain Burg priced up as a 16-1 shot for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas by Paddy Power.
“Spain Burg did it quite nicely in the end and she’ll definitely get a mile,” Dettori said. “She’s feels like a Guineas filly so why not as these were the best around at the moment.”
Also on Friday
Newmarket: Shadwell Joel Stakes (Group 2) 1m, 3yo+
COUGAR MOUNTAIN put a frustrating run of seven defeats behind him when adding the Group 2 Joel Stakes to the Leopardstown Group 3 he landed last year.
Aidan O’Brien’s 15-2 shot has contested nine Group 1s since his only other win – in a maiden at Naas on his debut, 18 starts ago. So often a nearly horse, he had his day in the sun thanks to Ryan Moore, who pushed him out to win by clear water from 6-1 chance Gifted Master. Nathra, the 5-2 favourite, was unplaced in third.
“The key with Cougar Mountain is that he prefers this good to firm ground,” said Kevin Buckley,UK representative of Coolmore. “If it’s stays that way we could have a look at the QEII or perhaps the Breeders Cup Mile at Santa Anita.”