Oliver bargain buy on the money in Newmarket raid
ANDREW Oliver put Tyrone on the racing map yesterday as his bargain buy Sendmylovetorose maintained her unbeaten record in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket.
The dip-backed filly, which cost peanuts when bought by her trainer, has now won three times from three starts and who knows what would have happened at Royal Ascot had she not been withdrawn after going down in the stalls.
The daughter of Bahamian Bounty showed she had suffered no ill effects when winning a Group Three at the Curragh and returned to England as the 2/1 favourite for this Group Two test. Jockey Colm O'Donoghue had to get to work with a couple of furlongs to run, but Sendmylovetorose answered his every call to battle her way to the lead.
The hard-luck story of the race was Richard Hannon's Maureen, which got caught in a pocket before flying home to finish second, beaten a neck.
"She's very tough," Oliver said. "I told Colm O'Donoghue to keep it simple. He settled her and produced her at the right time and she battled. We'll look at supplementing her for the Phoenix Stakes."
And O'Donoghue added: "She's still relatively inexperienced, I didn't get to teach her much the first two runs, but she's got the ability and handles the ground. She's quite light on her feet and could handle better ground too. She's got the class to do it on that ground and that's the sign of a good filly -- there's more to come."
As expected, a French filly won the Group One Falmouth Stakes -- indeed French fillies filled two of the first three places -- but it was the 10/1 shot Giofra which triumphed and 33/1 shot Siyouma which was third while their odds-on compatriot Golden Lilac beat only one home in the soft ground.
Giofra's half-length victory over John Gosden's Elusive Kate came as no surprise to her trainer, Alain de Royer Dupre.
"She's a great filly," he said. "I've known that for a long time, but she had a leg problem at the beginning of her three-year-old career and she is a new filly at four.
"She can go on any ground and I think she'll be better at 10 furlongs. In fact it was a risk to run her over a mile and we may now look at the Nassau Stakes for her."
Gosden said afterwards that he was very pleased with Elusive Kate and will probably target the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown in September.
Gosden looks to have a useful juvenile in Ghurair, which stamped his class in the two-year-old maiden, earning a 25/1 quote from Ladbrokes for next year's 2,000 Guineas. Seemingly well fancied as the 3/1 favourite, the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt travelled kindly towards the near-side rail and eased into contention under Paul Hanagan.
Godolphin newcomer Improvisation and Roger Charlton's debutant Dundonnell both shaped with more than a degree of promise, but Ghurair was much too good on the day, beating the former by a length and a half. "Paul Hanagan rode him in work and loved him," Gosden said.
Brendan Powell Jnr (below) -- taking a brief sojourn from the jumping game -- partnered a royal winner as the Queen's Free Verse scooted clear in the EBF Fillies' Handicap.
At York, meanwhile, German raider Gracia Directa claimed a surprise victory in the Summer Stakes. Despite winning her last two starts and travelling halfway across Europe, Dominik Moser's filly was allowed to go off at 14/1 for what looked a strong Group Three.
The William Haggas-trained Sentaril was the hot favourite following her fast-finishing second in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, while last year's Nunthorpe winner Margot Did was bidding to bounce back to form. But neither managed to get involved as Gracia Directa stayed on strongly under Robert Winston to score by half a length from Sioux Rising, with Hallelujah third.
Moser, who is based between Hanover and Hamburg and was having his first runner outside of Germany, said: "We knew she was improving, so we thought we would bring her over to England to see how good she was.
"We didn't know much about the form of the others, and also how she would handle the ground, but she has done it well.
"We'll definitely come back to England now we know she is good enough and I've had a look at the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood over seven furlongs."