Cool Barzalona a Frozen asset
Wednesday 8 August 2012
Mickael Barzalona has not taken long to grasp the nuances of one of Britain's most unconventional tracks as he steered Frozen Over to success in the John Smith's Brighton Mile.
On a grey opening afternoon to the three-day August Festival, jockeys were divided as to which side of the track to use and the young Frenchman was faced with a dilemma when the large field split on the approach to the home straight.
Just three riders took their chance on the less popular far rail, and two of the pioneers were rewarded as they made the frame in a tight finish. Barzalona, in his first season with Godolphin, had picked up this spare ride for Devon trainer Stuart Kittow and put the 9-1 chance in front on the line, a respective neck and a short head in front of Chosen Character and Satwa Laird.
"My horse was quite lazy, and I thought if I came across, it would take too much time," said Barzalona, who had only experienced Brighton's rolling cambers a handful of times before.
Kittow, notching his 11th winner of the season from 20 horses, said: "I left everything to the jockey. His agent, Ray Cochrane, rang up for the ride and he's one of the few that can do a light weight - he can ride, too. I think the horse liked having a bit of space, and it's a good prize to win."
Three more winners saw Richard Hughes draw level with Ryan Moore at the top of the jockeys' championship table. Hot on the heels of Hughes' Tuesday four-timer, Richard Hannon's Danz Choice (6-4 favourite) opened the meeting in the Maison Maurice Nursery, needing a bit of encouragement to follow on from a recent Sandown win, but finding more when required.
Hughes, who missed the first month of the season through a suspension in India, said: "I caught up pretty quickly, but I couldn't do any of it without Richard Hannon. I hadn't ridden the horse before and leaving the stalls he didn't want to do anything. I 'loosed' him and he took off for 100 yards, so he did well to win."
Rising Legend (9-4) looked in danger of bumping into a less exposed rival in the Caledonian Flying Scotsman British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes, but his greater experience told as he drew two and a quarter lengths ahead of Canadian Run.
Hughes added: "We were a bit worried because he didn't handle Epsom, but he was fine. I don't think that was a bad maiden for Brighton and he stayed seven furlongs well, although he wouldn't mind going back to six, either."
The jockey's hat-trick came up when he helped Chasin' Rainbows (3-1 favourite) go for gold for the first time in the Laines Best Handicap.