Weekly Horse Racing Blog: Any Other Business Aidan?

A Tale Of Two Fillies

Listen! After ‘contaminated feed-gate’ and the withdrawal of all Aidan O’Brien’s runners on Arc Sunday, the Ballydoyle maestro must have been hoping that a semblance of normality would return to his everyday routine, however that hasn’t materialised just yet.

Confusion reigned supreme at Newmarket last Friday after Aidan O’Brien’s Snowfall was named as the third-placed finisher in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile, when it was actually her stable companion Mother Earth. 50-1 shot Snowfall turning out to actually be 18-1 Mother Earth meant there were both positive and negative outcomes for punters and layers alike.

Pretty Gorgeous, the 5-2 favourite trained by Joseph O’Brien, won the race.

In an incident that the racing authorities vowed would never happen again, due to thorough microchipping and scanning, O’Brien’s on-course staff somehow mixed up the two fillies.

Speaking from his training base, O’Brien said: “I didn’t see the race, I just listened to it. Someone brought it to my attention then afterwards – that someone had tweeted that they were the wrong fillies.

“I went straight away to look at the race and the minute I saw them coming out of the stalls I knew that they were the wrong fillies.

“Obviously I rang the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) straight away and said it to them. “What happened was that our lads put the wrong saddles on the wrong fillies.”

Back To Business

There was no such mix up on Saturday afternoon however when Aidan O’Brien saddled the first two home in the Dewhurst Stakes. The race was won by St Mark’s Basilica under Frankie Dettori with Wembley chasing him home.

Speaking from Tipperary, where he has remained throughout the duration of the pandemic thus far, O’Brien said: “Things happen that are not in your control and you can’t do anything about them. Things happen and then you say: ‘Why couldn’t I have controlled that?’ or: ‘Why couldn’t I have done anything different?’ That’s just the way it is and just accept it. It was a funny week.”

Willie Gets his Teeth into Another Cesarewitch

Great White Shark (9/2 fav) ran the best race of her career to provide trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Jason Watson with back-to-back victories in the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket on Saturday.

Last year the pair combined to bring Stratum across the line first.

As the leaders floundered in the prestigious two-and-a-quarter-mile contest, the grey mare galloped on resolutely through the pack to defeat Summer Moon (16-1) by three lengths and complete a hat-trick of wins in the race for Willie Mullins. Low Sun in 2018 started the sequence off.

Fellow Irish raider Takarengo (50-1) was third, with Not So Sleepy (10-1) back in fourth.

Weekend Winners

Saturday was one of Newmarket’s final fixtures before they shut down for the season at the end of the month. Meanwhile York held their last meeting of the year, while the jumps season sprang into life in a big way at Chepstow.

Significant winners from each meeting were as follows…

– Newmarket

Martyn Meade’s Galileo colt Lone Eagle (16/5) swooped to win the G3 Zetland Stakes and is now available at 33/1 with bet365* for next year’s Epsom Derby.

Godolphin took the G3 Autumn Stakes with One Ruler 5/1. Lady Wannabe (28/1) was a surprise winner of the G3 Darley Stakes.

– York

Dakota Gold (13/8 fav) picked up the rearranged G3 Bengough Stakes, continuing his love affair with York.

Nastaste (25/1) was the complete outsider of the field in the Rockingham Stakes, while Gulliver (20/1) travelled well in the closing stages to land the big Coral Sprint Trophy Handicap.

– Chepstow

Paul Nicholls sent out a whole host of winners across the course of Friday and Saturday with Thyme White, Flic Ou Voyou, McFabulous, Hell Red, Secret Investor, Grand Sancy and Knappers Hill all requiring a space in your racing trackers.

Kamek no!

The chances of the 2000 Guineas winner Kameko lining up in Saturday’s QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes are looking quite slim according to Qatar Racing’s David Redvers.

Kameko, who is the 5/1 second favourite behind the odds-on Palace Pier, has never run on ground worse than Good, and the forecast is increasingly looking like it will be against him.

The end of season QIPCO Champions Day takes place at Ascot on Saturday 17th October.

* Horse racing odds correct at the time of article publication