ANDREW Balding’s Sandrine (David Probert) was very good at six furlongs as a two-year-old and has been very good at a mile this year, but in winning the Group 2 World Pool Lennox Stakes at 12/1, she showed that she is exceptionally good at seven furlongs, a trip she was tackling for the first time.
Kirsten Rausing’s filly had run with credit in the best Group 1 races open to her over the longer trip, finishing a game third in the Falmouth on her most recent start, but she seemed to relish the faster pace of the Lennox, racing against colts and geldings for the first time.
Sandrine travelled best in behind a strong pace set by Pogo (Charlie Hills/Kieran Shoemark), and she was best placed to pounce, grabbing the leader as he began to flag well inside the final furlong.
She had to withhold the strong finish of 2021 winner Kinross, who forged a path between Pogo and the rail, but she held on to win by a neck, with Kinross (Ralph Beckett/Frankie Dettori) a short head in front of Pogo, who did well to hang on to a place having set a scorching pace.
Favourite Sacred ran on late for fifth, but simply took too long to hit top stride after a sluggish beginning.
This was a special winner for David Probert, as it also brought up his century of winners for the season, a feat he has now achieved five times.
The winning trainer paid tribute to a stalwart owner/breeder in Kirsten Rausing. “I am delighted and thrilled for Kirsten Rausing,” he said. “She is such a great owner and so supportive, as we had a few options on the table.
“She was happy to go with what we felt was best and we just wanted to try Sandrine round a bend.
“She slightly blew the bend in the Coronation Stakes, but I thought she handled it really well today.
“Sandrine looked like she would win the Falmouth at one stage and probably just didn’t quite get home.
“We just felt that if she was effective at seven furlongs, she could be a filly for the Prix de la Foret, as she goes on any ground.
“We just wanted to try her round a right-handed bend before that and it’s worked out well.”
Marbaan swoops to conquer
THE Group 2 Vintage Stakes went the way of the Charlie Fellowes-trained Marbaan, who arrived late on the scene under a confident Jamie Spencer to run down 11/8 favourite Holloway Boy (Karl Burke/Danny Tudhope) to win by a neck.
The 9/1 shot had won twice from as many starts in novice company, but this was a big step up in class, and he took it in his stride despite a potentially difficult draw in stall nine of nine.
Mysterious Night (Charlie Appleby/Will Buick) went on at the halfway mark, but was challenged and passed by Chesham winner Holloway Boy just inside the furlong marker.
But all the time Spencer could be seen stalking the favourite, and Marbaan produced plenty when asked to overhaul the favourite 50 yards out, winning a bit cosily by half a length, with Mysterious Night keeping on at one pace for third, a further two lengths away.
There are no firm plans for the winner, but Jamie Spencer is convinced that he will stay a mile, and the Vertem Futurity would appeal as a target, perhaps after a crack at the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, for which he has been entered.