Sunday 16 December 2018

'Saxophone' calls tune in landmark win for Frankel

Trainer Dermot Weld. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Dermot Weld. Photo: Sportsfile

Nick Robson

It might not have been what was in the mind of his breeders but Solo Saxophone, a son of Frankel, made a winning debut over hurdles at Catterick yesterday.

Formerly owned by Moyglare Stud and trained by Dermot Weld, the three-year-old colt is now in the care of Dan Skelton and was a first runner over jumps for the superstar stallion. Bought for €62,000 at Goffs Horses in Training Sale, he had created quite a stir before the Support The Injured Jockeys Fund Juvenile Hurdle, for which he was sent off the 6/4 favourite.

Everything was going smoothly until the fifth-last, when he made a bad blunder. Solo Saxophone then lost more ground at the next flight.

At that point he could be backed at nearly 100/1 on the exchanges but jockey Harry Skelton made his mind up for him and decided to see what was under the bonnet.

Quite impressively, he kept picking up and it looked inevitable after the last that he would catch Outcrop, which went down by four lengths. "It didn't look likely down the back straight, but he got a bit of a fright," said the winning rider. "This is a sharp track and we were on the back-foot after that.

"This is the best ground he has run on, though. It was very soft what he was running on in Ireland, and I think that (better ground) has helped. He showed a decent amount of ability on the Flat but he'd worn headgear, which we left off. To win first time over hurdles is all you can ask."

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