Newmarket Friday

COMMISSIONING (John & Thady Gosden/Rab Havlin) is out of a full-sister to St Leger and Irish Derby hero Capri, and the Kingman filly looked better the further she went when winning the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Rockfel Stakes by just under three lengths from Electric Eyes (Karl Burke/Danny Tudhope), with Rage Of Bamby (Eve Johnson Houghton/Charlie Bishop) beaten a total of four lengths into third.

The winner was sent off the second favourite at 7/2, with Michael O’Callaghan’s favourite Olivia Maralda – runner-up to Meditate in the Debutante Stakes – a bitter disappointment.

Commissioning had made an impressive start to her career on the July Course, winning a seven-furlong novice in impressive fashion, and while she still looked a work in progress here, she again showed off a smart change of gear in the closing stages.

She responded immediately when Havlin shook her up initially, almost taking him to the front prematurely, and then idled a bit when getting there, but when her rider asked her to concentrate, she scampered clear, and is clearly a very talented filly, and one bred to improve over further, for all she’s on the small side.

The Fillies Mile looks an obvious target for Commissioning, while she is no bigger than 10/1 for the 1000 Guineas on the back of this display, with the odds compilers suitably impressed to slash her odds across the board.

Blinkers sharpen up Mutasaabeq

FOUR defeats in group race company had threatened to tarnish the season for Charlie Hills’s Mutasaabeq but, fitted with blinkers for the first time, he came good to win the Group 2 Al Basti, Equiworld Dubai Joel Stakes from the front under Jim Crowley.

He tired a little up the final climb, but was always holding his rivals, and the 5/2 second favourite had three-parts of a length and the same to spare over El Drama (Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni) and Tempus (Archie Watson/Hollie Doyle).

A son of 1000 Guineas heroine Ghanaati, Mutasaabeq has always had lots of ability, but has been frustrating to follow this season, and was a beaten favourite in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom, the Summer Mile at Ascot and the Celebration Mile at Goodwood on his last three starts.

He looked a different animal making the running in headgear, and the change of tactics as much as the blinkers seemed to bring about that transformation. He’s entered in the Challenge Stakes here next month, and that race is under consideration.

Champions Day target for Appleby’s Pearl

ETERNAL Pearl (Charlie Appleby/Will Buick) has progressed well since the summer, and gained her fourth win on the bounce, and her second consecutive Group 3, by landing the one-and-a-half-mile Princess Royal Stakes by three parts of a length from Peripatetic (Roger Varian/Ryan Moore).

The runner-up – a wide margin winner of a Glorious Goodwood handicap on her previous start - kicked on at the three-furlong pole and looked to have all her rivals in trouble when skipping a few lengths clear, but her stride began to shorten as she met the rising ground inside the last, and Buick conjured a strong run from Eternal Pearl which saw her hit the front with less than 100 yards to run.

There was a gap of three and a half lengths to Sea Silk Road (William Haggas/Tom Marquand) in third, with the others well stretched out.

Ascot next

Appleby confirmed that Eternal Pearl would head next to the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot and that she would stay in training next year.

Roger Varian continued his fine recent run when 10/3 shot Zanbaq landed the Listed Rosemary Stakes under Jim Crowley, the daughter of Oasis Dream getting the better of a good battle with Whitebeam (Harry and Roger Charlton/David Probert) by a head, after favourite Crystal Caprice had hung away a winning chance inside the final furlong.

Blacktype achieved

The winner was a fine second in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot before being a beaten favourite in the Group 3 Valiant Stakes at Ascot.

Roger Varian has no immediate plans for her, pointing out that the main task was getting her to win a blacktype contest, which she has now done.

Newmarket Thursday

SIR Michael Stoute’s Nostrum (Ryan Moore) looked an excellent prospect when winning easily on his debut at Sandown in July – always a good sign from a trainer whose juveniles are never rushed – and he backed up that effort with a most taking win in the Group 3 Tattersalls Somerville Stakes.

He beat Chesham winner Holloway Boy (Karl Burke/Danny Tudhope) by a length and a quarter with a further three lengths back to favourite Victory Dance.

A field of four lined up for the seven-furlong race, with Charlie Appleby’s colt sent off favourite ahead of Nostrum, who started at 7/4. Moore soon had Nostrum tracking rank outsider Abravaggio, and sent the Kingman colt to the front three furlongs from home. Nostrum was soon challenged by the strong-travelling Holloway Boy, and, with Moore pushing away, it looked like the Royal Ascot winner would take his measure, but the more his jockey asked, the more Nostrum produced, and he kept on stoutly to repel the challenge of the runner-up.

One more run

Asked where the winner might run next, Stoute said: “I don’t know. We’ve got to take him home, chill him out and relax him, put him back in fast work and it’s a difficult time of year for two-year-olds when the weather turns.

“I’d like to give him one more run. I haven’t given it serious thought, as I just wanted to get over today.”

Nate still Great

THE return to Newmarket and a drop in class may have helped Andrew Balding’s Nate The Great (Will Buick) rediscover his form as he readily got the better of odds-on favourite Thunderous by one and a quarter lengths to land the Listed Jockey Club Rose Bowl Stakes.

The six-year-old landed a one-mile-six-furlong handicap here in May before producing a career best to finish second in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown, but he had beaten just one rival in three subsequent starts, albeit having little chance against Kyprios and co in the Goodwood Cup.


Up against a rather frustrating character in Thunderous here, the 4/1 chance found things a lot easier, and with the runner-up appearing not to put it all in, it’s unlikely that Nate The Great had to better his handicap form to gain a breakthrough at listed level.