JOCKEY Andrea Atzeni won the big race at Newmarket on Thursday but, despite a double on the day, he left the track "disappointed" that he will miss the Guineas Festival in a fortnight's time.
Atzeni won the Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes aboard Zabeel Prince and he also landed a smart handicap on Beringer.
Following Beringer's race, the stewards deemed the 28-year-old classic-winning jockey to have used his whip in the incorrect place aboard the four-year-old on the run to the line in the mile contest, an offence which carries a ban ranging from two to six days. They imposed the maximum penalty.
Atzeni said: “There is nothing much I can say. I am disappointed. I had hoped to ride in the 1000 Guineas and UAE Jewel was a possible ride at the meeting.”
Zabeel Prince continued Roger Varian’s excellent run of form with an impressive victory in the Earl of Sefton Stakes.
The trainer enjoyed a one-two in Tuesday’s Nell Gwyn Stakes – with Qabala leaping to the head of the ante-post betting for the 1000 Guineas with a comprehensive defeat of stablemate Mot Juste.
Varian struck again on Wednesday with Wood Ditton winner UAE Jewel, and Zabeel Prince was a 9/2 co-favourite to provide the trainer with a fourth winner at this year’s Craven meeting in Thursday’s Group 3 feature.
Making his first appearance since being narrowly beaten by the reopposing Mustashry in the Joel Stakes in September, Zabeel Prince was given a patient ride by Andrea Atzeni before being switched wide to mount his challenge with two furlongs to run.
The six-year-old showed a smart change of gear to grab the lead and powered clear late on to score by two and three-quarter lengths from last year’s winner Forest Ranger, with Mustashry back in third.
Varian said: “We always thought he would get this sort of trip (nine furlongs) last year, but he got injured in the Lockinge and we couldn’t run him until the Joel Stakes in the autumn. The way he has won there he might get 10 furlongs.
“I loved the way Andrea rode him – he gave him a beautiful ride. He had to switch him as nothing was going forward in front of him. He hit the rising ground and came home really good.
“It was good to firm in the Joel last year and it was very similar ground today. I’d be wary of firm, summer ground with him, but I was happy to run today as I knew there was a little bit of cushion there and he seems to love it. He is fine on soft ground, so he is quite versatile
“That performance has opened things up – the way he has got the trip – and I’d love to try him over 10 furlongs at some point.”
Varian added: “I think he needs time between races as he has a great record fresh. He is in the Lockinge (Newbury, May 18) and I think he would run well over a mile again, but I think he would need easy ground to be a top horse over a mile. On this ground he might need to go a mile and a quarter to bring out that level of performance.”
James Tate hopes all roads will lead to Royal Ascot for Far Above after he lived up to expectations on his debut in the Alex Scott Maiden Stakes.
Despite taking on a number of more experienced rivals, the son of Farhh travelled well throughout the seven-furlong contest before being pushed out to defeat Franz Kakfa by a head.
Tate said of the 11/8 winner: “He has been working the house down. We’ve been dreaming ever since we watched him gallop this spring.
“He was a breeze-up, but he was half-grown last year so we settled him down and got him sound, gave him the winter and we’ve been excited all spring.
“That was the plan, to ride him like a piece of work and don’t hit him. He hasn’t got any big entries next to his name, but he is about to.
“Races like the Jersey you dream of and the seven-furlong Listed race back here (King Charles II) would be a nice stepping stone.”
Well Of Wisdom (5/1) gave trainer Charlie Appleby his third winner at the three day meeting when getting up in the closing stages of the Montaz Restaurant British EBF Novice Stakes.
Well Of Wisdom is bred to be pretty smart and this Oasis Dream colt and half-brother to Group 1 performers wins on debut for William Buick, Charlie Appleby and @godolphin at @NewmarketRace pic.twitter.com/CEZfkIcOg2— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 18, 2019
The trainer said: “William (Buick) said he was just rolling around a little bit early doors. He came home strong and at the end of the day his pedigree suggests he wants a bit further. Stepping up to six will be the most logical way forward. He will want another run before we look at Royal Ascot. The Coventry would be the obvious race there.”
SIX-PAGE GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT FEATURE IN THE IRISH FIELD THIS WEEKEND