Belgian Bill: winner of the Anatolia Trophy in Turkey
PICTURE: RP GRAPHICS
By Bruce Jackson In Istanbul 7:30PM 3 SEP 2016
Report: Turkey, Saturday
Veliefendi: International France Galop – FRBC Anatolia Trophy (Local Group 2) 1m2f, polytrack, 3yo+
BELGIAN BILL (George Baker/ Fergus Sweeney) added another extraordinary chapter to his unique story when conquering another continent with success in the Anatolia Trophy.
The eight-year-old, who was racing in Turkey for the fourth time, held off Godolphin’s hot favourite Basem to win by two lengths under new partner Fergus Sweeney.
Trainer George Baker, who was accompanied by his 12-year-old daughter Tallulah, was emotional about the success with a horse he bought in his first season training.
“Someone told me that Belgian Bill held a record of being the only horse to have won at Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood and in Dubai.
“He has won nearly £500,000 and has taken us round the world and still has that fire in the belly so Dubai here we come.”
Sweeney, who a year ago won the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock on Twilight Son, was having his first ride at Veliefendi after flying out on Saturday morning.
He said: “We went very slow and that took the stamina emphasis out of the equation as a mile and a quarter stretches him.
“I had a plan in my head and it couldn’t have worked out better.”
Promising Run added to Godolphin’s impressive record at the meeting when grinding out a win in the International Istanbul Trophy. The odds-on favourite looked in trouble but found enough to defy local hope Tatvan Incisi.