Five things we learnt on Saturday: Danehill Kodiac set for great things

Sat 7 Oct 2017

Oliver Brett spins through the key findings from the Racing UK action on Saturday.

Big plans for Waldgeist's Ascot conqueror:

Much of the talk in the immediate aftermath of the Gigaset Cumberland Lodge Stakes focussed on the questionable ride given to Waldgeist, the Group One winner who was coaxed rather than urged into making a challenge under Vincent Cheminaud.

Waldgeist failed to reel in Danehill Kodiac, who set searching fractions under Sean Levey for the Richard Hannon team and prevailed in a photo finish from the 4-7 French-trained favourite.

Hannon said afterwards: "He had problems earlier in the year and that is why he missed a good section of the first part of the year.

“We might be thinking of going to Dubai. I'd like to think of something like the Coronation Cup next year for him, which we won with Pether's Moon."

Levey said of the four-year-old: "You don't always get the chance to keep a lot of older horses in training, especially nice ones like him."

Buick bounces back with a winner:

William Buick had just one chance to make a winning comeback after an enforced eight-week absence but the Godolphin jockey showed no signs of rustiness as he scored on Blue Point in the John Guest Bengough Stakes.

Perhaps noting the successes of front-running rides in the first two races at Ascot, Buick made all on the even-money favourite to beat a fast-finishing Projection by half a length. The rest of the field were strung out.

Buick, who had been absent since fracturing a vertebra in a fall from the ill-fated Permian at Arlington Park in August, said of the three-year-old Blue Point: "He's a better horse on fast ground. He has shown today he's quite versatile making all the running on pretty slow ground. He's a good horse and I believe he's staying in training so we'll see more of him next year."

Trainer Charlie Appleby said the son of Shamardal was no certainty to line up against Harry Angel in two weeks' time on Champions Day, especially given likely soft ground.

Johnson Houghton continues tremendous run of form:

In the week that Eve Johnson Houghton picked up some nice yearlings at Tattersalls following her best summer yet, the Oxfordshire trainer enjoyed another significant win in the totescoop6 Challenge Cup.

The progressive three-year-old Accidental Agent took Johnson Houghton's tally for 2017 to 47 by putting some seasoned performers to the sword with Charles Bishop producing a well-timed challenge down the middle of the field.

Johnson Houghton said: "He was bred by my mum and was the first foal of one of her mares.

“We took him to the sales but could only get £8,000 for him. It's unbelievable. I'm so chuffed with him. We kept saying he was a good horse and we were so disappointed early doors. He just outgrew his own strength. We've all been really patient.

“He's not been easy and everyone in the yard has been fantastic."

Godolphin unearth decent two-year-old at HQ:

Old Persian surely has the scope to win a decent race or two as a three-year-old after successfully giving 6lb and more to his rivals in a divided novice race at Newmarket.

Adam Kirby appeared to win as he pleased, taking the lead early before briefly being joined by the Ryan Moore-ridden Gronkowski - and finally scooted clear to win by four and a half lengths.

Alex Merriam, assistant trainer to Charlie Appleby, said: "Being that size I don't think the weight would have bothered him too much.

“Charlie ran him on the all-weather [when winning at Chelmsford] just to get a run into him. It was a case of finding the slot for him. I think we will see how he is, but having briefly spoken to Charlie we will probably knock it on the head for the year."

Darkanna gives Fahey maiden Two-Year-Old Trophy:

You would expect Redcar's biggest race of the season might have gone to Richard Fahey once or twice in the Malton trainer's illustrious career, but he has had to wait this long to celebrate his first one, and it came through the filly Darkanna, ridden by Barry McHugh.

The daughter of Dark Angel looked the winner a fair distance from home, a notable signal in its own way given that she had to find a way past 22 rivals.

It was a nice way to snap a five-race losing streak, having run in decent company and bumped in to Coolmore’s Clemmie. If Darkanna winters well she could certainly be one to watch in 2018. Put her in your Racing UK tracker.

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