1st 12 Nahoodh 10/1
Frankie Dettori produced the Mark Johnston-trained Nahoodh with a perfectly-timed challenge to gain the advantage inside the final furlong to land the feature race on day one of the Ritz Club July Festival, the Group One UAE Hydra Properties Falmouth Stakes.
Owned by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the grey daughter of Clodovil joined Johnston from Mick Channon’s stable after her seventh-placed effort in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. On her first start for her new stable, she filled sixth spot behind Lush Lashes in the Group One Coronation Stakes but really stepped up on that performance to land today’s £200,000 contest by a length and three quarters.
Commenting on the return to form of his stable, Johnston said: “It’s funny how on the one hand, when everybody was saying the stable form was desperately bad, although we weren’t having the winners, I always go on the percentage that’s place and think that’s more accurate. Through June and the beginning of July, we were running at about a third place, which is normal but we didn’t have the winners. If you look at the stats this morning for the last fortnight, we’ve now got more winners but the percentage placed is down.
“Everyone said on Saturday, four winners, you’re back in form. I wasn’t 100 per cent happy but a Group One winner makes a big difference - makes up for a lot.
“We analyse a lot but we rarely come to some conclusions. As usual, you’re out of form before you really know what’s causing it. These things happen all of the time - year in year out, you have peaks and drops. In the last two years, the drops have tended to be when the horses are underweight and looking poor.
“Luckily on this occasion, the horses were if anything heavy so that makes it a little bit easier. When you realise that they are heavier, the answer is to just get on with them a little bit more.
“I’ve had Nahoodh since just about a fortnight before Royal Ascot so not much more than a month. The first attitude was that if we were going to do anything, we had to do something different. So our first approach was to let her bowl along and we thought she ran well enough at Ascot but Frankie (Dettori) said to come back to seven furlongs.
“Since then, we didn’t decide on tactics until today, but we have been trying to teach her to settle and relax and go a bit further. To be honest, it wasn’t until two days ago that I decided to run her over a mile again. We had her entered over six furlongs as well but we were really looking for a seven but he lure of the Group One was too much.
“Quite simply, she was sold by Jaber Abdullah to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed. I obviously went to speak to Mick about it when she arrived but he said that he always understood from the time that she was sold after the Irish 1,000 Guineas that she would come to me. So he knew more than I did about that!
“We’ve sold quite a few at the sales recently, but Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed owns about 40 per cent of my horses.
“She obviously gets a mile. There’s richer pickings over a mile so I imagine that she’ll stay to a mile. Interestingly, the staff at Mick Channon’s said to my staff that she would love the conditions out there today.
“Frankie obviously rides quite often for us, particularly on Maktoum-owned horses and at this level. And he was the ideal man for the job.
“Most of the horses we get for Godolphin are coming here as yearlings, it’s not common to get a horse like this. With the yearlings, it’s understood that the princpal aim is to find horses that are good enough to move to Godolphin.
“It’s a great job to have and I’m not complaining about it. It’s wonderful to have the job. I can assure you that I was delighted when Campanologist won at Ascot and cheering him on at Sandown. I want to see him succeed more than anybody cause I like this job and long may it continue.”
RICHARDSON PLEASED SEACHANGE HAS RUN HER LAST RACE
Chris Richardson, Managing Director of Cheveley Park Stud, was very satisfied with the performances of Infallible and Heaven Sent, who finished second and third respectively in the highlight of Bond Street Race Day, the £200,000 Group One UAE Hydra Properties Falmouth Stakes.
Richardson commented: “They have both run a blinder.
“Infallible proved she stayed the trip today. She has plenty of speed, however, and we could consider races over six or seven furlongs for her.
“Heaven Sent ran very well. It was a good race today and the winner looked to be unlucky in the Guineas.”
Back in fourth was the star New Zealand mare Seachange, who has run her last race.
Trainer Graeme Sanders said: “That was a very good, honest run. She tried hard.
“We didn’t want the rain - we wanted it firm. I’m not saying she would have won, but on firm ground she might have been second.”
Seachange had been declared for Friday’s Darley July Cup but Sanders revealed that was only a back-up plan: “We only left her in the July Cup in case she didn’t run today.
“That was her last run and she will now go to stud in New Zealand.
“I was pleased her run today showed that she could be competitive in these sort of races.”
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