A review of the feature action from day two of the Newmarket July Festival where Alpha Centauri was a brilliant winner of the Falmouth Stakes.
Alpha slams Falmouth rivals
Alpha Centauri continued her fantastic season with a dominant display in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket. Having proved her victory in the Irish 1,000 Guineas was no fluke with a scintillating display in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, Jessica Harrington's star filly was the 4-9 favourite to complete a Group One hat-trick on the July Course.
Jockey Colm O'Donoghue kept things simple from the moment the gates opened, allowing Alpha Centauri to stride on in front against the rail. It was clear some way from home that several of her rivals were struggling to keep up, and O'Donoghue only had to keep his mount up to her work to score comfortably by four and a half lengths.
Altyn Orda narrowly beat Clemmie to the runner-up spot, with Nyaleti a long way back in fourth.
O'Donoghue said: "She's a very special filly and I'm very lucky to ride her. I think she ran a very good race and I think there's still improvement in her. She's ice cold."
Harrington said: "She's absolutely unbelievable. She was just hacking along and quickened up. Maybe she didn't win as far as she did in Ascot, but she had to do the donkey work today and had to make all the running. She is amazing. For the size of her, she loves that ground. I'm very lucky to train her. She just has a very high cruising speed and that's what really helps her."
Asked about future plans, the trainer added: "She'll probably go to Deauville next for the Prix Jacques le Marois. I know the Niarchos family (owners) love the Breeders' Cup, so that probably is on the cards."
Polly dazzles in Cambridge
Pretty Pollyanna streaked clear of her rivals when springing a surprise in a dramatic renewal of the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.
Much of the pre-race build-up focused on the rematch between Main Edition and La Pelosa, who were separated by just a neck when first and second respectively in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
La Pelosa was the marginal favourite to gain her revenge, but both were impeded after Angel's Hideaway veered right under pressure with over a furlong still to run, by which stage the Michael Bell-trained 20-1 shot Pretty Pollyanna was away and gone under Silvestre de Sousa. The further Pretty Pollyanna went the better she looked and she passed the post a full seven lengths clear of Angel's Hideaway.
Sky Bet make the winner a 16/1 chance for next year's QIPCO 1000 Guineas.
Bell said: "Obviously visually it was very impressive. There was a little bit of scrimmaging in behind so some might have been closer, but either way it was a good time and she won very easily so you can't be more than very impressed with her. She was impressive at Yarmouth and Ascot last time was a learning curve for her. She has clearly improved a lot from Ascot, but she has only done one piece of easy work. There is a lot to look forward to."
On future plans, the Newmarket trainer said: "She is in the Lowther (at York). That's a possibility, but she has a penalty for that now. She is in the Moyglare (at the Curragh). I'm not sure where she will go. We will rest on our laurels."
Poignant victory for Zap
Zap came from last to first to claim a poignant victory in the bet365-sponsored Silver Bunbury Cup at Newmarket.
Earlier on Friday it emerged Richard Fahey's former apprentice Laura Barry had sadly lost her battle with cancer, aged 25. She was due to marry jockey Tony Hamilton's brother, Ben Hamilton, on Saturday.
An emotional trainer said: "She was a wonderful girl and will be truly missed. She was loved by everyone. She was a very tough girl, but had been suffering for a long time. She was just such a star and never complained. She came over as an apprentice from Ireland. She was a very helpful and very kind person."
A field of just seven runners went to post for the consolation race for Saturday's prestigious handicap, with Zap one of two runners for Fahey and owner Peter Timmins, along with Gallipoli.
The latter disputed the lead for much of the seven-furlong journey along with Saluti and Maksab, with Zap and PJ McDonald seemingly struggle to keep up at the rear of the field.
However, the complexion of the race changed late on as the pacesetters faltered and while 4-1 joint-favourite Swift Approval battled his way to the lead in the final furlong, it was 7-1 shot Zap who came home best of all to prevail by a head.
North Yorkshire-based Fahey said of the winner: "The decision was made not to run in the consolation race and if we got into the big one then fine, but when I saw there were only five runners I thought we had to have a go.
"I wasn't planning to run in the race then two minutes before (declarations) I saw the race had cut up. I spoke to Peter, we declared them and we've ended up finishing first and third, so it's fantastic."