Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes
Group 3, Sandown 19:35
£65,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 50y, Class 1   
Thursday 24th May 2018

1 Magic Circle 11/2
2 Red Verdon 20/1
3 Weekender 9/4F
8 ran Distances: 6l, ½l, ½l
Time: 3m 41.09s (slow by 8.59s)

Magic Circle
© Racehorse Photos
Magic Circle

Ian Williams may have to rethink plans for Magic Circle following his striking success here.

The six-year-old gelding claimed the Chester Cup only 13 days ago and left his rivals standing in this Group Three prize. 

Moving smoothly into contention, the Fran Berry-ridden 11-2 shot quickly put daylight between himself and the field before crossing the line six lengths clear of Red Verdon. 

He halved in price for the Melbourne Cup at around 20-1, but would need to be supplemented for the Ascot Gold Cup.

Williams said: “It has taken me aback a little. I didn’t think winning a Chester Cup would be beyond him, but I thought it would be tough. What he has achieved today has really announced him as a stayer on the big scene.

“He was a bit cold early on and I spent half the race thinking it has come a bit quick for him, but it certainly wasn’t too quick when he was turning in and he travelled up the hill like a very good horse.

“It was our plan to come here and we hoped to be placed and look at going to the Melbourne Cup with him, and that still remains our number one target. What we do between now and then has probably changed a little around today.

“I’m not sure what we will do with him, but the options are open. He looks on performance a far better stayer than we could have imagined he would be.”

Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes (Group 3)
£70,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 50y, Class 1
8 ran
Going: Good (Good to Soft in places)

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (2) Magic Circle (IRE) 11/2 Fran Berry
9-2
Ian Williams 6
2nd (1) 6 Red Verdon (USA) 20/1 James Doyle
9-2
E A L Dunlop 5
3rd (8) ½ Weekender 9/4f L Dettori
9-1
J H M Gosden 4
4th (5) ½ Time To Study (FR) 7/1 R L Moore
9-1
M Johnston 4
5th (6) ½ Mount Moriah 7/2 Harry Bentley
9-1
R M Beckett 4
6th (3) 5 Glencadam Glory 12/1 R Havlin
9-1
J H M Gosden 4
7th (4) hd Montaly 20/1 Oisin Murphy
9-2
A M Balding 7
8th (7) hd Sheikhzayedroad 6/1 W M Lordan
9-2
D M Simcock 9