Brigadier Gerard Stakes
|Group 3, Sandown 19:40
1m 2f 7y, Class 1
|Thursday 26th May 2016|
1 Time Test 3/1
2 Western Hymn 7/2
3 Scottish 7/1
7 ran Distances: nk, 4½l, 5l
TIME 2m 6.18s (slow by 0.88s)
Time Test beats Western Hymn in a thrilling finish to the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown
Time Test was also saddled with a 5lb penalty having won a Group Two heat at Newmarket last September, but he shrugged off those negatives to highlight his Royal Ascot claims.
Ryan Moore was happy to settle at the back of the field as 5/4 favourite Intilaaq set the early pace and it was the market leader who was still in front as they turned for home.
However, Scottish served it up to Intilaaq and he folded tamely, leaving the Godolphin runner in front before Western Hymn swiftly picked up the challenge.
Western Hymn looked set to repeat his win of last year approaching the final furlong only for Moore to launch a late swoop down the outside aboard Time Test.
The pair battled it out in the dying strides, but Time Test proved a neck too good with Scottish back in third.
Charlton felt the trip had brought out the best in Time Test.
He said: "He didn't take the easy route, but I think a mile and quarter is what brings out the best in him. We flirted with a mile a bit last year and he won the Group Two (Joel Stakes at Newmarket) but talking to Ryan Moore, a mile and a quarter is his trip. Ryan was particularly pleased with him, which is very encouraging.
"It was a fair test. Western Hymn is a professional and 5lb is 5lb. I've got to be pleased."
Charlton is now keen to tackle the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he admits A Shin Hikari could put up stiff opposition following his 10-length victory in the Prix d'Ispahan at Chantilly on Tuesday.
He said: "The disappointing thing was seeing how wonderful the Japanese horse was the other day, otherwise you would fancy yourself in the Prince of Wales's Stakes. He may be a real, serious superstar.
"We will talk to Lord Grimthorpe (racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah) as they also have New Bay, but that's what I'd be angling for as he looked good at Ascot last year and he wasn't stopping at the end of a mile and a quarter there. The Queen Anne might be the easier race, but on the basis of that race I'd be guided more towards the mile and a quarter. Indeed, he may even stay further in the future.
"He's more relaxed than he was last year and he's done really well. He's a year older and he's a lightly-raced Dubawi, let's hope there's still improvement in him.
"The mistake we made last year was going to the Breeders' Cup with him. We were led to believe that, whatever happened, the ground would be firm and we ended up with horrible ground, a wide draw and nothing really worked.
"The advantage of going to America, though, was that he travelled over very well and grew up a lot as a result.
"He's a straightforward horse to train, a genuine horse and a real racehorse.
"He excites me a lot. He did at Ascot last year. Timeform gave him a rather phenomenal rating. They rather nailed their colours to the mast and then downgraded him afterwards. But I think we're getting back to that sort of level."
John Gosden was thrilled with Western Hymn's effort and felt his narrow defeat represented another improvement after a long period on the sidelines following a serious bout of colic last year.
He said: "I'm delighted with him, that's the best race he's run this year.
"He had a colic operation but he's come back and run better and better every time.
"We will just wait for where he gets some ease in the ground, but he's run another good race. We might think about stepping up to a mile and half as he's got older and he might stay that little bit further. He does love a little bit of juice in the ground too, but I thought the winner was impressive giving him 5lb as he did."
Brigadier Gerard Stakes
£65,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 2f 7y, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm, Good in places
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(7)||Time Test 3/1||R L Moore
|2nd||(1)||nk||Western Hymn 7/2||L Dettori
|J H M Gosden||5|
|3rd||(4)||4½||Scottish (IRE) 7/1||W Buick
|4th||(5)||5||Not So Sleepy 66/1||Jim Crowley
|5th||(6)||¾||Niceofyoutotellme 33/1||F M Berry
|R M Beckett||7|
|6th||(2)||4||Intilaaq (USA) 5/4f||P Hanagan
|7th||(3)||4½||Fire Fighting (IRE) 33/1||A Kirby