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No Frank farewell for Mayson
Mayson and Penitent, Ryedale’s two highest achievers of the season, will be conspicuous by their absence from an otherwise not-to-be-missed Champions Day on Saturday.
A sell-out crowd at Ascot is poised to witness a top-quality programme which features as its highlight the final public appearance of the extraordinary Frankel.
The wonder-horse – whose latest victory in the Juddmonte International at York’s Ebor Festival in August produced scenes of emotion and atmosphere seldom generated on a racecourse – will bid to crown his unbeaten career by making it 14 wins on the spin in the Qipco Champion Stakes, a race which will be watched by millions around the world.
Mayson, Ryedale’s only Group 1 winner of the season, will not feature at the Berkshire track, though, having been ruled out of one final appearance in the Qipco British Champions Sprint before he goes to stud, because of a bruised foot, suffered at Longchamp nearly two weeks ago when he went down narrowly in the Prix de l’Abbaye.
Penitent, a dual-Group 2 winner this season will also be missing from the Qipco Queen Elizabeth ll Stakes, having failed to produce a satisfactory scope on Monday before being supplemented for the Group 1 contest.
Middleham Park Racing, the owners of Penitent, were keen to give him a supplementary entry for Ascot, just as they had done at Longchamp earlier this month when the gelding repaid them with interest by finishing second in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret.
But trainer David O’Meara said: “He didn’t scope well, so the Ascot entry was not made. We’ll sit down now with the owners and make another plan. It’s been a fantastic season for the horse to win two Group 2s and finish second in a Group 1 race.”
While Penitent will race on next season, it’s farewell to Mayson, who is now to be retired to Newmarket’s Cheveley Park Stud, who bought a majority share in the four-year-old after he had won the Group 1 Darley July Cup by five lengths in mid-season, a victory which came on the back of previous Newmarket triumphs in the Abernant Stakes and the Palace House.
“There are not many horses who have won the Abernant, Palace House and July Cup in the same season,” said Richard Fahey, who trained Mayson to win five of his 18 starts and earn prize money of £417,649.
“We were really hoping to take him to Ascot for his final start, but it wasn’t to be.
“Six furlongs was his best trip and he went on any ground. He was a wonderful horse to train and has a great temperament.”
Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park, said: “We feel Mayson offers breeders a very exciting speed option for their mares and hugely complements the already proven portfolio of stallions standing at Cheveley Park.”
• Tony Hamilton’s flying visit to Canada last Sunday to team up with Barefoot Lady failed to provide the Norton jockey with a memorable first winner on his first experience of Woodbine racecourse, but it was still a worthwhile trip.
Winner of a Grade 2 race on the course last month under Davy Moran, Barefoot Lady finished sixth in the Grade 1 EP Taylor Stakes, which boasted a $1 million prize fund, when beaten just over three lengths. She duly figured in the money again.
Not once in her 20 career starts has Barefoot Lady returned to Malton without a prize and her earnings now stand at more than £288,000.
• So close, yet so far... that was the outcome of John Quinn’s challenge in Saturday’s historic Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket when, after two and a quarter miles, and facing 33 rivals, Countrywide Flame failed by only half a length to clinch a first prize of just short of £100,000.
Partnered by Newmarket-based Jimmy Quinn, a former Ryedale apprentice, Countrywide Flame, who was sent off the 7-1 favourite, earned a prize of more than £29,000 after being narrowly beaten into second by Aaim to Prosper, the mount of Kieren Fallon, another former Ryedale rider.
It was an heroic effort from the Norton gelding, who was bidding to complete a notable jumps-Flat double, having won the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
It’s back to jumping next time for the tough and versatile four-year-old, who has the Champion Hurdle as his prime objective in the coming months.
“He’ll start off at Newcastle in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle in six weeks,” said Quinn.
• Brian Toomey, who is sponsored by Malton Marquees, made a dramatic return to the saddle at Carlisle after spending the summer sidelined with a serious shoulder injury.
Toomey resumed his racing career aboard recent Kelso winner Mwaleshi in the handicap hurdle at the Cumbrian course and his mount, the 11-10 favourite, not only won – but scored by no less than 49 lengths.
Also on the mark at Carlisle were Malcolm Jefferson and Harry Haynes with The Magic Bishop, who prevailed by half a length in the handicap chase.
• Scottish Flat racing has drawn to a close for the year, with Barry McHugh finishing off in style with winners at the concluding meetings at Ayr and Musselburgh.
The Norton jockey scored on the Brian Ellison-trained Amaze at Ayr, the gelding ploughing through atrocious ground to record his second win of the campaign, while on Monday at Musselburgh, McHugh gained a slender success on Phoenix Clubs, trained by Paul Midgley, who got home in a blanket finish by short head, a head and a neck.
The two Scottish meetings proved a happy hunting ground for the Ryedale fraternity.
Ellison completed an Ayr double with It’s A Mans World, the mount of Paul Pickard, on a day when apprentices Jason Hart (Barkston Ash) and David Bergin (Elusive Bonus) hit the target and Tony Hamilton pulled off an 18-1 success for Brawby trainer Geoff Oldroyd on Bond Fastrac.
There was, though, a much bigger-priced winner at Musselburgh. Norton jockey Tom Eaves produced Weeten-therty to gain a 40-1 success at a meeting where Freddie Tylicki won one of the feature races on Gordons-ville for Glasgow trainer Jim Goldie.