• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures
9 Verry Elleegant
Australia: Superstar mare Verry Elleegant, whose rivalry with British-trained Addeybb has lit up the last two Sydney autumn carnivals, took her G1 tally to nine victories on Saturday [Sept 18] in the George Main Stakes at Randwick.
Sent off 3-4 favourite, the six-year-old clawed back front-running Riodini to score by three-quarters of a length under James McDonald.
“I’m here getting the accolades for it on raceday but it is an honour to train a horse like this,” said trainer Chris Waller. “If she doesn’t win Group 1s she runs second in them over all distances on all track conditions. That is a rare commodity.”
New Zealand: Avantage, retired last week owing to a tendon injury, won nine G1s for champion NZ trainer Jamie Richards.
“We’re all absolutely gutted about Avantage but unfortunately this can happen in racing,” Richards said of the six-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock, who won 16 of her 28 career starts including five G1s in 2020-21.
“We’d been very happy with her, but it became apparent when Nicole (Shailer) came back to work this afternoon that she had heat in her off-fore leg,” added Richards.
“We had the vet there to scan it immediately and she has a hole in the tendon and will be retired forthwith from racing.”
Canada: Albahr’s victory in the Summer Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday [Sept 19] was a landmark 350th G1 victory for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation.
A Listed winner at Salisbury on his previous start, the son of Dubawi earned a guaranteed spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf with his 2¼-length victory over late-running Grafton Street, thereby completing a G1 double after Wild Beauty’s success earlier on the card in the Natalma.
“Wild Beauty will go to Del Mar and this race was a ‘Win and You’re In’, so Albahr has every reason to go to the Breeders’ Cup as well,” said travelling assistant Alex Merriam. “The way he has run today, you would like to think he would go there with half a chance.”
4 Charlie Appleby
Canada: From five runners in North America over the weekend, Godophin trainer Charlie Appleby came home with four winners across Saturday and Sunday.
Frankie Dettori partnered Walton Street to win Saturday’s Canadian International for Appleby, who ten minutes later landed the $1m Jockey Club Derby Invitational at Belmont with Yibir (Jamie Spencer) before Sunday’s G1 double in Toronto with Wild Beauty and Albahr. Creative Flair spoiled the perfect record by coming only fourth of six in the Jockey Club Oaks at Belmont on Saturday.
Military Crown, the stable’s only runner in Britain over the Saturday-Sunday period, was only sixth of nine on the all-weather at Wolverhampton. Appleby trails Andrew Balding by less than £100,000 in the British title race.
9 Frankie Dettori
Canada: Frankie Dettori’s record fourth Canadian International victory on Charlie Appleby-trained Walton Street was his first G1 win for Godolphin since Colour Vision’s Gold Cup at Ascot in June 2012 – more than nine years ago.