Weighed In: the best and worst of the racing week
Performance of the week (1)
Dead-heat rules apply this weekend. First up it has to be John Gosden and Frankie Dettori on British Champions Day as they once again showed their prowess on the big stage, first with Persuasive but more stupendously with Cracksman in the Champions Stakes.
Cracksman's performance, given a textbook ride from Dettori as the St Leger and Arc absentee reverted to the 1m2f trip, was so stunning his owner Anthony Oppenheimer was nearly lost for words to leave everyone enabled (get it?) for next year's Flat season.
Perfomance of the week (2)
Just as impressive was the week's work of trainer Gordon Elliott, whose rapid rise up the training ranks shows no signs of stopping as he hinted global domination could be a possibility with a first winner in America at the weekend.
That was the cherry on top of a cake baked at Punchestown on Thursday when he sent out six of the eight winners (including the charity race success of Pallasator). What makes it even more impressive is the County Meath trainer uses professionals and amateurs alike with the winners ridden by Jack Kennedy, Davy Russell, Jamie Codd and Lisa O'Neill.
Picture of the week
Ride of the week
Danny Mullins, who went on to ride a winner in America at the weekend, gets that award despite it not being ultimately successful at Punchestown on Thursday.
Riding Kilcarry Bridge, the 25-1 outsider of the field in the Group 3 Irish Daily Star Chase over 3m1f, Mullins set out to make all on a race-fit ally against some reappearing stars and came within an ace of pulling it off.
Only Road To Respect got past and not before the run-in as Mullins showed great tactical nous, going clear at flagfall and getting his rivals to give chase earlier than ideal on the last circuit before getting a breather in – and very nearly nicking it.
Disappointment of the week
That the apprentice title did not end in a tie as seemed fitting after the performances of David Egan and Kieran Shoemark in their protracted duel for the title in the last month of their season.
Egan certainly did not deserve to lose out to the strong late run of Shoemark as the son of John Egan has impressed all and sundry with his talent this year, witnessed by riding for more than 120 different trainers.
Shoemark, who can look back on a ten-day ban at the end of August costing him dear, ended the season with a rattle backed by his boss Roger Charlton as, having ridden out his claim this year, he heads into the senior ranks.
Interestingly both have now ridden 60 winners in the calendar year.
Tweet of the week
Four winners have followed in the last three days on the way to 500. Team Skelton continues to set sizzling figures and it is hard to believe the operation is into just a fifth season. The total so far are 27, 73, 104, 118 so what is next in the sequence this season with 82 already on the board for 2017-18.
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