Red Jazz Rises to the Challenge
1 Red Jazz 5/1
Barry Hills’ Red Jazz earned a deserved success after a series of narrow misses with victory under Robert Winston in the Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes.
The three-year-old has gone close in top-class company several times this season and came into this seven-furlong Group Two event after his gutsy third in the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot three weeks earlier.
With Hills’ son and Red Jazz’s regular partner, Michael, in Canada to partner Redwood in the Pattison Canadian International, Winston took the ride and steered the son of Johannesburg to a two-and-a-quarter-length success over Cat Junior and Main Aim.
Hills said: “He has terrible feet and has had problems with them all year, but plenty of horses have got bad feet and we all have our problems.
“He ran the race of his life in the QEII but was hopping lame the week before last.
“He might go to Dubai in the spring if we can find a race for him and we will then look at the Lockinge and Queen Anne and see where we go.
“He will make a stallion this horse and he will be better next year.”
The trainer added of his association with Winston: “Robert comes in and rides out twice a week. Everybody has a bad time and people deserve a chance.”
Winston added: “He is a real, tough performer - he proved that in Group One company at Ascot last time. He was going back to seven furlongs today but has got plenty of pace to sit handy and, once I sent him on two and a furlongs out, I always knew that he was going to dig deep for me.
“I took an honest lead off Ryan (Moore) and we were on the fresh ground as well. I got a nice lead down to two and a half furlongs out and the horse really dug deep for me. He is a tough horse.”
After winning the opening race on Champions’ Day, jockey Robert Winston, who rode Red Jazz, said: “It’s great to ride a winner on a big occasion like this. We all work hard and it’s good when it works out. To be given the opportunity is very gratifying. There’s a great crowd and a wonderful atmosphere - you have to soak it up when you can.”
Winston described the ground as: “Slightly on the easy side of good - they’re just getting their toe in, but it will be drying out all the time in this wind.”
Frankie Dettori, rider of fourth-placed Delegator, said: “It’s good to soft,” and when asked how that would affect Saamid in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes, he said: “I don’t think he’ll like it.” Delegator’s trainer Saeed bin Suroor, said: “It was too soft for him. He’ll go for the Breeders’ Cup Mile now.”
Richard Hills, who rode runner-up Cat Junior, and Ryan Moore, third on Main Aim, both described the ground as “good to soft”.
ANOTHER FINE SECOND FOR CAT JUNIOR
Trainer Brian Meehan was delighted with Cat Junior’s run in the Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes (G2), the horse finishing second having filled the same position in 2008. Cat Junior has also finished second in four other Group 2s.
“I was very pleased with his run,” said the trainer. “It was all Group 1 form ahead of him. He is a consistent horse and still managed to put in a performance such as that even though the track and ground were not ideal for him. Look he has won over £270,000 now - there are not too many like that.
“He has a sales entry and I am not sure what the plans are. We will go home from here and regroup in the week.”
Sir Michael Stoute, trainer of the third-placed Main Aim said: “That has to be one of his best runs. I think the visor helped - he is an older boy after all and I don’t think it did him any harm at all.
“He probably won’t stay in training for next year, but there is a race in France that we will take a look at.”
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