Racing Post Trophy
|Group 1, Doncaster 15:50
1m, Class 1
|Saturday 25th October 2014|
1 Elm Park 13/8F
2 Aloft 10/1
3 Celestial Path 6/1
8 ran Distances: 2¾l, ½l, 5l
TIME 1m 43.82s (slow by 7.82s)
Elm Park wins the Racing Post Trophy with his ears pricked!
Andrea Atzeni rides the Andrew Balding-trained colt to victory
Elm Park emerged as a serious contender for the Investec Derby from the historic Kingsclere stables when running out an impressive all-the-way winner.
A statue of 1971 Derby hero Mill Reef adorns the yard and is a permanent reminder of days gone by, when Ian Balding held the licence.
Now it is his son Andrew who rules the roost, but as he was in Australia supervising Side Glance's effort in the Cox Plate earlier in the day, it was left to his father to greet the winner, which he bred under the Kingsclere banner.
Balding senior said: "I'm just so thrilled. We've had five generations of this family. It's lovely. To have bred him is much more special.
"He's got the right temperament this horse, which is so important. Mill Reef had it, of course, in spades. He had a wonderful temperament. This fella certainly has it as well.
"Andrew does this job better than I do, so I won't be telling him how to go about next year. Watching that you'd like to think he'd be a Guineas horse as well, but I don't know. It's up to the trainer and the owner.
"The only problem (with Epsom) is that he didn't come down the Dip at Newmarket (in winning the Royal Lodge)."
The Kingsclere syndicate co-owns the talented colt along with Qatar Racing, who bought a significant share before his victory in the Royal Lodge Stakes last month.
That was a Group Two contest and Elm Park (13-8 favourite) stepped up to the top level doing it the hard way from the front.
Andrea Atzeni, successful 12 months ago on subsequent St Leger hero Kingston Hill, took a no-nonsense approach and once he kicked on two furlongs from home, the race was as good as over.
Though Aloft had made progress from the rear, on hitting the furlong pole Atzeni's mount really lengthened to win in style by two and three-quarter lengths. Celestial Path was half a length away in third.
Atzeni, who will officially take on the role of number one jockey to Sheikh Fahad's operation next season, said: "He's very straightforward. He travelled nicely and I kept it simple, really. It was like riding a piece of work.
" He's a beautiful mover and he's got a great attitude. He can only get better with age. I was very confident before the race. You're never sure what you are taking on, but he was by far the best.
"It meant a lot, taking a new job - it's just amazing. I'd won a Group Two, a Group Three and a Listed race for Sheikh Fahad, and to get a Group One before next season is great."
Sheikh Fahad, the boss of Qatar Racing, said: "I was just on the phone to Andrew (in Australia) and he is unbelievably thrilled. It's a great day. I haven't seen a horse go through the ground like that in my relatively new time in racing, he just glides through it.
"I think logically that (the Derby) is the target. But it will be a long year next year, we'll sit down with Ian and Andrew and the team and make a plan going forward."
Racing Post Trophy (Group 1) (Straight Course)
£216,000 added, 2yo only, 1m, Class 1
|Dr||Dist||Horse SP Jockey||Wgt||Trainer|
|1st||(3)||Elm Park 13/8f
|9-1||A M Balding|
|2nd||(6)||2¾||Aloft (IRE) 10/1
|9-1||A P O'Brien|
|3rd||(7)||½||Celestial Path (IRE) 6/1
|9-1||Sir Mark Prescott|
|4th||(1)||5||Jacobean (IRE) 3/1
|9-1||A P O'Brien|
|9-1||J H M Gosden|
|9-1||W R Muir|
|7th||(4)||1¼||Tupi (IRE) 33/1
S M Levey
|8th||(8)||1¼||Cock Of The North 20/1
Year Horse Trainer Jockey Owner SP
2013 Viztoria Eddie Lynam Wayne Lordan Sheila Lavery 7/2
2012 Libranno Richard Hannon Kieren Fallon McDowell Racing 16/1
2011 Premio Loco Chris Wall George Baker Bernard Westley 15/8 fav
2010 Balthazaar’s Gift Clive Cox Philip Robinson H E Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan 16/1
2009 Duff Edward Lynam IRE Fran Berry Kilboy Estate 7/1
2008 Arabian Gleam Jeremy Noseda Johnny Murtagh Saeed Suhail 9/1
2007 Arabian Gleam Jeremy Noseda Johnny Murtagh Saeed Suhail 5/2
2006 Iffraaj Saeed bin Suroor Frankie Dettori Godolphin 4/6 fav
2005 Iffraaj Michael Jarvis Philip Robinson Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum 7/1
2004 Pastoral Pursuits Hughie Morrison Steve Drowne The Pursuits Partnership 5/1
2003 Polar Ben James Fanshawe Jamie Spencer Simon Gibson 5/1
2002 Duck Row James Toller Richard Hughes Duke Of Devonshire 8/1
2001 Tough Speed Sir Michael Stoute Kieren Fallon Saeed Suhail 6/1
2000 Distant Music Barry Hills Michael Hills Khalid Abdullah 4/1
1999 Sugarfoot Nigel Tinkler Pat Eddery Mrs D Wright 15/2