A decision to go shooting saw trainer Martyn Meade miss Irish Rookie blast her way to success in the EBF Montrose Fillies’ Stakes.
Having caused a 50/1 shock on her debut last month, the daughter of Azamour — who is trained in Newmarket by Meade — showed her victory was no fluke by making it two from two in the Listed mile contest at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Saturday.
“We were going to put her away after her last run but she came back so well we decided to give her one more run,” said Martyn’s wife Jane Meade. “She had been showing good form at home on the gallops and she takes everything in her stride as she is very easy and straightforward.
“Martyn was disappointed that he missed this as he is down in Wiltshire shooting.
“He has been on the phone and he was hoping to be back in time, but it didn’t happen unfortunately.”
The cruise control button was all that was required to see Air Pilot register a first victory outside handicap company in the AGMA Holdings James Seymour Stakes.
Although forced to switch from the rail by Graham Lee, the ultra-consistent five-year-old landed the 1m2f Listed contest with consummate ease.
“He had to turn the form around with Mutakayyef, but I think the extra furlong helped him and that looked the case when he was beaten last time out,” said Billy Jackson-Stops, assistant trainer to Ralph Beckett. “He had trouble in the race as he had to come off the rails and come around two or three horses to challenge, but Graham (Lee) only gave him one tap before he went away.”
Racecourse officials may want to reconsider renaming the Ben Marshall Stakes after French Navy made it two wins from the last three renewals of the Listed contest.
Despite giving weight away to all of his rivals the six-year-old, trained in Newmarket by Charlie Appleby found plenty for pressure to swoop late and take the 1m2f race ahead of long-time leader Fire Ship.
The win provided the second leg of a double for his jockey Adam Kirby, who had earlier steered Rotherwick home in the 1m1f nursery handicap.
“He purposely had a break after his win at Epsom as he is a horse who is ground dependent and only runs a few times a year which is well documented,” said Appleby. “Adam Kirby gets on so well with the horse he knows him like the back of his hand and there was no need to give him any instructions at all.
“He will have a break now and be back out in the spring. I am delighted with the win as he has been a grand old servant.”
Many of the leading lights in the weighing room have sported victory in the famous pink, green and white silks of owner Khalid Abdullah and now William Twiston-Davies can count himself among that band of riders after steering Suffused to victory in the opening 7f fillies’ maiden.
There was no Halloween horror show in the feature Bosra Sham EBF Fillies Stakes at the track on Friday as odds-on favourite Terror cruised to a facile victory.
Having finished fourth in the Cheveley Park Stakes back in September, the two-year-old — trained in Newmarket by David Simcock — made the most of a significant drop in class to take the Listed six-furlong contest by a length and a half.
“She is a nice relaxed filly and she appreciated having a bit of cut in the ground and could not have done it any easier,” said winning jockey Jim Crowley.