SUEDOIS could be bound for the Breeders Cup – America’s flagship meeting – after claiming the Group One Shadwell Turf Mile for North Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara.
The six-year-old was partnered by Danny Tudhope in the feature at Keeneland, Kentucky, settling well off the pace and still having plenty of ground to make up on the leaders at the top of the straight.
Heart To Heart, who had raced prominently throughout, looked a likely winner as he fended off Miss Temple City, but Suedois was flying down the middle of the track, getting up to win by half a length in the final strides with Ballagh Rocks third.
Suedois, an admirably consistent sprinter, was tackling a mile for just the third time in his career and O’Meara, who also sent out Mondialiste to finish fifth, believes the longer trip suits his charge, who had been expertly supervised in America by retired jump jockey Fearghal Davis.
After winning the £487,000 first prize, O’Meara said: “We’ve targeted horses in the USA before quite successfully and the money was very big. We wanted to keep him at a mile. We contested him in five or six Group Ones last year and he was hitting the woodwork in them all.
“He was placing in most of them. It’s something I always wanted to do, to step him up to a mile and since he’s come up to a mile now, he’s won two out of two. Maybe I was running him over the wrong trip all along.”
Suedois’s victory earns him an automatic place in the Breeders’ Cup Mile as part of the ‘win and you’re in’ series, but O’Meara is yet to commit to that race on November 4. He added: “We’ll have to chat with the owners. We’ll have to see.”
William Buick made a winning comeback from injury when making all the running on Blue Point in the John Guest Bengough Stakes at Ascot.
Absent since fracturing a vertebra in a fall from the ill-fated Permian at Arlington Park in August, Buick wasted no time in getting on the scoresheet courtesy of last year’s Gimcrack winner.
With no apparent pace in the Group Three contest, Buick was allowed an easy lead on the Charlie Appleby-trained Commonwealth Cup third and Sprint Cup fourth Blue Point, who was soon several lengths clear of the field.
However, the even-money favourite was getting caught after being in the lead so long and just held on from Projection.
Buick believes that Blue Point will be seen at his best in next year’s Group One sprints with an appearance at Champions Day later this month ruled out unless there is a prolonged dry spell.
Redcar’s feature Two-Year-Trophy went to the Barry McHugh-ridden favourite Darkanna, a first winner in the prestigious six furlong contest for Malton trainer Richard Fahey.