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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

The best and worst of the week's racing

Happier days: Harry Bentley with owner Paul Jacobs
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Performance of the weekend

The only European-based trainer to land a leg of the US Triple Crown was back to his pioneering best on Saturday night, as Dermot Weld claimed the historic Man O'War Stakes in New York with Zhukova.

Back at the scene of Go And Go's 1990 victory in the Belmont Stakes, Weld produced Zhukova to record her first top level victory in style, as she stretched to a six length victory under John Velazquez.

Weld, who has also won the Melbourne Cup twice, has an uncanny knack for spotting opportunities abroad and executing a plan to win them.

The five-year-old mare could have a lot to offer this season. She beat Found last year and could be a candidate for two prizes that still elude the trainer, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the Breeders' Cup.

Disappointment of the week

It feels a little harsh to be too down on an Aidan O'Brien-trained horse given how many of them have been in the winner's enclosure of late, but Sir John Lavery did not manage to live up to his reputation at Lingfield.

An easy winner of a Gowran Park maiden last year, the colt was favourite for the Derby trial, but he was never in contention and finished sixth. Perhaps inevitably there would have to be one of O'Brien's squadron who didn't make the grade for Epsom, although this is Aidan O'Brien we're talking about so it is probably too soon to be writing off Sir John Lavery.

Picture of the week

Expect huge crowds at Chester’s popular May meeting starting today

Excuse of the week

If horses are as intelligent as Limato's owner Paul Jacobs believes how can the sprinter be capable of remembering an unhappy experience in Dubai but not the two Group 1 successes he shared with Harry Bentley in the July Cup and Prix de la Foret last year.

In justifying Bentley's jocking-off, Jacobs explained: "I felt that if Harry were to get on Limato again it might trigger a reminder of what happened three months earlier and then we would have a serious problem on our hands."

Tweet of the week


Royal Ascot next - Queen Anne Summers Stakes

Reacting to the news that the infield at Epsom was to be branded 'Poundland Hill'

Quotes of the week

"I'm humbled by the support I've had. It's been amazing."

George Baker paying thanks to those who have helped him since his fall in Switzerland.

"I'm not going to hide my disappointment, it's a real setback and a big hit for me. But it's part of the game, it happens."

Harry Bentley on losing his ride on Limato.

"Of course, it's a huge disappointment to lose the ride on Quiet Reflection, but I just feel lucky to have ridden such a good horse."

Dougie Costello was another Flat jockey who had a big ride taken away from him.

I'm humbled by the support I've had. It's been amazing

Key data

Zhukova D K Weld
E.W. Terms
Sky bet