On the record: Battaash, Rip Van Winkle, Rachel King and more …

• The week’s significant milestones

Horse Racing Battaash Goodwood King George
Record breaker: Battaash (Jim Crowley) smashes up the clock at Goodwood. Photo: Racenews

55.62 Battaash

GB: The new track record (in seconds) set by superstar sprinter Battaash for the 5f at Goodwood as he completed a four-timer in the King George Qatar Stakes on Friday [July 31]. The six-year-old was breaking his own record of 56.2s.

Although Goodwood is one of the fastest sprint tracks anywhere, the world record for 5f stands at 53.69s set by John Best-trained handicapper Stone Of Folca, who scored at 50-1 under Luke Morris in the Epsom Dash of 2012. 

Incidentally, Americans don’t recognise this mark on account of the downhill nature of Epsom’s track. Equally, though, their own ‘world’ records can be considered bogus as they are timed from a flying start, with the teletimer starting only after a run-up from the gate.


130 Rip Van Winkle

New Zealand: Former world champion miler Rip Van Winkle died at the age of 14 on Sunday [August 2] at Windsor Park Stud.

The former world champion miler’s highest official rating of 130 at the of his dual G1-winning three-year-old campaign for trainer Aidan O’Brien is second only to the great Frankel’s 140 among progeny of the legendary Galileo. Rip Van Winkle’s best Timeform rating of 134 matched his sire.


12 Rachel King

Australia: With a total of 12 winners, British expat Rachel King became the first female jockey to win the Hawkesbury premiership when the season closed on Thursday [July 30].

King’s nearest pursuer Jason Collett ended up two winners adrift – and there was double cause for celebration for G1-winning rider King, who turned 30 on Friday. Hawkesbury is a provincial club about 30 miles northwest of Sydney in New South Wales. 

King, who has been based in the Sydney area for six years, is a former champion apprentice in Sydney. She landed her sole G1 victory on Maid Of Heaven in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick in October 2018.


600 Mark Walker

Singapore: In tandem with owners Remarkable Stable, three-time Singapore champion trainer Mark Walker enjoyed a memorable five-timer at Kranji on Sunday [August 2].

The owner-trainer partnership won the first four events on a 14-race card, landing a fifth winner four races later. I Am Sacred, who provided the third leg of the five, was Walker’s 600th winner in Singapore, where he again leads the trainers’ premiership by three from Michael Clements.

Walker was a five-time champion trainer in his native New Zealand before moving to Singapore.


101 Jamie Richards

New Zealand: Premierships were decided as various southern hemisphere 2019-20 seasons were completed on July 31. In truth, the vast majority were clinched months ago – but among the more notable was the first solo title for leading New Zealand trainer Jamie Richards, who ended with a total of 101 winners during a season interrupted by a long coronavirus shutdown.

Te Akau Racing trainer Richards saddled 12 G1 winners during the season, nine at home in NZ plus three more across the Tasman Sea in Australia. Melody Belle was the chief contributor, adding four more G1 successes to her lifetime tally of ten.

Richards, 30, is based in Matamata, setting for director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. He was winning his second trainers’ premiership altogether, having won the title in 2015-16 in partnership with Stephen Autridge.


300,000 Miss Yoda

Germany: As Britain is beset with a prize-money row during the coronavirus crisis, the John Gosden-trained Miss Yoda netted a cool €300,000 first prize for her connections with her front-running success under Frankie Dettori in the 162nd running of the Henkel-Preis der Diana at Dusseldorf on Sunday [August 2].

With a total prize fund of €500,000, the German Oaks was worth significantly more than the British or Irish versions – virtually double in the case of Epsom, for example, which had a purse of £250,000, and more than double compared to the Curragh (€230,000).

Dettori had never won the German Oaks before; Miss Yoda is owned by Georg von Opel, form the German car family dynasty.


4 Stradivarius

GB: ‘Mighty Mouse’ stayer Stradivarius created history on Tuesday [July 28] when he overcame traffic problems to become the first horse to win the Goodwood Cup four times, adding to his wins in 2017, 2018 and 2019 in the Al Shaqab-sponsored G1 event.

The six-year-old, now set to take on illustrious stablemate Enable in the Arc, previously shared the honour of three Goodwood Cup wins with Double Trigger (1995, 1997, 1998).

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