Sport Horse Racing

Monday 11 December 2017

Bell retires Sariska after refusing to race in France

LAST year's Epsom Oaks heroine Sariska was retired yesterday after refusing to leave the stalls for the second race in succession.

Michael Bell's filly had planted herself in the stalls at the start of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks last month and repeated her antics in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp.

The race was won by Henry Cecil's Midday which galloped to victory and now heads for the Breeders' Cup.

The main Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe trial was won by the Aga Khan's Behkabad -- trained by Jean-Claude Rouget -- after the Christophe Lemaire-ridden colt pinched the Prix Niel in a head-bobbing duel with Planteur. The winner is now 4/1 joint favourite for the Arc with Aidan O'Brien's Fame And Glory.

A brilliant weekend for William Buick and John Gosden was completed when the partnership landed the Prix Foy with outsider Duncan. Just over 24 hours earlier, the partnership won the Doncaster St Leger with 12/1 shot Arctic Cosmos which proved too strong for O'Brien's runner-up Midas Touch. Trainer Gosden admitted he took "a leap of faith" in plucking Buick from Andrew Balding but he was full of praise for the 22-year-old.

"William is very mature for a young man -- he's very level-headed -- and he's very good at keeping the PR stuff steady," said Gosden. "The Breeders' Cup Turf is a strong possibility. I had thought of coming to France for the Royal Oak, but we're really looking at America (next)."

Godolphin's hot favourite Rewilding could only finish sixth in the Leger, although his stable-mate Saamidd looks a colt of immense potential after winning the Champagne Stakes without barely coming off the bridle.

He was immediately made the new 8/1 favourite for next year's 2,000 Guineas by Ladbrokes.

Irish Independent

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