First Group 1 for Jane Chapple-Hyam as Saffron Beach shines on Rowley Mile
Saffron Beach gained handsome revenge over her 1,000 Guineas conqueror Mother Earth in a rematch in the rain on the Rowley Mile to give trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam her first Group 1 win.
William Buick stepped in for the spare ride on the 5-1 chance and took no prisoners from the moment the gates opened, making all from his low draw to come clear of market leader Mother Earth, who finished a short head in front of gallant outsider Dreamloper.
The first and second were separated by a length when Mother Earth won five months ago over the same course and distance, but Saffron Beach turned the tables with a three-length romp.
A first win at the highest level was a long time coming for Australian Chapple-Hyam, who took her licence out in 2005, and there could be more to come as Saffron Beach is set to race on in 2022.
The trainer had previously enjoyed Group 3 success with not only this horse but Klammer, Mull Of Killough and Energia Davos.
She said: "It's fantastic to finally have our first Group 1 winner and especially for it to be at our local track. That is some compensation for being beaten in the 1,000 Guineas, but we knew Saffron Beach was in top shape coming into the race today.
"The last furlong was a hard slog to watch and the whole race felt like it was two miles instead of one, but it's good to get the Group 1 win next to her name.
"She knocked on the door at this level before, including when second in the 1,000 Guineas. We've always thought there was a Group 1 for her and today is the day. You don't mind waiting if they do it in the end."
On the front-running tactics, the trainer added: "I left it entirely to William. I just said beforehand that she loves the track and was fit and strong and won't mind the ground.
"We dropped her in class to give her a confidence boost at Sandown last time to prepare for this and it couldn't have gone any better."
Buick, who later doubled up in the mile maiden on Al Mubhir, said: " She travelled nicely all the way through and did that very well. She was a nice spare ride to get and when the rain came we knew it would play to her strengths.
"Obviously, she's Adam Kirby's ride but he had to go to Ascot today. I spoke with him this morning and he told me a lot about her and was a big help."
As to the immediate future, Chapple-Hyam added: "The owners Ben Sangster and James Wigan tell me she stays in training but she won't be going to the Breeders' Cup as there's nothing for her.
"I believe there is the QEII Challenge Cup at Keeneland on October 16, which has been discussed, but we'll have to see how she is on Monday."
Kevin Buckley, spokesman for Coolmore, owners of Mother Earth, said: "Mother Earth always turns up in these races and she's run another good race. The rain is now getting into the ground, but that is no excuse and we're delighted for Jane to win her first Group 1."
Kieran Shoemark, rider of third placed Dreamloper, said: "She's run an absolute blinder to be honest and that is a career-best for sure. I was told to ride to try and get a place, and it's worked out a treat. She enjoyed the ground and fair play to Ed Walker."
The Falmouth Stakes winner Snow Lantern was under pressure a long way out and trailed home last under Sean Levey.
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