Tuesday 6 December 2016

Frankel filly Fair Eva fails to shine for Smullen

Graham Clark

Published 24/09/2016 | 02:30

The Aidan O’Brien trained Cougar Mountain, with Ryan Moore up, on their way to winning the Shadwell Joel Stakes at Newmarket yesterday. Picture: PA
The Aidan O’Brien trained Cougar Mountain, with Ryan Moore up, on their way to winning the Shadwell Joel Stakes at Newmarket yesterday. Picture: PA

Fair Eva's reputation suffered another glitch as she was beaten by French raider Spain Burg in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

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Surprisingly only third in the Lowther Stakes at York after winning her first two starts in great style, the daughter of Frankel had no answer to the finishing burst of the cross-Channel challenger.

Miss Infinity made the running, but Fair Eva was always prominent and was given every chance by Pat Smullen. Though Fair Eva, the 4/9 favourite, did hit the front, Roger Charlton's charge did not pull clear of the opposition and was collared in the last 100 yards.

Spain Burg (14/1) went on to score cosily by a length and a quarter to become the first French-trained winner of the Rockfel. Miss Infinity stuck to her task well to take third place, just a neck away.

The victory was a landmark one for trainer Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte, who is based at Mont-de-Marsan in south western France, where he has held a licence since late 2001. He is a former assistant to jumps trainer Francois Doumen.

Cougar Mountain, meanwhile, registered his first success for 13 months with a decent performance in the Shadwell Joel Stakes.

Ryan Moore made a shrewd move just before halfway in the mile contest when he brought the 15/2 shot from the rear to track the pacesetting Gifted Master.

That appeared to catch the other riders napping as Moore asked Aidan O'Brien's five-year-old to go and hit the front a furlong out.

Gifted Master stuck on for second, with Nathra making late progress for third place.

Moore said: "He's ran some very good races (this season) and ran some very good races last year. He's performed very well. It was a funny race, but he always felt like he was going to go and win."

Irish Independent

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