Milczarek delight with Saigon victory
Kirsty Milczarek enjoyed her own piece of big-race glory by helping Saigon to maintain his unbeaten record in the Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury yesterday.
It has been a fine week for female riders, with Hayley Turner winning her first Group One last Saturday and, although this was only a Listed race, it ranks highly in Milczarek's achievements so far.
She is trusted by trainer James Toller and had to overcome some problems early in the six-furlong event, when Saigon (6/1) was shuffled back to last. But they made stealthy progress as the race continued and picked off their final rival, Caspar Netscher, just before the line.
"I won one Listed race last year for Mr (Luca) Cumani, but that was lovely," said Milczarek. "I had a terrible trip as one came across me early on but he's a very nice horse.
"It was a massive shock to us when he won first time at Yarmouth, but stepping up to Listed company was the right thing to do."
Referring to Turner's success, she added: "We're not so bad! I've had 20 winners this year -- I'm tipping away and I don't mind going to Southwell and Wolverhampton but getting a race like this is a massive bonus."
"I'm a big supporter of Kirsty," Toller added. "She works hard, doesn't make mistakes and she deserves it.
"The horse got the hang of it in the end and hopefully he'll keep improving. He has no big entries, but I might bring him back here for the Mill Reef Stakes."
There were three other two-year-old races to provide more potential interest for the future and the winners of both divisions of the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing EBF Maiden Stakes appeared to be well-regarded.
Roger Varian's Ektihaam (8/1) has the looks to match his 250,000 guineas price tag and he took the first heat in really encouraging fashion.
"I expected him to run well,'' Varian said. "Obviously first time out you never know and you couldn't expect him to win, but I would have been disappointed if he hadn't shown something.
"He's been quick mentally and although he's green, he got the job done. We won't be too hard on him this year -- maybe one or two more runs."
The John Gosden-trained Jungle Beat took the division two of the maiden in a slightly slower time. A rare runner for the stable in the Coolmore colours, the chestnut went off the 9/4 favourite on his debut and neatly disposed of Farhaan and Gold Sceptre by two lengths under a restrained ride from William Buick.
"The boss just wanted to get him out and see where he was," reported Gosden's assistant Les Reynolds. "He showed us some good signs."
Henry Cecil's odds-on favourite Tickled Pink found one too good again as she was trumped by Lady Gorgeous (4/1) in the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
Lady Gorgeous had shown promise on her own debut and trainer Mick Channon revealed: "We thought she would win the first time, but she has put it right today."
Stan James offered 50/1 for next year's 1,000 Guineas, with Victor Chandler going only 25s.
Cecil had left for Newmarket by the time Sacred Shield (100/30) battled home in the Smith & Williamson Fillies' Handicap. The trainer's representative Michael McGowan reported: "She's a nice filly and might pick up another one."