Five things we learnt on Friday at Newmarket and Haydock

Fri 29 Sep 2017

By Oliver Brett

Nordic Combined frustrates punters (and Kieran O'Neill):

Kieran O'Neill had quite the rollercoaster ride on 16-1 shot Nordic Combined in the 1m 6f handicap at Haydock. From 2lb out of the handicap, he was last of the seven runners half a mile out and with the jockey hard at work. It looked game over.

But they had gone a little bit too quickly in front and Nordic Combined gradually closed on the leaders. Unbelievably, he got past Uber Cool to be the outright leader with 100 yards to go only to down tools and lose the race, depositing O'Neill on the deck after the line.

The jockey later picked up a four-day ban for overuse of the whip. On Betfair, £16,000 was matched in-running on Nordic Combined at prices between 1.01 and 1.05.

Beat The Bank makes bookies pay after Joel win:

Beat The Bank was briefly available at 10-1 for the QEII Stakes on Champions Day after making it five wins from six in the Shadwell Joel Stakes at Newmarket.

The three-year-old's sole career reverse came when a disappointing 10th for Andrew Balding in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he scoped dirty that day and had bounced back to win a Listed prize and then a Group Three at Goodwood.

He was never in much danger in taking his first Group Two under Oisin Murphy, who said afterwards: "Sandeep Gauravaram, who used to look after Frankel, has him, and while he's not another Frankel he's a very good horse. It happened a bit too easy, which meant he had a look around in front, but he was entitled to. I hope he's up to the QEII."

While the 10-1 for the Ascot Group One was soon lapped up, 8-1 with William Hill and Boylesports remains up for grabs.

A career best for Juliet Capulet, but no Guineas plan:

Unlike the impressively consistent Beat The Bank, John Gosden's Juliet Capulet came into Newmarket's other Group Two, the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes, with just one win from five previous starts, and that in a humble race at Thirsk.

The two-year-old daughter of Dark Angel thus showed rare improvement to win this, beating favourite Nyaleti by a head, though Frankie Dettori was the first to knock aspirations of stepping up to a mile on the head when he reported: "The petrol ran out in the last 50 yards."

Gosden's view was that this seven-furlong trip would be ideal while Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud said: "She's got a fast pedigree and she may be sharp over both six and seven furlongs next year."

Muffri'Ha poised for Sun Chariot after Listed win:

Third in her only previous attempt at a Group One, Muffri'Ha is poised to have another go at the highest level after finally getting off the mark in 2017 at the sixth attempt.

The five-year-old won the Muhaarar British EBF Rosemary Stakes pretty tidily despite being mulish at the start when Pat Cosgrave had to dismount her and walk her to the gate.

But trainer William Haggas shrugged off those histrionics and said afterwards: "I'd like to give huge thanks to Michael Tebbutt who rides her every day. He's put so much time and effort in, it's all down to him and no one else.

"She'll now come here for the Sun Chariot. She had a long autumn and went to Dubai so we had to give her a rest at some time. Fortunately she's come back and hopefully she'll have a good autumn again and then be retired."

A case of 'This Girl Can' for Dascombe juvenile:

This Girl cost a mere 12,000 guineas as a yearling but the breeding is good for this Tom Dascombe juvenile. She's by Nathaniel, the sire of Enable, and out of Fibou, who had already produced four winners going into Friday.

Two of Fibou's progeny won on two-year-old debut and This Girl made it three when comfortably beating 11 rivals at odds of 20-1 over six furlongs at Haydock.

The most taking aspect of all? The fact that Martin Harley took about a furlong and a half to pull her up on the heavy ground. She's presumably unlikely to take up an entry at Chester on Saturday, but watch out for any further runs if these autumn deluges continue.

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