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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Comeback kid Coakley bags Cambridgeshire crown on Elusive Time

Elusive Time and Ross Coakley landing the Irish Cambridgeshire
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It's a little over a month since Ross Coakley collided with the Ballinrobe turf in a fall which made you wince and left him unconscious and with facial injuries.

Back in the saddle ten days ago, the talented apprentice gave Takashi Kodama's evergreen nine-year-old Elusive Time a peach of a ride as he thundered home up the stands' rail to land the Tote Irish Cambridgeshire.

"I was hoping he'd run well, but to win a race like this is something I couldn't even dream about," said a visibly thrilled Coakley. "Racing really is ups and downs.

Ross Coakley: was left unconscious and suffered a hairline fracture to a facial bone after the Ballinrobe fall
"I always thought one of these races would suit this horse as he's a very good traveller and Takashi has done an excellent job to keep right a horse of his age."

An equally enthused Kodama, who seven years earlier had saddled one-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Pop Rock to win at Galway, said: "It's unbelievable. I was actually happy he was drawn in 27 as it meant he could stride on – he doesn't really enjoying having to go through gaps.

"At the start of the year I'd planned to retire him after this season, but he's been running so well this year maybe he'll keep going."

Goddess gains 'important' Group win

Rain Goddess, runner-up to Enable in the Irish Oaks, earned her first victory since scoring on debut for David Wachman last season in the Group 3 Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes, completing a Ballydoyle treble.

Ryan Moore's mount held the fast-finishing challenge of Intimation, and winning trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "She was drawn a little wide at Arlington and this Group 3 win is very important – the pressure is off now and we can travel.

"The Blandford Stakes could be next for her and Ryan mentioned the Breeders' Cup as an end-of-season target."

Patience pays off with Navy Flag

US Navy Flag ran out an impressive winner of the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes, rewarding O'Brien's decision to wait for this rather than head to the Prix Morny or Gimcrack.

After the colt had scored under a no-nonsense Moore ride, O'Brien said: "He's a fast horse who keeps going. I'd imagine it'll be the Middle Park next."

US Navy Flag is quoted at 20-1 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, while stablemate Saxon Warrior is around the same price for the Investec Derby after notching O'Brien's first winner of the afternoon with an impressive debut success under trainer's son Donnacha in the mile maiden.

The Moore-ridden Christopher Robin started 8-11 favourite but was left trailing in the wake of his stablemate, while O'Brien also saddled the third, Saracen Knight.

O'Brien said of Saxon Warrior, who is by Deep Impact out of Maybe: "He looks very smart. He was just ready to come racing and when Donnacha pulled him out he said he took off and really quickened. He was very impressed."

McCreery's Amber gets green light

Willie McCreery could have unearthed a gem in the Niarchos family's Liquid Amber, who claimed the scalp of O'Brien's 2-7 shot Ballet Shoes in the Group 3 Flame of Tara Stakes.

Earning a quote of 25-1 with Ladbrokes for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, Liquid Amber came with a swooping challenge under Billy Lee, annihilating her rivals by five lengths.

McCreery said: "On Tuesday morning this race had cut up so I thought I'd stick her in and it paid off. We'll consider what's next over the winter, probably coming back here in the spring."

Voice makes sweet music

Keep telling him how special he is – that was the instruction from Brendan Duke to the groom of Warm The Voice after he had won the concluding nursery in good style.

The trainer had made no secret of how highly he rates the Jim and Jackie Bolger-owned colt, telling Racing Post customers before the race that "there are no negatives and I think he'll be very difficult to beat".

He said after the success: "He's just such a good colt and you've not seen the best of him yet. He's so good looking and I'm lucky he has four legs and not two, because Pinewood Studios would have him gone."


Irish Champions Weekend option
Caravaggio could have his next run at the Curragh following an underwhelming display on his last start at Deauville. Trainer Aidan O'Brien reported: "All's well with him and he could come here for the Flying Five Stakes."

Thought for the day
With autumn just around the corner, thoughts naturally turn to meetings like Irish Champions Weekend and the Breeders' Cup and in Rain Goddess and US Navy Flag, we may have seen two of Aidan O'Brien's Del Mar team

Results and analysis

He's so good looking and I'm lucky that he has four legs and not two, because Pinewood Studios would have him gone
E.W. Terms
Sky bet