Sunday 15 December 2019

Sahpresa bounces back for Sun Chariot double

Sahpresa and Christophe Soumillon
Sahpresa and Christophe Soumillon

Keith Hamer

Sahpresa secured her place in the history books as she became just the second dual winner of the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket yesterday.

Free Guest bagged back-to-back victories in 1984 and '85 when the race held Group Two status, but Sahpresa is the first since the race distance was cut to a mile and upgraded to the highest level. Rod Collet's French raider created a 16/1 shock in last year's event but was just 9/2 to complete a famous double.

Sahpresa, which had put up no sort of show at Royal Ascot earlier in the year, was settled towards the rear of the field early on as outsider Sent From Heaven took them along at a fair clip. The latter ran out of steam before the two-furlong marker, allowing perennial bridesmaid Spacious to make her bid for glory.

But Christophe Soumillon delivered Sahpresa with perfect timing and on meeting the rising ground she pulled a length and a quarter clear, with Rainfall, which had also been racing in the rear, finishing to good effect for third.

"That was impressive. I was afraid about the ground because at three she was not going on the very soft ground," Collet said.

Collet sent Sahpresa to finish third in the Group One Mile Championship in Japan after Newmarket last year and that Kyoto race is the target again.

Later on, Credit Swap made it third time lucky as he landed the bumper prize in the Cambridgeshire. Michael Wigham's charge was having run number three in the last seven days. However, the 14/1 chance showed no ill effects as he powered away to win by three-quarters of a length from Steel Tango.

Tony Martin's Pires kept on for third by half a length with the same distance back to Sandor in fourth. "All going well, we will go to Cheltenham for the Greatwood Hurdle in mid-November," said Martin.

Earlier, Kieren Fallon delivered 11/2 joint favourite Fury with a perfectly timed challenge to bag the top prize in the £500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy.

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