Frederick Engels proves class apart
It is about this time of year that the two-year-olds start sorting themselves out into some sort of pecking order and Frederick Engels propelled himself to somewhere near the top of that tree yesterday when he added the TNT July Stakes at Newmarket to his Windsor Castle success at Ascot.
The colt, named after a hunting communist friend of Karl Marx, was bought just before Ascot by David Redvers on behalf of QIPCO boss Sheikh Fahad Al Thani's Pearl Bloodstock and he is proving a shrewder purchase by the race.
Yesterday, he had no trouble stepping up in distance to six furlongs and beat favourite Roman Soldier by a comfortable length under Eddie Ahern to further advertise the training skills of David Brown.
"I didn't like to say so, but I expected him to win today," said the Newark trainer. "We wanted Eddie to sit on him as long as he could. He will probably get further because he has so much class over five and six furlongs -- trust me, he will go further."
Michael Stoute's insistence upon keeping Crystal Capella in training at the age of six proved typically wise as the mare provided him with an eighth Princess of Wales' sportingbet.com Stakes.
Seen just 13 times before in four seasons, Crystal Capella (4/1) had shown some promise, despite being beaten on her comeback at Haydock, but had been prepared to her peak for this Group Two event at Newmarket.
In sweeping eight lengths clear of the reliable 2/1 favourite Redwood, she became the first female winner of the race since Height Of Fashion in 1982.
Last year, Richard Hannon won all three juvenile Group races at the July meeting and, while that's not possible this time, he and the Heffer Syndicate, who came up with Canford Cliffs two years ago, have another nice two- year-old in Harbour Watch, which ran out an easy winner of the Earl of Euston Stakes.
French jockey Mickael Barzalona produced a tasty double in the last two races.
The French starlet helped Bridgefield (9/1) to a smooth win in the Portland Place Properties Conditions Stakes and then aided the Irish raider Murura (12/1) to a two-and-three-quarter-length success over Whozthecat in the Three Chimneys Handicap.
"That's my first winner on turf and it's really only my first season as a trainer -- I used to do a bit of pre-training," said Meath trainer James Harnett.
Both of today's big races are confined to fillies.
Having dominated the Coronation Stakes with their three-year-olds, the French can confirm that they also have the best older females over a mile in the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes.
Sahpresa is already a dual Group One winner, having won consecutive Sun Chariot Stakes over on the Rowley Mile, and resumed with a very sprightly performance at Longchamp last month. Giving 14lbs to a classy three-year-old, she travelled and quickened with gusto and looks value at 3/1.
The Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes features a genuine curiosity in My Propeller, which won a Pontefract maiden by the staggering margin of 17 lengths.
Gratifying though it would be to see her restore Peter Chapple-Hyam to the big time, the form of Shumoos (2.25) for now has more substance.
On her debut, Shumoos beat no less a colt than Frederick Engels by four and a half lengths. Anyone holding a ticket bearing her name today, then, may legitimately consider himself to own the means of production.
Meanwhile, ante-post favourite Delegator will face 16 rivals in pursuit of victory in the Darley July Cup tomorrow. Saeed bin Suroor's Duke Of York Stakes winner was a late withdrawal from the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot due to the rain-softened ground, but the former top miler is all set to bid for a first Group One success.
A number of those which did contest the Golden Jubilee are turned out again, including Danny O'Brien's Australian speedball Star Witness.
Elzaam will represent Roger Varian, while Bated Breath will be saddled by Roger Charlton. Other interesting contenders include Monsieur Chevalier, Dalghar, Genki and German raider War Artist.
Successful 12 months ago with Starspangledbanner, Aidan O'Brien will be represented by Irish 2,000 Guineas third Oracle, with Colm O'Donoghue taking the ride. (©Daily Telegraph, London)