Borderlescott Better Than Ever in Audi King George Stakes
1 Borderlescott 9/2F
Eight-year-old Borderlescott proved himself better than ever when, partnered by Kieren Fallon for the first time, getting up to take the Group Two Audi King George Stakes by half a length.
The gelding, who won the 2006 bluesq.com Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood, is now set to head to York to try and win a third Group One Nunthorpe Stakes. He was also second and third in the Stewards’ Cup in subsequent years.
“He’ s an unbelievable horse. He is eight now and you are thinking ‘oh crikey, when is he going to lose that bit of dash’ but he has been coming to hand as he always does at this time of year. I think that he is better now than ever, to be honest,” said Bastiman.
“I think that he has to run against top-class horses and have a fast pace because he does tend to idle a bit when he hits the front. He is getting a bit older now and it takes a bit longer to wind him up but, once he gets wound up, he goes. The engine is still there and that is the main thing.
“I knew that Kieren hadn’t really gone for him two furlongs out and he is a better horse off the bridle. He gave him a couple of slaps and he’s gone into overdrive. Kieren rode him to perfection, just how we wanted.
“He just has this will to win and I can’t wait for the Nunthorpe now. I saw Equiano in the July Cup and he’s a superb horse, a real gutsy animal, but we’ll have to take him on at York and hopefully he can give us a nice lead.
“I’m sorry for Neil (Callan), who missed the ride because he got a one-day ban at a Micky Mouse meeting, which seems very unfair. I’ll have to talk to the owner about who rides at York, maybe we’ll just have to toss a coin to decide.”
Fallon added: “He has been a great servant for the Bastiman family and the few jockeys who have ridden him - he has had quite a few. I was dying to get the ride today and he made it easy for me and won quite well at the finish.
“I was stuck in a bit of a pocket behind and I had to wait for a stride before I could switch. We got a lucky ride down the outside and he did it quite comfortably.
“You wouldn’t think that he had a race. He doesn’t use any gas at all and he is totally switched off. I nearly had to push him down to the post, whereas most sprinters are using up most of their energy before the race. This lad doesn’t do anything but, as soon as he gets into the gate, he knows he has a race on his hands and he lightens up.
“I rode a lot of winners at places like Catterick and Pontefract for Robin when I first came over as an apprentice. In fact I think someone didn’t turn up for his ride one day at Pontefract so Robin offered me the ride and it went from there.”
AWAY-DAY JOURNEYS HELP WITH GROUP THERAPY
Aptly-named Group Therapy has been spending additional time in Jeremy Noseda’s lorry, rather than in his psychiatrist’s chair.
Trips to the races with his stablemates, even on days when he has not been in action, has helped the horse to settle, said Noseda after Group Therapy had been beaten just half a length into second by Borderlescott in the Audi King George Stakes.
The five-year-old joined his current trainer this season after a spell with Nick Littmoden that began successfully and tailed off into abject disappointment with three very poor efforts towards the end of last year. The change of scene has worked however and, after a win and place, for Noseda he again pointed his toe today.
Noseda said: “He’s run a huge race, although the draw didn’t quite help me. I’ve only had him since the beginning of the year but he’s run a lifetime best. I’ll speak to the owners but we may have a pop at the Nunthorpe Stakes or we may go a level below and see if we can get a stakes win out of him. He’s a dead five-furlong horse and this five suited him well - at Sandown last time the stiff finish just found him out.
“We’ve worked a few things to settle him down, although when he gets to the races he’s very, very edgy. Since his last run he’s been to the races four times, walked around the paddock and then taken home. He’s run three times this year but must have been to the races another 12 or 13 times.
“In this game, the harder you work the more reward you get.”
Ed McMahon was no less pleased with third-placed Astrophysical Jet, a stoutly-bred filly who seems to have found her niche at five furlongs. McMahon said: “She was the first three-year-old over the line and has run a cracking race. She’s only been beaten narrowly by a Group One winner [Borderlescott].
“ We’ve found her trip now - I’ve been trying to get as much distance out of her as possible because of her breeding [by miler Dubawi out of a Rainbow Quest mare] but we’ve had to take the bull by the horns and bring her back to five.
“I went to the sales to buy a Guineas filly and ended up buying a sprinter, although on breeding it was impossible to tell. That said Dubawi has thrown a few sprinters and this is a good one.
“We’ve got a couple of options for her - the Flying Five at the Curragh or a stakes race at Longchamp which is worth 20,000 euros more.”
Graham Gibbon, the filly’s jockey, was in trouble with the stewards for interfering with Starfish Bay inside the final furlong and causing a ripple of interference. He was judged to have ridden carelessly in allowing his mount to drift left and, because he has been suspended for 21 days for interference in the last six months, the jockey has been referred to the British Horseracing Authority.
The steward also looked into the fall of Liam Jones off Triple Aspect in the final half-furlong and found it was caused by the saddle slipping. Jones was unscathed.
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