True champion: Justify secures the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes
It took just four months for Justify to go from insignificance to immortality.
Few outside the Bob Baffert barn had heard of Justify before February 18, when he made his debut at Santa Anita. However, on the second Saturday of June his legacy was assured through a comfortable one-and-three-quarter-length victory in the Belmont Stakes that secured the Triple Crown.
In adding the Belmont to the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Justify became the 13th horse to achieve the most coveted prize in American racing. It had been only 36 months since the title had previously been won, but the fact it had been 37 years prior to American Pharoah’s success underlines the enormity of the feat.
TRIPLE CROWN WINNERS
Sir Barton (1919)
Gallant Fox (1930)
War Admiral (1937)
Count Fleet (1943)
Seattle Slew (1977)
American Pharoah (2015)
Baffert also charted American Pharoah’s route to the top. However, that champion had a preparation nothing like so unusual as Justify’s.
In winning the Kentucky Derby Justify lifted the so-called ‘curse of Apollo’ to become the first horse since 1882 to win without having run as a two-year-old. He then battled through the slop to win the Preakness Stakes and set up his bid for American racing’s Holy Grail.
Whether the son of Scat Daddy had the stamina for the mile and a half of the Belmont was the big question, but Mike Smith, who was winning the Triple Crown for the first time, was able to cut out the fractions he wanted from the front and Justify was not hard pushed to extend his unbeaten run to six.
Gronkowski, making his first start for Chad Brown having formerly been trained in Britain by Jeremy Noseda, gave valiant chase and briefly looked a danger turning in, but Justify saw things out strongly. Hofburg, who was considered the chief danger to the 4-5 favourite, was a never-threatening third.
Smith said: “This horse is so gifted – he’s sent from heaven. I can’t describe the emotions going through my body right now.
“He’s brilliant. He was so still in the gate I thought he might not break but he left so fast it was like he was going to go 440 yards!
“Bob has made a lot of my goals come true but today he made my dreams come true.”
Baffert was quick to pay tribute to the 52-year-old rider and said: “I’m so happy for Mike Smith, there’s no one more deserving than him.”
On Smith finally achieving the Triple Crown dream, Baffert added: “I told Mike, ‘Welcome to the club’.”
It was an impressive run from Gronkowski in second and his jockey Jose Ortiz said: “He broke a bit slow. He’s a horse from England. After that, I didn’t have any choice. I had to drop in and save all the ground. He handled the dirt. I worked him twice and he handled it, so I was optimistic.”
How much will Justify be worth at stud?
Having become only the second unbeaten Triple Crown winner in history, Justify looks set to command a huge stud fee when the curtain comes down on his racing career..
The last Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah, began covering duty at Coolmore’s Kentucky base at Ashford at $200,000, but with Justify boasting even more in vogue bloodlines – being from the penultimate crop of the much-missed Scat Daddy – an even higher starting point would seem a distinct possibility.
Should the unbeaten three-year-old begin life at stud at a fee of $250,000 – a sum that would still leave him a long way behind the likes of Galileo and Deep Impact – and cover 150 mares a season for his first four years, he stands to earn $150 million before his first runners even hit the track. And should he prove capable of passing on some of his immense talent, there is every reason to believe his fee could climb even higher still.
Raul da Silva banned for violent conduct after striking Crowley in the face
Raul da Silva has been banned for 21 days for violent conduct after striking fellow jockey Jim Crowley in the face in the Goodwood changing room.
Crowley suffered a cut and swollen lip that needed stitches after the incident, which followed the first race of Sunday’s meeting.
Da Silva struck Crowley after the 2016 champion jockey made a comment about his colleague’s riding in a 7f handicap.
Crowley did not miss any rides, competed in the last two races, and intends to take up his mounts on Monday. He declined to comment on the incident.
Da Silva offered a different interpretation of events, and claimed: “Jim came up to me and was aggressive, telling me I was a danger out on the track, and I told him to leave me alone.
“It carried on and two or three jockeys held me back when I was trying to defend myself.”
Crowley’s mount, the Patrick Chamings-trained Charles Molson, and Medieval, ridden by Da Silva and trained by Paul Cole, were unplaced in the race in question, in which there was no visible incident between the pair.
Fellow jockeys Martin Dwyer, John Egan, Jack Mitchell, Richard Kingscote, two valets, the clerk of the scales, the changing room doorman and the racecourse medical officer were interviewed as part of the inquiry, which was not concluded until after the last race on what was Goodwood’s family raceday.
Stipendiary steward Sam Angell said: “There was an altercation in the changing room and everyone who was there, from the other jockeys and valets to the doorman outside the changing room, was interviewed. We also heard from one of the racecourse doctors.
“Because of the significant number of individuals involved [in the inquiry], the evidence we had to gather and the seriousness of what we were dealing with, the inquiry went on throughout the meeting, stopping for each race.
“There was a lot of evidence around the altercation and the chain of events that led to it.
“After hearing the evidence, Da Silva was suspended for 21 days for violent conduct, in that he had struck Crowley in the face causing an injury which required medical treatment.”
Angell added: “We reserve the right to revisit the matter if further evidence presents itself.”
There is no CCTV in the changing room, but CCTV outside in the main weighing room area will be studied.
Crowley, 39, has one of the most prestigious jockey jobs in racing as retained rider to Hamdan Al Maktoum, a position he has held since the autumn of 2016, when he was champion.
He has partnered 31 winners from 183 rides this year in Britain, his latest victory coming in the Listed Achilles Stakes on Muthmir, for his boss, at Haydock on Saturday.
Among the rides he has to look forward to at Royal Ascot is Sheikh Hamdan’s King’s Stand favourite Battaash.
Da Silva, 31, has five winners from 62 mounts in Britain this year and rides mainly for Cole and Jose Santos. His ban begins on June 24 and runs until July 14.
Crowley is in action at Brighton on Monday afternoon, while Da Silva is riding at Windsor in the evening.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com
Champion Hurdle winner Collier Bay dies aged 27
He was a street-fighting thug and would drop you as a pastime at home but as far as I’m concerned he was career defining.
Collier Bay, who won the 1996 Champion Hurdle, has died at the age of 27. He had been in contented retirement with Emma Grierson, trainer Jim Old’s long-serving secretary.
After a Flat career that yielded just one maiden race success from a dozen appearances, in 1993 Collier Bay was bought as a three-year-old by Wally Sturt and moved to Old’s yard near Marlborough.
Collier Bay soon proved more adept over hurdles and in 1995 won the Imperial Cup at Sandown by 11 lengths. In 1996 he won the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown before landing the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham under Graham Bradley, beating the odds-on Alderbrook.
‘I can’t keep the smile off my face’: Owen hits crossbar on riding debut
Former England footballer Michael Owen hit the crossbar on his first-ever ride as his mount Calder Prince finished second in The Prince’s Countryside Fund Charity Race at Ascot on Friday.
A prominent owner, Owen, 37, only took up riding earlier this year and came up just short as Golden Wedding, ridden by point-to-point jockey Tom Chatfeild-Roberts, swept past in the closing stages to score.
Holding a position on the inside during the early stages of the 7f contest, Owen moved into the lead in the home straight and held every chance of winning approaching the final furlong.
Buoyant Trade Continues on Third Day of Autumn HIT Sale
Lot 1136: Solomon’s Bay (IRE)
Trade on the third day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale continued in buoyant fashion with 23 lots making 100,000 guineas or more and SOLOMON’S BAY topping proceedings at 390,000 guineas. A total of 279 lots were sold for 10,799,600 guineas, a record turnover for a single day at this sale, at an average of 38,708 guineas and a median of 22,000 guineas.
Topping the sale on the third day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale was the Listed Surrey Stakes winner SOLOMON’S BAY who realised 390,000 guineas when knocked down to Rupert Pritchard-Gordon after he saw off the determined effort of Anthony Stroud.
Consigned by Roger Varian’s Carlburg Stables on behalf of Prince Faisal, the three-year-old son of EXCEED AND EXCEL is out of a SADLER’S WELLS mare and holds a Timeform rating of 112 following a win last time out at Kempton over six furlongs.
Pritchard-Gordon commented after the sale;
“He is for a Hong Kong client and will be racing in Hong Kong. He has form from 6f to a mile and has plenty of speed – he has a profile which should suit the race programme in Hong Kong very well. He is a very consistent horse who has done very little wrong. He has not been over-raced and he came here looking in great shape.
“He has been in good recent form, and his last win came on the All-Weather which opens up options for both surfaces in Hong Kong.”
Chris Waller, trainer of Australian wonder mare WINX and a regular purchaser at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale through his agent Guy Mulcaster, has purchased seven lots for a total of 880,000 guineas at this year’s sale including today’s second highest priced lot BRIMHAM ROCKS.
The three-year-old son of FASTNET ROCK has won four times, most recently at York over a mile and six furlongs, and was bought by Chris Waller Racing for 340,000 guineas.
Timeform rated 106, the bay gelding is out of the Listed-placed mare COLIMA and was consigned by trainer Ralph Beckett’s Kimpton Down Stables on behalf of owner-breeders Vimy and David Aykroyd who commented;
“We did not offer him as a yearling, and, yes, it is mixed emotions to sell him but you have to move them on. We have a Frankel yearling and a Kingman half-sister to this horse going into training next week with Ralph.
“We still have the mare Colima so we really hope that this horse goes on to be successful in Australia. We bought her at Tattersalls as a foal.”
Mulcaster, who saw off the challenges of eventual underbidder Alastair Donald, said;
“We had identified this horse on his form earlier this summer – it’s been a struggle this week, so it’s good to buy one.
“We’ll ship him down, get him into the system and acclimatise him. We’ll take it step by step and see how he gets on.”
Another lot destined for foreign lands is FROZEN ANGEL who was purchased by Sean Woods for 335,000 guineas on behalf of Hong Kong-based trainer David Ferraris.
The two-year-old son of DARK ANGEL is a winner over five furlongs and has had numerous outings in Group and Listed company in his first season. Most notably he was second to HAVANA GREY in the Listed National Stakes at Sandown and also runner-up in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin to UNFORTUNATELY who went on to win the Group 1 Prix Morny.
Timeform rated 106, FROZEN ANGEL was consigned by trainer Tom Dascombe’s Manor House Stables.
The Juddmonte Farms draft is always a highlight of the third day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale and this year proved no different with a total of 27 lots selling for 1,401,500 guineas. The top-priced amongst them was MELTING DEW, the winning son of CACIQUE, who was knocked down for 310,000 guineas to Rupert Pritchard-Gordon.
Formerly trained by Sir Michael Stoute and Timeform rated 103, MELTING DEW is a brother to Group 1 Nassau Stakes winner WINSILI and has won twice and placed four times on his ten starts over distances of a mile to a mile and a half.
“He is lovely athletic horse, with size and scope,” said Pritchard-Gordon. ‘He will be staying in England and will be targeted at the nice mile and a half heritage handicaps. He still has a little maturing to do and will do well over the winter. My client is very happy to get him.”
The Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale continues at 10am on Thursday, November 2
Death of pioneering trainer Mary Reveley who excelled at both codes
Former highly successful dual-purpose trainer Mary Reveley has died at the age of 77.
Reveley saddled more than 2,000 winners in a training career spanning 26 years and just last week became a great-grandmother with French-based rider James Reveley having his first child.
Reveley started training in 1978 when a livery-yard owner, saddling her first winner in 1979, and going on to excel on the Flat and over jumps. She trained with a permit from 1979 to 1981, and with a full licence for 23 years from 1981.
She enjoyed Cambridgeshire success with Mellottie in 1991, along with victories in the Long Distance Hurdles at Newbury and Ascot, and the West Yorkshire Hurdle twice, with Cab On Target, who won 20 of his 46 races under rules.
Cab On Target (1993 Future Champion Novices’ Chase) and Morgans Harbour (1995 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle) were her two Grade 1 strikes, although she won several more races that were Grade 2 at the time but are now Grade 1.
Please check out our new website, it’s still under development and hopefully by Monday will be fully updated.
The new site will automatically have live updates on post from twitter and Facebook.
We still have discounted shares available in our Kyllachy Filly. She will do a piece of work tomorrow, so if anyone wants to go and see her on the Middleham gallops let me know.
She is on track to make her debut in about 4-6 weeks..
All shares in our Canford Cliffs Yearling are now sold.
Aislabie is now back in full training and we look forward to seeing him next year under both codes.
After 2 disappointing runs with Maifalki we have moved him to Jason Ward, and he will be entered up soon. Jason loves him and we are confident he can get him back to his best. The change of scenery and use of the Middleham gallops hopefully will work the oracle.
Unfortunately we have had to retire Stretewise, which was a shame as she had ability and we have been so unlucky with her. Jason has found a good home for her next month and she will be retrained under a new discipline after her lengthy recovery due to a fracture on her pelvis.
Our new 3yo ‘The Lady Rules’ has been entered up to make her debut over hurdles on 1st Nov at Fakenham.
Entry: Our unraced 3yo by Soldier of Fortune ‘Aislabie’ has been entered for Redcar on Monday 16th, we shall keep an eye on the going and declare if appropriate. There is still a 10% share available and we are letting it go for 50% discount to one lucky owner. Contact Craig for details.
WINNER: Zebelini wins 1st time out at Ripon and gives Lamont RAcing out 1st Winner for Newmarket Trainer Ilka Gansera-Leveque. Raced on rail disputing lead, definite advantage 2f out, ridden and pressed inside final furlong, found bit extra in closing stages returned 40/1.
WINNER: Live Dangerously finally breaks his maiden as he wins well in the last at Hamilton giving our Trainer Keith Dalgleish 50 Winners to date in record time. Bringing ‘The Danger’ back to 5f he quickly led, travelled well and looked the winner 1f and when he was pressed for the lead he kept on gamely to win going away.
WINNER: Porthos Du Vallon wins again at Ayr this time with Tom Eaves onboard, Keen towards rear, headway over 2f out, ridden and every chance from over 1f out, led inside final furlong, driven out.
WINNER: Kano’s Ghirl gives us our very 1st Irish trained winner at Navan, Soon led, pushed along 2f out, ridden to go 2 lengths clear 150 yards out, kept on well to the line. Great price to at 25/1.
WINNER: Wee Frankie wins again at Haydock, tracking the leaders, ridden over 3f out, went 2nd over 2f out, stayed on inside final furlong, led towards finish. Wee Frankie has been given an OR-84 by the Handicapper.
WINNER: Porthos Du Vallon eventually gets off the mark at Hamilton, held up in mid-division, ridden to chase leaders when switched left and not clear run 2f out, stayed on to lead inside final furlong, ran on well and was given a great ride by our Sponsored jockey Jason Hart.
WINNER: Wee Frankie makes an impressive winning debut at Hamilton, close up with the pace he breezed to the front on the bridle and scored by 1length and 3/4. Well worth the wait and exciting times ahead. He will go straight to the Musselburgh Cup on 7th June.
Live Dangerously made his seasonal debut today at Musselburgh, finishing a creditable 2nd after over 200 days off the track. Brilliant run and will come on a ton for the race. He will be entered back up soon. A winner waiting to happend.
Kanos Ghirl has been entered for the 18:35 5f at Tipperary on Thursday. She has been going great guns at home on the sand gallop and we are expecting a big run on her 1st race this year on grass. Good luck to connections.
We have purchased a cracking colt by Hard Spun at the Craven Breeze up sales and willl join Keith Dalgleish. Prices are now available and we expect this syndicate to sell out fast. He comes highly recommended by our trainer and bloodstock agent Bobby O’Ryan.
We have arranged an Open day with Keith Dalglesih at Belstane Stables in Carluke on Sunday 23rd March at 11:00am , food and drinks will be provided. All welcome to join and see 7 of our horses on the gallops including our 2yos by Paco Boy, Intikhab & Captain Gerrard.
Kano’s Ghirl has been entered to run her handicap qualifying race at Dundalk on Friday 21st Feb 18:15.
We have purchased a cracking yearling colt by first season sire and Classic Winner Roderic O’Connor at the Goffs sales in Ireland. Pictures and pricing willl be available soon.
Please Contact Craig – firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or call 01698 386 624 or 07584 209 507
To date, Scotland No.1 record breaking trainer Keith Dalgleish has provided Lamont Racing in our very first season the following amazing statistics: 22 Runs – 2 winners, 4 seconds, 4 thirds and 2 fourths.
Giving a win place rate of over 55%. Truly sensational.
We still have 3 Scottish meeting to go before the flat season ends, before then, Wee Frankie has still to make his debut, Live Dangerously, Porthos Du Vallon and Scurr Mist are WINNERS waiting to happen 🙂
We have purchased 5 yearlings so far with 4 of them by exciting first season sires Paco Boy, Showcasing x 2, Zebedee and a Captain Gerrard filly who’s full sister is already a 2 times winner. Captain Gerrard has surpassed all expectations in his first season with 2yos and looks like he will be in the top 5 first season sires list this year.