Dream Comes True in Darley July Cup
1 Dream Ahead 7/1
A dream came true for Hayley Turner as the most successful female jockey in British history gained a first Group One success aboard David Simcock's Dream Ahead in the Darley July Cup.
Only three years ago Turner became the first female rider to partner more than 100 winners in a year and she added another ground-breaking success to her record as last year's joint top-rated juvenile excelled dropped back to six furlongs.
Simcock's three-year-old was rated as Frankel's equal in 2010 but failed to see out the mile behind Henry Cecil's unbeaten colt when making his seasonal debut in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
After being given the go-ahead to run despite the quickening conditions, Dream Ahead raced towards the stands' rail and Turner was left to thread her way through runners inside the final two furlongs.
With Dream Ahead's regular partner William Buick riding for John Gosden at York, Turner only received the news that she was to partner Dream Ahead in recent days.
And after consulting with Buick, she followed his instructions and produced her mount as late as possible to reel in Bated Breath and score by half a length.
Turner is only the second female rider to partner a British Group One winner following on from Alex Greeves, who dead-heated aboard Ya Malak in the 1997 Nunthorpe Stakes.
Turner said: "I only found out I was riding him a couple of days ago. Trainers have been complaining that there were too many meetings today but I wasn't complaining and it has played into my hands.
"I had not sat on the horse before so can't take much credit for the win; that has to go to the Simcock team and I have to thank David and the owner (Khalifa Dasmal) for putting me up.
"Alex Greaves did win a Group One too and I know she is here today so I should really get a picture with her. I am so thrilled.
"This was on my list of things to do and fair play to David and his team for giving me the chance.
"It was just a matter of the gap coming in time and Steve Drowne's horse (Bated Breath) hung slightly and caused some interference but I picked my way through.
"I spoke to William Buick this morning and he told me how to ride him. He said not to get there too soon so it has suited me the way the race has worked out."
Simcock paid tribute to Turner but was keen to ensure his colt got the credit he deserved.
Simcock said: "This is important for the horse. He was joint champion two-year-old last year and I was very protective of his rating so this is more relief than anything.
"It is great for Hayley and she deserves to win a Group One, but you wouldn't put Vettel in a Mini and win the Monaco Grand Prix so the horse is important.
"There was not really anything for him before Ascot so we had to go down the mile route there and he didn't stay the distance.
"This was the first real target for three-year-olds over six furlongs and it is relief that it has come off.
"He won the Prix Morny in a fast time last year and I think the ground was faster than good that do so I just wanted to make sure it was safe today and if it was then we were going to run.
"The plan next would be to go to the Prix Maurice de Gheest."
When pressed about future jockey plans, Simcock intimated that Buick would be back aboard, saying: "Loyalty is very important and there is not enough of it round at the moment."
He added of Turner's booking: "William would have been first choice and Jamie Spencer would have been second, but he is in America. Hayley has ridden winners for me before and actually has a good strike-rate for the stable."
BEATEN BY THE BEST
Charlton said: “Matthew Tester (BHA handicapper) had the winner rated 126 last year and we were 111 - we must have run well.
“Up the hill, Steve said he never stopped, he kept going, he was just beaten by a better horse. Bated Breath ran a great race and there is surely a Group One race in him. He’s the best sprinter I’ve ever trained - he’s a good horse.
“He has got plenty of speed - whether he goes to York (Nunthorpe Stakes) or Haydock (Sprint Cup), I don’t know - either or, or both. We’ll see how the horse is and then we’ll sit down and make plans.
Genki did well to finish sixth. George (Baker) said he travelled really well and he would have been fourth - he just got stopped in his run. He has run to his best form.”
Hitchens ran the race of his life in finishing a further length and a half behind Bated Breath in third at 28/1.
The David Barron-trained six-year-old is owned by County Derry based Laurence O ’Kane and County Tyrone based Paul Murphy who work together in the pharmaceutical industry.
O’Kane commented: “The fast ground makes a difference. He’s a tremendous horse and he’s improving with age. He had a problem when we bought him and David has sorted it out. His blood wasn’t right, he was anaemic but David got to the bottom of it and he trains him in a different way now.
“It was a tremendous run. I did expect him to run well. Fran Berry rode him at Ascot and Fran said on the soft ground he travelled well and wanted to go and win it but he couldn’t go on the ground.
“We will probably got to Haydock so long as it doesn’t rain. He only cost 40 grand two years ago at the sales and he has won about £200,000 for us. I wish every horse we bought was like that.
“That was a proper Group One. We won a Group Three in Ireland and everyone said it was a soft one. It might have been, but it was still a Group Three. Ultimately, he was beaten by two better horses today - the winner was rated 126.
“That was a career best run and he’s still improving. I just feel sorry we gelded him now! David’s great line is you bought him to race.
“He was third in the Ayr Gold Cup and we thought that was good but this is brilliant.”
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