Seven Days

Seven Days: Breeders' Cup Sees Out the Season in Style

So long has this column been disrupted by sales and travel that this final instalment for a Flat season that seems to have whizzed by faster than ever should perhaps be renamed 28 Days. That's not to say that we are giving you four times the value, however. The last week or so has been spent in California at the 40th running of the Breeders' Cup. Any racing event which draws some of the best racehorses from a variety of nations is a treat, and with its 14 Grade 1...

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Seven Days: The Remarkable Jarvis Training Dynasty 

As we stand braced for five consecutive weekends of Group 1 action in France and Britain, it is a sign of course that the Flat season of 2023 is drawing to a close, albeit with a bang rather than a whimper. As announced in the Racing Post on Sunday, these final skirmishes on the turf will also bring with them the ending of the longest-running family training dynasty in Britain when William Jarvis saddles his final runner after 38 years with a licence. You could say he was born to...

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Seven Days: A St Leger Fit For a King

With a royal audience, Continuous (Jpn) became the seventh winner of the St Leger for Aidan O'Brien, relegating the King and Queen's runner Desert Hero (GB) to third, just as Pour Moi (Ire) had done in the Derby with Carlton House back in 2011 in front of the late Queen. There were plenty of strands to an enthralling St Leger that would have made for good storylines: two of those, victory for Desert Hero with his owners present on Town Moor, or a final British Classic for Frankie Dettori, may...

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Seven Days: Ireland's Perfect Pick-Me-Up

The Devil's Dyke stretches in pretty much a straight line for more than seven miles through parts of Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. The best part, according to this scribbler anyway, is the section roughly a mile and half long which cleaves Newmarket's July Course from the Rowley Mile, with a break in the dyke allowing the two courses to join briefly just beyond the ten-furlong mark on the latter. A Dutch author, Iman Jacob Wilkens, once claimed that Cambridge's Gog Magog Hills was the true location of the City of Troy,...

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Seven Days: No Hollywood Ending but Baden Still Shines

The Tattersalls Somerville Sale has meant that a return to Newmarket could be delayed no longer but this column sprang, or perhaps staggered, into life on the final day of Baden-Baden's Grosse Woche. The scribbling started reasonably early on Sunday morning from a desk in the press room that boasts one of the best views in the racing world, looking out across the turf to the wooded mountains of the Black Forest. It was also the desk that was once occupied by British-born but German-based racing correspondent David Connolly-Smith, who...

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Seven Days: Super Saturday for Beckett and Chan

It's the time of year which most trainers must dread as they juggle spending time in their yards and at the races with attending yearling sales here, there and everywhere. One who will doubtless be patrolling the sales grounds of Doncaster and Baden-Baden this week with an extra pep in his step is Ralph Beckett. Marc Chan, one of Beckett's principal owners, had four runners in the past week and all four won. Even more remarkably, three of those victories came in stakes contests on the same day at three...

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Seven Days: Bucanero Fuerte Times His Run to Perfection

Most normal people spend some of August at the beach. Bloodstock folk do too, though the spade work involves no bucket, just plenty of prowling around the Arqana sales ground looking at yearlings. There may be the odd oyster here and there at the hospitality suites of various consignors but, make no mistake, this is gruelling work. It's curtain up this Friday for the European yearling sales season, and we all know what that means: Christmas is right around the corner. For breeders and stallion masters, results on the track...

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Seven Days: Succession

Last week this column was led by Hukum (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}). Now, for the same owner/breeder, Shadwell, it is the turn of Al Husn (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). It was quite the boost for Newcastle's all-weather G3 Hoppings Fillies' S. that both the winner Al Husn and runner-up Nashwa (GB) (Frankel {GB}) went on to win a Group 1 on the turf on their next start. With Nashwa having won the G1 Falmouth S. in emphatic fashion, she reopposed Al Husn in attempting to defend her crown in the...

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Seven Days: Hooked on Hukum

It's Goodwood, it's Galway, but this week's column comes to you from Glorious Golspie, 170 miles north of Britain's most northerly racecourse, and roughly the same distance across Scotland from the country's most recent retiree from the training ranks. Keith Dalgleish has packed up his stable at Carluke and moved to Oban in the western Highlands to pursue, at his own choosing, a life outside racing. A successful jockey in his days working for fellow Scot Mark Johnston, and later Scotland's most prolific trainer, Dalgleish will be missed both north...

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Seven Days: The Sophomore Kings

We've a while to wait before any firm conclusions can be drawn about this year's crop of first-season stallions, though Darley's Blue Point (Ire) and Ballyhane Stud's Soldier's Call (GB) are pulling ever clearer in what has developed into something of a duel at the half-way stage of the Flat season. In the Coolmore camp, Calyx (GB) was the first to strike with a group winner when Persian Dreamer won Friday's G2 Duchess of Cambridge S.  As an aside, one wonders how much the clamour to run two-year-olds at Royal...

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Seven Days: A New Force Emerges at Ascot

Pack away your hats and spend a joyful week in jeans and trainers. Royal Ascot was fabulous, as it always is. Though we may have tipped into the meeting being padded with too many handicaps, the results throughout the five days provided plenty of great storylines, even beyond the headline-hogger that is Frankie Dettori.  Unquestionably, though, the best race anywhere in the world in the last week came at Hanshin on Sunday. In the Takarazuka Kinen, Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) ran the kind of race that few horses can...

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Seven Days: Many Indicators of Success

In the European edition we really shouldn't be overstepping our boundary to encroach on the territory of our American colleagues who did such a fine job in conveying the stories from Belmont Park last week. Racing faces different problems in different jurisdictions and, from an outsider's perspective, it is hard to get fully behind racing in America when a number of its major participants remain overly reliant on medication. But if you read Cynthia Holt's wonderful account of being at Belmont 50 years ago to bear witness to arguably the...

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