Victoria Racing Club Molecomb Stakes
Group 3, Goodwood 15:45
£75,000 added,
2yo only,
5f, Class 1
Wednesday 27th July 2016


1 Yalta 8/1
2 The Last Lion 3/1
3 Global Applause 2/1F
NR: Rainbow Mist (IRE), Shamsaya (IRE), Springbourne
9 ran Distances: 3l, ¾l, ½l
TIME 57.14s (slow by 0.24s)

Yalta lands the Molecomb Stakes for trainer Mark Johnston

© Racehorse Photos

The Mark Johnston-trained Yalta ran out an impressive winner under James Doyle to provide the jockey with his second winner of the week at the 2016 Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The two-year-old broke well in the five-furlong contest and was not for passing as the son of Exceed And Excel quickened clear of his rivals to score by three lengths in a two-year-old course record time of 57.14 seconds. The Last Lion, also trained by Johnston, and Ed Dunlop's Global Applause filled the placings.

Doyle said: "It was a pretty breathtaking performance. Mark [Johnston, trainer] said they weren't sure about coming back to five. However, Yalta had a lot of speed in the past so they made that decision. I just had to get him out of the gate and not interfere with him.

"He was quick out of the gates and sharp out of his stride. I wasn't being hassled up front so he enjoyed being out the front on his own. I dropped my rein on him when I first picked him up which wasn't a great help to him either in a race of this calibre.

"We gathered it together and we finished off very well. He is a smashing specimen and we can keep pressing on with him."

When asked about a possible tilt at the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, Doyle suggested the race would suit the colt. He remarked: "There are not many negatives about the Nunthorpe for him. He is very ready and very strong. He carries himself well and has a great temperament.

"Connections will have a chat and will come up with a plan but, if someone said about it [Nunthorpe] to me, I certainly wouldn't put them off. He loves a fast five furlongs. He has won here before and did have track experience which was a help."

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Victoria Racing Club Molecomb Stakes
£75,000 added, 2yo only, 5f, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good, Good to Firm in places

Pos Draw Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (3) Yalta (IRE) 8/1 James Doyle
M Johnston 2
2nd (2) 3 The Last Lion (IRE) 3/1 F Norton
M Johnston 2
3rd (1) ¾ Global Applause 2/1f L Dettori
E A L Dunlop 2
4th (7) ½ Sportsmanship (USA) 11/2 R L Moore
A P O'Brien 2
5th (8) Big Time Baby (IRE) 9/1 R Kingscote
Tom Dascombe 2
6th (9) 1 Kyllang Rock (IRE) 16/1 Andrea Atzeni
J Tate 2
7th (4) nk Just An Idea (IRE) 50/1 M Harley
H J L Dunlop 2
8th (5) Nayyar 10/1 James McDonald
C Hills 2
9th (10) Rapacity Alexander (IRE) 25/1 J F Egan
P D Evans 2
NR (6) Rainbow Mist (IRE) 10/1 Non Runner
Mrs A Duffield 2
NR (12) Springbourne 20/1 Non Runner
S Kirk 2
NR (11) Shamsaya (IRE) 25/1 Non Runner
S Crisford 2


Trainer Mark Johnston was happy enough with the performance of The Last Lion, who finished the three length runner-up to stablemate Yalta this afternoon.

The two-year-old has yet to be out of the frame in six career starts to date but his trainer admitted to being a 'bit disappointed' in the juvenile, given that he expected the 3/1 shot to beat the winner this afternoon.

"It's obviously a bit disappointing for the owners of The Last Lion as we didn't expect that performance from Yalta," said Johnston.

"We thought The Last Lion was the out and out five furlong horse but we can't get away from the fact that he's been put in his place there.

"What has emerged this season is that he might be a bit better with some cut in the ground. When he won the Brocklesby (at Doncaster), Franny (Norton - jockey) got off him and said he'd be much better on better ground.

"We're now finding out that a bit of cut in the ground certainly doesn't inconvenience him but sometimes hinders the others so we might have to look for a bit of ease in the ground in France or in the autumn here."

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