Gloomy Sunday (left): a 10-1 shot for the Ascot Gold Cup with BoylesportsPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Gloomy Sunday shines in impressive Henry II win
Report: Sandown, Thursday
Seymour Pierce Henry II Stakes (Group 3) 2m78y, 4yo+
CHRISTOPHE FERLAND and Olivier Peslier came to Sandown with more confidence in their 20-1 outsider than the betting market and their faith in Gloomy Sunday was duly rewarded as Peslier guided the four-year-old to a four-length success.
It was a first victory in Group company for the Simon Springer-owned filly and just the third success of a 13-race career and the step up to staying trips seems to have brought about a huge amount of improvement.
"The rain did not matter as she goes on soft ground," said Ferland. "We came here as it's a Group 3 and the only race for her in France was a Group 2 at Longchamp last Sunday and we thought this would be easier and it was quite exciting to come over."
And how right he was. Gloomy Sunday made light work of her rivals under a fine ride by Peslier. The early pace was slow, something highlighted by the fact Hayley Turner decided to take things up on usual hold-up performer Askar Tau.
Settled in mid-division on Gloomy Sunday, Peslier recognised there was a lack of pace and moved up his mount through the field to sit on the heels of the early leaders. It was a well-timed move as entering the back straight Turner increased the tempo slightly, but Peslier had already adopted a prime position.
The pair then travelled through the race strongly and turning for home Peslier was still seeking cover, before pulling out and delivering his mount with a race-winning kick for home.
From inside the final furlong the result was never in doubt, with the French-trained filly holding 40-1 shot Number Theory, who fared best of the rest. 8-1 shot Model Pupil stayed on for third.
Boylesports reacted to the victory by making Gloomy Sunday a 10-1 shot for the Ascot Gold Cup, a race for which she would have to be supplemented.
On that possibility, Ferland added: "We will see - I will talk to the owner. She is not entered for the Gold Cup."
Mukhadram (5) is 20-1 with Paddy Power for the Coral EclipsePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
ALSO AT SANDOWN ON THURSDAY
Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f7y, 4yo+
THE Brigadier Gerard posed more questions than it answered. A finely judged ride from the front by Paul Hanagan sealed victory for the William Haggas-trained Mukhadram. But it was the performances of his rivals that clouded the issue.
Huxley Stakes winner Danadana never got into it, while last year's Derby runner-up Main Sequence, who sat second throughout, could never get on terms, raising his tail and looking reluctant when coming under pressure.
With Boom And Bust not running there was no obvious pace in the race and Hanagan led the field along in a tactical affair. The first three home were in the order they formed from the start.
It was a good ride by Hanagan, but Main Sequence appeared to deliver the knockout blow to his own chances, Ted Durcan's mount looking like he was coming to win the race under a perfectly timed ride only to never quite get there.
Richard Hills, spokesman for owner Sheikh Hamdan, said: "He's had a few problems but he went to Great Leighs last week for some work and pleased William. We don’t keep many four year olds in training but we thought he could improve and tonight has justified that.
"He knocked on the door quite a bit last year and ran some good races but I think as a four-year-old he will improve immensely. He’s in a few races at Ascot but we'll let the boss decide."
Rizeena: will have one more start before either the Queen Mary or AlbanyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Cantor Fitzgerald Equities National Stakes (Listed Race) 5f6y, 2yo
THE Clive Brittain-trained Rizeena made all under Ryan Moore to win the Listed National Stakes by three lengths. Going away at the line, Rizeena landed odds of 9-4 as the 11-10 favourite Steventon Star flopped.
"She's been working with Miblish so we knew we had something special," said trainer Clive Brittain.
"That'll just sharpen her up a bit. She'll improve again for that. She'll want another race before Ascot, where she'll be entered in the Queen Mary and Albany. It's Ascot one way or another."
Montiridge: proved himself to be much better than his rivals in the HeronPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Cantor FitzgeraldCorporate Finance Heron Stakes (Listed Race) 1m14y, 3yo
MONTIRIDGE was until three weeks ago considered a potential Irish 2,000 Guineas horse by the Hannon team and he proved himself at least too good for Listed company with an impressive three and three-quarter-length success in the Heron Stakes.
Montiridge made all under Richard Hughes, travelled strongest and quickened away from his rivals, making amends for his defeat last time out at Windsor that scuppered his Curragh plans.
"We've always thought he's a good horse and he showed it tonight," said assistant trainer Richard Hannon jnr. "There's a lot of options for him, such as the Jersey Stakes [at Royal Ascot] or the Prix Jean Prat. He's very decent - I don't think that's a secret."