Nayef Joel Stakes - 27th September 2013  

Joel Stakes 2012

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Soft Falling Rain Storms Home in Joel Stakes

1 Soft Falling Rain 13/8F
2 Montiridge 5/2
3 Premio Loco 16/1
7 ran Distances: 3½l, 5l, 1½l
TIME 1m 37.20s (slow by 1.90s)

South African star Soft Falling Rain ran out a convincing winner of the Nayef Joel Stakes on Newmarket's Rowley Mile on September 27.

Soft Falling Rain
© Racehorse Photos

Soft Falling Rain

Mike de Kock's colt was imperious in his homeland and when completing a hat-trick in Dubai last winter, but he suffered a first reverse on his British bow when second behind Gregorian in last month's Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, and was sent off at 13-8 for his latest Group Two assignment.

Soft Falling Rain travelled enthusiastically on the heels of the leaders before taking charge over two furlongs down, and though main market rival Montiridge emerged from the pack to challenge, he was unable to bridge the gap as the favourite galloped all the way to the line under Paul Hanagan to strike by three and a half lengths.

Hanagan said: "I was very impressed. The difference today was the ground - at Newbury it was very tacky and he changed his legs so many times, but he loved that ground today. He's a good horse. He's been everywhere."

De Kock added: "I'm very proud. We knew he'd improve a lot after his last run. He's a very, very capable horse. You'd like to believe he's a Group One horse and I think he showed that today.

"He's a big, free-striding horse and was very well ridden. Paul did nothing wrong last time, the horse just got a little tired. We're going to have a go at the mile on Champions Day (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, October 19), that is the dream.

"Today was a really nice day with Sheikh Hamdan (owner) sponsoring (the card), and I won the race before with Eagle Mountain. I don't know if he'll go back to Dubai, that will be up to Sheikh Hamdan."

Asked whether the trainer would fancy a crack at next year's Dubai World Cup, the trainer said: "I like a crack at anything. If they're good enough, we'll have a go."



Nayef Joel Stakes (British Champions Series)
£90,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Good to Firm, Good in places

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Soft Falling Rain
M F De Kock
P Hanagan
9st 3lbs
13 - 8
R Hannon
R Hughes
8st 13lbs
5 - 2
3 1/2 lengths
Premio Loco
C F Wall
G Baker
9st 3lbs
16 - 1
5 lengths
D O'Meara
D Tudhope
9st 3lbs
11 - 1
1 1/2 length
Boom And Bust
M P Tregoning
M Dwyer
9st 3lbs
16 - 1
3/4 length
Glory Awaits
K A Ryan
J P Spencer
8st 13lbs
16 - 1
1/2 length
Guest of Honour
M Botti
M Harley
9st 3lbs
5 - 1
7 lengths

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