By Nicholas Godfrey 12:42AM 9 OCT 2016
Report: USA, Saturday
Keeneland: Shadwell Turf Mile (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
MISS Temple City (Graham Motion/Edgar Prado), fourth at Royal Ascot in the summer, just held the late charge of the favourite Ironicus to win the Shadwell Turf Mile, in which British-trained Mondialiste came fourth.
Seeking his third victory in a million-dollar race after last year’s Woodbine Mile and the Arlington Million, Mondialiste saved ground on the rail in mid-division before being angled wide for a mild rally in the stretch.
“We were ready and steady,” said Daniel Tudhope. “He ran a good race. No excuses today.”
Miss Temple City was beating males for a second time this season, having won the Maker’s 46 Mile over course and distance before crossing the Atlantic and finishing a solid fourth in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at the royal meeting.
Having stalked the pace, she took command in the stertch before holding a frantic wide rally from Ironicus by a head. “I saw that horse coming and I was glad the wire was there!” said jockey Edgar Prado.
“She’s the best filly I’ve ever trained,” added trainer Graham Motion. “She’s spectacular. My frustration was over the summer when it seemed we got a little lost with her. She had some tough trips. She’s a very special filly.”
Also on Saturday
Belmont Park: Jockey Club Gold Cup (Grade 1) 1m2f, dirt, 3yo+
West-coast raider Hoppertunity (Bob Baffert/John Velazquez) paid a major tribute to Breeders’ Cup Classic favourite California Chrome when he wore down 5-4 favourite Effinex by a half-length to win New York’s most prestigious all-aged race.
The winner has been well beaten by California Chrome on three separate occasions in 2016 before landing this $ 1m event for his legendary Californian-based trainer, whose only previous success came with River Keen in 1999.
Baffert’s assistant Jimmy Barnes explained that Hoppertunity is betterat this 1m2f trip than shorter distances. “We always thought in our minds that he would like these big turns here, and this big, deep track where he would have a chance to come from behind,” he said.
“We didn’t want run at home (Santa Anita). This race is a mile and a quarter. You run in the Awesome Again, it’s a mile and an eighth. The horse wants distance – that was the main reason to come here.”
At least the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where he’ll meet California Chrome yet again, is a 1m2f event.