Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 25 February 2018

O'Brien's Boldini fails to Outstrip Godolphin star

Mike Smith
Mike Smith

Outstrip, trained in Newmarket for Godolphin by Charlie Appleby and ridden by Mike Smith, narrowly beat Aidan O'Brien's Giovanni Boldini to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in California.

Bobby's Kitten set a blistering early pace and swung into the straight still with an advantage but with Ryan Moore and Giovanni Boldini in hot pursuit.

Dundalk winner Giovanni Boldini got the better of Bobby's Kitten, but Smith was all the while winding Dewhurst third Outstrip (6/1) up and once engaging top gear he mowed the front two down close home for a scintillating success.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: "It's a great day for Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin. That is our fifth Breeders' Cup winner.

"This horse was bred by Sheikh Mohammed and is by one of the most fashionable sires around (Exceed And Excel). The one thing Outstrip has is a turn of foot and he loved that fast ground."

Appleby, who was installed as the licence holder at Moulton Paddocks earlier this year after Mahmood Al Zarooni was banned for eight years for administering banned steroids to horses in his care, said: "It's amazing. I'd just like to thank everybody who has helped us, Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin for supporting me right from the very start.

"It's an amazing feeling, thanks to everybody. It (the Al Zarooni affair) was a very hard time for everyone concerned. Sheikh Mohammed and Simon Crisford spoke to me, gave me the opportunity and said to run with it. All I can do is try for the team.

"Thankfully we have managed to produce the goods and I am just delighted for them. I thought he had a fair bit to do when he turned in, but he's not a bad little horse."

Smith was clearly impressed and said: "I'd like to thank Godolphin and all the connections, I'd never ridden a race for them and to win a Breeders' Cup for Godolphin is amazing.

"He's an extremely talented colt, it was a matter of finding a place to put him and when I did he was gone. I'm excited about him."

Moore said of Giovanni Boldini: "We had a good race and a good trip, saving ground. Maybe a little bit more experience would have helped him.

"I did see the winner coming and I wasn't surprised at that."

O'Brien also saddled the unplaced Wilshire Boulevard and his rider William Buick said: "He travelled in the ground and my plan was to follow Ryan but something came back at me on the bend and took me out of the race, otherwise I think I would have been in the first five."

Smith was winning his second race of the night after he was successful on the Jo Hughes-trained London Bridge (9/1) in the Marathon.

Most recently seen finishing fourth in a Listed race over a mile and seven furlongs at Deauville in August, Smith's mount was under pressure a long way out and seemingly with it all to do turning for home some way off the leaders.

But as stamina over the mile-and-six-furlong trip – a distance rarely run in America – kicked in, the Arch colt responded to Smith's urgings and really picked up to collar Blueskiesandrainbows, in the end winning going away.

London Bridge's other successes this year came at Brighton, Sandown and Ripon.

Irish Independent

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