Rakti makes amends with Champion Stakes victory
RAKTI, who refused to go in the stalls for the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes 12 months ago, made amends in emphatic style when taking the £400,000 race at Newmarket yesterday.
The four-year-old, trained by Michael Jarvis, set sail for home two furlongs out and quickly pulled clear of a quality field under Philip Robinson.
The 11/1 shot won by two lengths from Carnival Dancer (33/1), with Indian Creek (25/1) a further length and a half away in third.
Robinson said: "I was a bit worried beforehand but there was enough pace to settle him.
"He's as good as gold now - the yard have done a wonderful job. He's been sorted out mentally and everything. He's a very good horse, a machine."
Rakti joined Jarvis's Newmarket stable this season having been trained in Italy by Bruno Grizzetti to win the Italian Derby last year.
Jarvis revealed that the horse had been badly injured at Royal Ascot when runner-up to Nayef on his previous start.
"It's very satisfying for this horse to come back and win this race. He had quite a serious injury at Royal Ascot.
"He was lame after the race. He was X-rayed and it was discovered he had a hairline crack of his left hind ankle.
"He was in his box for four weeks and we then we had to take things steady, trotting and building him up, but he has been working exceptionally well for the last three weeks. He has been flying in his work.
"I really hope he stays in training next year - he's got little mileage on the clock this season. I would hope to go to Hong Kong with him in December, but we will have to wait and see."
Chris Richardson, managing director for owners Cheveley Park Stud, said of runner-up Carnival Dancer: "He's run a blinder and he retires to stud now.
"We always said he had ability and the change of scenery has really helped. I couldn't pay high enough tribute to what Amanda and Mark (Perrett) have done for the horse."
He added: "Russian Rhythm didn't find much. Kieren (Fallon) said she just didn't pick up. Maybe we went to the well once too often."
Nayef, the winner two years ago, failed to end his glorious career on a high, finishing unplaced.
His trainer Marcus Tregoning said: "He didn't pick up as we know he can and maybe it's the end of a long season."
Meanwhile, Milk It Mick delivered one of the shocks of the season when capturing the Darley Dewhurst Stakes.
The 33/1 shot collared 11/4 favourite Three Valleys in the last half-furlong to win by a head.
Milk It Mick was giving Darryll Holland his first win in this Group One race for two-year-olds, as well as providing former jump jockey Jamie Osborne with his biggest ever success as a trainer.
Haafhd (7/1) was a length and a quarter away in third.
Holland was not sure if he had won. He said: "I just had my head down and when you've got Three Valleys at your girths, you just have to keep on pushing, and he picked up for me."