Sky Bet York Stakes
| Group 2, York 15:15
1m 2f 88y, Class 1
|Saturday 29th July 2017|
1 Success Days 3/1F
2 Mondialiste 12/1
3 Hathal 4/1
7 ran NR: Autocratic Distances: nse, 1¼l, 1¾l, dht
Time: 2m 10.59s (slow by 3.59s)
Success Days toughs it out to win from the front
Success Days enjoyed a well-deserved day in the sun after producing a tremendous front-running display.
Ken Condon's pride and joy looked a serious Classic contender after winning both the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial a couple of years ago, but suffered a serious injury in the Epsom Derby won by Golden Horn.
A listless effort in Germany on his comeback run later that year suggested his career may be in jeopardy, but he has been a model of consistency in the last two seasons, beating Champion Stakes winner Fascinating Rock and chasing home Arc heroine Found along the way.
Victories have proved difficult to come by, but with the rain-softened ground in his favour, the five-year-old grey was the 3-1 favourite for York's Group Two feature.
Shane Foley set the fractions in front and while the globetrotting Mondialiste finished with a real flourish, Success Days refused to bend and clung on by a nose.
Condon said: "To be honest I thought we were booked for second half a furlong down, but he's really dug deep.
"He's such a tough and consistent horse. He'd been narrowly beaten in two Group Threes this year, but today was his day. He's at the ceiling of his ability now.
"Not many horses come back from what happened to him at Epsom. He fractured his pastern and had to have six weeks box rest.
"He's lightly-enough raced, but soft ground is important to him.
"I wasn't sure I was going to declare on Thursday, but to be fair to Anthea (Morshead, assistant clerk of the course), she rang me back at 9am and told me the forecast had changed."
Success Days holds an entry in the Juddmonte International back at York on August 23, but looks unlikely to make a return trip.
"He's a solid 114-rated horse and I'm not sure he'd be good enough to win a race like that, plus the ground will probably be quick here by then," Condon added.
"Champions Weekend at home is important to us. He's in the Irish Champion Stakes (Leopardstown, September 9) and there's also a mile-and-a-half Group Three and the Boomerang Stakes over a mile.
"I wouldn't mind having a go at the Champion Stakes at Ascot if it came up soft, but we might have to travel abroad with him if he is going to win a Group One.
"He went to Germany before and it didn't work out, but the race in Munich in November (Grosser Preis von Bayern) would probably suit him."
Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2)
£100,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 2f 88y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(3)||Success Days (IRE) 3/1f||S Foley
|K J Condon||5|
|2nd||(7)||nse||Mondialiste (IRE) 12/1||D Tudhope
|3rd||(2)||1¼||Hathal (USA) 4/1||P Cosgrave
|W J Haggas||5|
|4th||(6)||1¾||Central Square (IRE) 9/1||Jack Mitchell
|4th||(1)||d.h||Victory Bond 4/1||P Makin
|W J Haggas||4|
|6th||(5)||2¼||Elbereth 8/1||P McDonald
|A M Balding||6|
|7th||(8)||5||Algometer 4/1||P Mulrennan
|D M Simcock||4|
|NR||(4)||Autocratic||T E Durcan
|Sir Michael Stoute||4|