Caspar Netscher: another big Canadian winner for David SimcockPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Mullen magnificent as Caspar charges home
Report: Canada, Sunday
Woodbine: Nearctic Stakes (Grade 2) 6f, turf, 3yo+
UNDER a terrific ride from Andrew Mullen, Caspar Netscher landed yet another major Canadian prize for his trainer David Simcock when he was brought off a fierce gallop to claim the Nearctic Stakes.
Simcock, who on Saturday bagged a Group 1 at the British Champions Day meeting with Madame Chiang, is certainly enjoying his visits to Toronto, having last month landed a Grade 1 double at Woodbine with Trade Storm and Sheikhzayedroad.
Mullen, who has ridden 53 winners in Britain this season, was recording the biggest victory of his career on Caspar Netscher, sent off a 4.8-1 chance for the $300,000 event. The jockey, who is due to ride at Pontefract on Monday, is booked to undergo a hip operation in a Cambridge hospital on Tuesday morning and expects to be out of action for around two months.
Caspar Netscher raced in sixth place about ten lengths off a frantic pace set by Canadian-trained Black Hornet. Although the front-runner was treading water in the closing stages, he very nearly made it all the way home only to get run down inside the final furlong as Mullen threaded the needle on a hard-driven winner.
"He was on his toes good at the start, but Mr Simcock has done a brilliant job with him, primed him perfect and he's come here the best he's felt," said Mullen, who rode his his first Group-race win on Danzeno for his boss Mick Appleby in the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle in June.
"I rode Caspar Netscher in work about three weeks ago and I knew he would need the run at Ascot so coming here he was 100 per cent," he added.
"I jumped well and they were going hard in front so I just slotted him in. I gave myself an option to go in or out and when I switched him in, I got a nice run and he picked up well all the way to the line."
The five-year-old son of Dutch Art, who won the Greenham and German 2,000 Guineas for former trainer Alan McCabe in 2012, went on to score for the first time since he was returned to training for owner Charles Wentworth after an abortive stud career.
"My hands were absolutely dripping sweat and I actually felt physically sick before the race I was so nervous," said Wentworth. "It was a long way to come and it's a relief to have him back.
"I sold him to stud at the end of his three-year-old season and he covered 54 mares and only got three in foal," he added. "So the insurers paid out the infertility insurance and I bought him back in a sale bid, which was a gamble but it's paid off.
"That was reminiscent of how he was at his best as a two-year-old. It's great to have him back. It really is."
The margin was three-quarters of a length, with the favourite Calgary Cat another neck back in third. The winning time was 1m08.97s.