Rockfel Stakes - 12th October 2013  

2012 Rockfel Stakes


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Al Thakhira Strikes in Rockfel

1 Al Thakhira 5/1
2 Blockade 33/1
3 Valonia 7/1
NR: Ifrika
8 ran Distances: 3¼l, ¾l, hd
TIME 1m 25.54s (slow by 3.04s)

Al Thakhira stepped up on her Yarmouth debut success to run out a convincing winner of the Group Two Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

Marco Botti

Marco Botti

The 5-1 shot, trained by Marco Botti, was always travelling well for Martin Harley as Thewandaofu set the pace.

Once Harley pressed the button, Al Thakhira went clear to score by three and a quarter lengths from Blockade, with Valonia third and the odds-on favourite Lightning Thunder only fourth.

Botti said: "She won her maiden at Yarmouth and we thought quite a lot of her, but with stepping up to seven furlongs, the question was whether she would get the trip.

"She's a straightforward filly. She doesn't seem to have grown much so she's probably set. The questions for next year would be whether she will train on and get further."

A trip to the Breeders' Cup is under serious consideration for Al Thakhira, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf looking a likely target, and her trainer expects his charge to be even more effective on the virtually assured fast surface at Santa Anita.

Botti said: "She seems to have come out of the race well. We were very happy with her on the day. It was a good performance.

"We have to decide in the next few days if we are going to go to the Breeders' Cup. The entries need to be made before Monday, so we will have to decide before then.

"I think we would like to take her there, but it depends how she comes out of the race. We will wait and see.

"We were confident she would run a good race on Saturday, but it was a big step up from a maiden to a Group Two, so you can never be sure.

"She had come on a lot for her first run and had done a nice piece of work, so we were hopeful she'd run well.

"We were a bit worried the ground might be too soft for her, but she coped with it well.

"I think a mile on better ground would suit her even better." Rockfel Stakes
£70,000 added, 2yo only, 7f, Class 1
8 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Al Thakhira
M Botti
M Harley
8st 12lbs
5 - 1
J Tate
N Callan
8st 12lbs
33 - 1
3 1/4 lengths
H Candy
J P Spencer
8st 12lbs
7 - 1
3/4 length
Lightning Thunder
O Stevens
Harry Bentley
8st 12lbs
8 - 11
J A Osborne
R L Moore
8st 12lbs
25 - 1
O Stevens
Jim Crowley
8st 12lbs
16 - 1
6 lengths
Ventura Mist
T D Easterby
D Fentiman
8st 12lbs
14 - 1
3 lengths
R Hannon
R Hughes
8st 12lbs
12 - 1
1 3/4 length
C E Brittain
James Doyle
8st 12lbs
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