Doncaster review: God Given digs deep for Spencer

God Given wins under Jamie Spencer
God Given wins under Jamie Spencer

A round-up of the pick of the action from day two of the St Leger Festival at Doncaster as God Given rediscovered the winning trail.

God moves in successful ways

God Given rediscovered the winning trail with a narrow verdict in the DFS Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Luca Cumani's filly was beaten just a short head by the reopposing Horseplay in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock in July before finishing fourth behind Pilaster, the 6/5 favourite for this Group Two affair, in the Lillie Langtry at Goodwood.

Having finished third in a French Group Two on her most recent outing, God Given was a 5/1 shot under Jamie Spencer and made her move racing inside the final quarter-mile.

Horseplay held a narrow advantage racing inside the final furlong, but God Given wore her down to gain her revenge by a neck.

Having been held up last by Andrea Atzeni, Pilaster made late headway to finish a clear third, with Flattering faring best of Aidan O'Brien's two Irish raiders in fourth.

Cumani said: "After the Lillie Langtry, when she was a bit keen in front, we thought we'd have to be a bit careful over this mile-six and as there was a leisurely pace with the Aidan O'Brien second string, we just sat away and went and did battle on the straight.

"It was a battle and an exciting race. All the more exciting because we won."

He added: "Ascot (Champions Day, Fillies and Mares Stakes) next. The plan was if she didn't win today we'd have gone to France form a Group Two on Arc weekend, but now she's got that Group Two there's no point.

"Her last race will be at Ascot and then she'll probably go to stud and make beautiful babies."

Andrew Balding said of runner-up Horseplay: "She's run a great race. Obviously the 3lb penalty has paid, but she battled all the way and I'm delighted with her.

"Hopefully we'll have a Group One opportunity with her in the autumn, possibly in Canada, the Canadian International."

Roger Varian added of third-placed Pilaster: "The lack of pace hindered us. She was closest at the finish and just got out-sprinted a little bit.

"We'd like to go to Ascot for the Group One on Champions Day. It's likely it will be on easier ground, which will suit her. Though it's down in trip, it will probably be more of a test than today was."


Fleeting moment at Doncaster

Fleeting came home to good effect to provide Aidan O'Brien with a first victory in the William Hill May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

A field of 11 juvenile fillies went to post for the Group Two contest and O'Brien was double-handed, with Fleeting the apparent second string behind the Ryan Moore-ridden Peach Tree.

The latter was on the pace throughout before fading, while the trainer's son, Donnacha, settled 12/1 shot Fleeting towards the rear before angling wide to throw down his challenge on the far side.

The hat-trick-seeking Star Terms was in front racing inside the final furlong, but Fleeting saw out the straight mile best to get up and score by a length and a half.

Star Terms galloped on for second, ahead of Sand Share in third, but Dubai Beauty, the 11/8 favourite following an impressive debut at Newmarket last month, was bitterly disappointing.

Paul Smith, son of part-owner Derrick Smith, said: "Donnacha said she was a bit fresh going down to the start, so he took his time with her and in hindsight with that headwind that was probably a good thing.

"She came through horses really well and we're really happy with her. I suppose there wasn't much between her and Peach Tree from her last piece of form and it was a very pleasing effort."

He added: "She got the mile well. We'll look at the Fillies' Mile and the (Prix Marcel) Boussac. They will have to be on the radar now. Donnacha was very pleased with her. She picked them up nicely and showed a good temperament. We're happy."

Richard Hannon said of runner-up Star Terms: "She travelled very well, settled and she looks like a very good filly. We'll see where we go from here. We'll regroup, very pleased."

Ralph Beckett, trainer of third home Sand Share, said: "I'm very pleased with her. It was a good effort first time on the turf. She's a big old girl and will improve for a winter on her back, so we'll see where we go from here. I couldn't be happier. I'm not sold on the Fillies' Mile. She might go into Listed company next. We'll see."

Fleeting wins under Donnacha O'Brien
Fleeting wins under Donnacha O'Brien

Great day for Ryan and Mullen

The Great Heir defied odds of 33/1 to win the Weatherbys Racing Bank 300,000 2-Y-O Stakes for Kevin Ryan and jockey Andrew Mullen.

The Great Heir wins at Doncaster
The Great Heir wins at Doncaster

Picked up for 33,000 euro at Arqana Sales in France in August 2017, the son of Pedro The Great justified the faith of trainer Kevin Ryan and owner Dave Stone with a narrow victory, as outsiders dominated the finish.

Driven to the line by Andrew Mullen, The Great Heir got the verdict by half a length from Dirty Rascal (25/1) with Wasntexpectingthat (33/1) three-quarters of a length away in third place.

A delighted Stone said: "We were eighth last year with a horse we bought at Arqana, like this guy, and it was the first time Andrew has ridden him competitively. It's his third win. He won at York for me - that was my dream and this is something else.

"I knew he was finishing well, but didn't know he'd won. It's such a thrill."

Ryan said: "We had three nice horses in the race. This horse is tough and consistent. I knew all three were coming into the race well. We didn't know how their draws would work out, but we knew they were all in good shape.

"When you've got three horses healthy and well you know you've got a chance. We'll enjoy the moment and have a chat next week (about future plans)."

You Stay Classy, Doncaster...

Stay Classy could be bound for Ayr after showing a neat turn of foot to land the British Stallion Studs EBF 'Carrie Red' Fillies' Nursery Handicap.

The well-backed 6/1 shot quickened in good style for top apprentice David Egan to lead a furlong out and hold Strict Tempo by a neck, with Winter Light a length and a quarter back in third place.

Trainer Richard Spencer believes the daughter of Camacho has the ability to make her presence felt in Pattern company.

"She travelled well and quickened away nicely. It was just what we needed," said Spencer.

"We'll see how she is when she gets home, but potentially we'll look for a black-type race for her at Ayr. We'll keep her to six furlongs."


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