It was disappointment for all concerned at Ballydoyle as Camelot finished 2nd to Godolphin owned Encke in the St Leger at Doncaster. The son of Montjeu was aiming to be the first horse to win the triple crown since Nijinsky in 1970.
He was making ground through the final furlong, but Mickael Barzalona had stolen a nice lead on the Al Zarooni trained winner and stayed on well.
Doc Hay got up on the line to deny Face The Problem in a terrific finish to the Ladbrokes Portland Handicap at Doncaster.
Daniel Tudhope brought David O’Meara’s five-year-old (20-1) from the rear of the field with a tremendous run down the near side to snatch the spoils.
Kieren Fallon seemed to have timed his challenge to perfection on Face The Problem, but had no time to respond to the late surge of Doc Hay, who got the verdict by a neck. Secret Witness was a length and a quarter away in third, with Barnet Fair fourth.
O’Meara said: “He’s been a good horse for the past 12 or 18 months. He came back from a break at Haydock, where the ground was plenty quick enough.
“We brought him back with this race in mind and it’s great it came off. He could go for the Ayr Gold Cup now.”
Doc Hay is 16-1 from 33-1 for the Scottish showpiece with Paddy Power..
Foley in double form
Shane Foley took the honours at Down Royal with a double completed when the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Honour And Obey took the House Of Fraser EBF Fillies Maiden.
The Mick Halford-trained 12-1 shot looked to have plenty on her plate when Precious Stone held a decisive advantage coming down the straight, but the favourite folded tamely and Honour And Obey swept past before holding Empress Of Tara by a neck.
The jockey also won on Arthur Moore’s filly Quinine (7-1), who was produced from off the pace to catch newcomer Abstraction in the shadow of the post and take the Lunn’s EBF Maiden by a neck
The trainer said: “I’ve two two-year-olds in training and they’ve both won. My son-in-law Kevin Ross bought her at Newmarket. She’s progressive and thriving all the time. She could be a good three-year-old, and we’ll look at a nursery now in Dundalk.”
There was plenty of support for Blue Cannon ahead of the Victoria Square Ulster Cesarewitch and Noel Meade’s four-year-old, winner of a maiden hurdle at the track last November, found a light weight in this company very much to his liking.
Conor Hoban brought the 6-1 shot to challenge on the outside coming off the elbow and he had little trouble clearing away before beating Action Master, who got going all too late, by three-quarters of a length.
Meade said: “He was very light last year, but he’s stronger now and has improved since his summer break. The plan is to go for the Lartigue Hurdle at Listowel, although two miles might be a bit sharp for him. He’s always shown plenty and he jumps well.”
Ger Lyons’ youngster Angela’s Dream (5-1 joint favourite) showed commendable resolution to win the Cruise Nursery, zipping round the final bend and battling on to hold Clancy Avenue by a neck under Emmet McNamara, who was riding out his claim
Lyons said: “That was a very important winner as Emmet has now lost his claim. She had plenty of weight and needed Emmet’s 3lb claim. She’s been very honest all year and looked a million dollars today. She’ll go for a nursery in Dundalk either over six or seven furlongs, she can certainly win over six.”
Annie Go (9-2) took the RNLI Apprentice Handicap after a cool ride from Colin Keane, who waited patiently for a gap and squeezed Tony Martin’s mare through it to score by a cosy two and a quarter lengths.
Stud duties beckon for Sea
Born To Sea’s racing career appears at an end, with the illustriously bred colt now bound for stud.
A half-brother to the exceptional Sea The Stars, as well as being owned and trained by the same connections in the Tsui family and John Oxx, Born To Sea has struggled to live up to his sibling’s standards despite a promising start.
He ran well to finish second to Camelot in the Irish Derby, but was well beaten by Famous Name in a lesser event and posed no danger to Snow Fairy in Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes.
Oxx said: “He was climbing in the race and is a bit lame behind, which is a problem he has had before.
“We’re in September and that puts us back from where we want to be.
“There has been a lot of interest in him as a stallion because of his breeding and he may be going that way.”
Duntle team lodge Matron appeal
Connections of Duntle, demoted to second in Saturday’s Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, have appealed against the decision of the raceday stewards.
David Wachman’s filly was first past the post in the Group One, narrowly beating Sir Henry Cecil’s Chachamaidee. However, in moving out to challenge just before entering the final furlong, Wayne Lordan’s mount nudged Alanza, who in turn gave Cecil’s charge a bump.
The result was overturned with Lordan picking up a two-day suspension, which he will also appeal.
No date has been set for the appeals.