Betfair Molecomb Stakes 2010  

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Speedy Zebedee Takes Molecomb Stakes

1 Zebedee 2/1F
2 Stone Of Folca 4/1
3 Choose Wisely 33/1

A dream season for trainer Richard Hannon continued when Richard Hughes produced Zebedee with a perfectly timed right to get up close to the line and take the Group Three Betfair Molecomb Stakes.

“I’m going to have a heart attack if Hughesie keeps riding like that!” joked Hannon. “He’ll get six furlongs and will go for the Gimcrack now. We’ll regroup and have a think but he’s also in the valuable Tattersalls sales races.”

Hughes added: “That’s what it’s all about. The first day he ever won, he pulled himself up a little bit at the end - he started at 1/2 and I think that he only won by half a length.

“So I said to the boss after that race that I thought that he might have just pulled himself up. The one day that we didn’t hold him up was at Royal Ascot - which was the boss’s fault! It was worth having a go but it didn't work, so we dropped him in today.

“I actually wanted to be further back than I was and when Jimmy (Fortune on runner-up Stone Of Folca) went I didn’t know what we would find but he did it well. He’ll get six furlongs now.

“You can’t do it without the horse and he’s got a super dash that lasts 50 metres. But when he uses it he’s explosive and you have to save it for the end.

“We said from day one that he was our fastest horse and he’s just very speedy. He’s a real two-year-old and has not let us down yet.”

Owner Julie Wood added: “Richard wanted to drop him into today so he was able to ride him differently to Royal Ascot, when he was exposed and had to run his own race from the front.

“It’s heart-stopping because you think that he is going to get there - and when he does, it’s great - but leading there when he is still tucked in with half a furlong to go, your heart is in your mouth.

“It’s been a fabulous season. We had a runner in this race seven years ago, just with a horse who was good enough to run, but it’s great to come back with a horse that you think has a chance of winning. It’s a great venue.

“We bought the nice horses that came along at the sales. We have no gameplan and he was another one that came along at the right time that we liked so we went for him.

“I thought that it would be nice to have a horse named with a Z - I am working my way through the alphabet slowly - but if you look at the colt, he is a real typical two-year-old and a really compact bouncy boy. It suits him.

“Plans are pretty fluid for him at the moment. He holds some forwards entries and we will see. He is in the Tattersalls Million and we will take in anything nice along the way.”


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
R Hannon
R Hughes
9st 0lbs
2 - 1
Stone Of Folca
J R Best
J Quinn
9st 0lbs
4 - 1
Choose Wisely
K A Ryan
N Callan
9st 0lbs
33 - 1
R A Fahey
P Hanagan
9st 0lbs
11 - 2
2 lengths
Avonmore Star
R Hannon
R L Moore
9st 0lbs
5 - 1
1/2 length
Leiba Leiba
M Botti
William Buick
9st 0lbs
16 - 1
Lord Of The Stars
R M Beckett
Jim Crowley
9st 0lbs
9 - 1
Short Head
Serena's Pride
A P Jarvis
K Fallon
8st 11lbs
33 - 1
1 3/4 length
Primo Lady
Miss Gay Kelleway
J Fortune
8st 11lbs
25 - 1
1 length
Style And Panache
P D Evans
Catherine Gannon
8st 11lbs
100 - 1
1/2 length
Bold Bidder
K A Ryan
R Ffrench
8st 11lbs
18 - 1
1 1/2 length
Scarlet Rocks
P D Evans
T P Queally
8st 11lbs
50 - 1
6 lengths



Two-year-old Stone Of Folca is set to take on the best sprinters in Europe after finishing a close second to favourite Zebedee in the Betfair Molecomb Stakes.

Maidstone-based trainer John Best said York’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, a Group One contest taking place on August 20 and open to horses of all ages, would be Stone Of Folca’s next engagement. Best knows what it takes to win the Nunthorpe with a juvenile, for he achieved the feat with Kingsgate Native three years ago - and that after the horse had finished runner-up (to no less a rival than Fleeting Spirit) in the Betfair Molecomb Stakes.

Best said: “Jimmy [Quinn] thought there was going to be a really fast pace to the race, but Ryan [Moore on Avonmore Star] jumped out in front and took a pull. They didn’t go quick enough for us and our horse fought him [Quinn] a little bit.

“From a furlong and a half out our horse and Zebedee were the only two still cruising. I was watching him and thought, ‘Oh God, here he comes - another Richard Hannon special’.

“We’ll have a think about it but the Nunthorpe would still be our target. He’ll get a strong gallop there and with 8st 1lb he must go there with a chance. He’s got so much natural speed. Kingsgate Native wouldn’t have travelled that well for so long.”

Third-placed Choose Wisely will also head to York, although trainer Kevin Ryan favours the Gimcrack Stakes, while owner-and-former-trainer David Barker would like to make a supplementary entry for the Nunthorpe Stakes.

Barker said: “Between me and Kevin we know a good horse when we see one. He’s run very well and it seems to have been a very good race. He’s had a break since he last ran in France [when fifth] and we just wondered whether he was short of match fitness. York is closer to home and that would suit us - and we’ll be fitter next time.”

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