Dubawi's Old Persian Prevails in Great Voltigeur Thriller

3rd at YOR, Gr. Stk, £170,000G2 Sky Bet Great Voltigeur S. (11f 188y)Winner: Old Persian (GB), c, 3 by Dubawi (Ire)

Old Persian | Racing Post


As it seemed to be perpetually during the nineties, Godolphin's royal blue was at the forefront again at York's Ebor meeting on Wednesday with the famous white cap in front at the line as Old Persian (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) bested Cross Counter (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the G2 Sky Bet Great Voltigeur S. Tracking the pace-setting Nelson (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) in second throughout, the 7-1 shot who had taken the G2 King Edward VII S. at Royal Ascot June 22 was left in front three out and had his stablemate and the 6-4 favourite Cross Counter to contend with soon after. Battling it out up the straight as the penalised Kew Gardens (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) made significant progress from behind, it was Old Persian who had the bragging rights at the line by a head with Ballydoyle's G1 Grand Prix de Paris hero putting in an ideal St Leger prep 1 1/2 lengths away in third. “Old Persian was a group two winner with proper credentials and we put a line through his Irish Derby run [when sixth],” Charlie Appleby said. “He had a good break since and his work-rider Oscar Urbina said he was in great order, so he was a live player. Old Persian galloped out well and he'll go to the [G1] St Leger [at Doncaster Sept. 15] and Cross Counter has booked his ticket to the Melbourne Cup.”

Old Persian began his 3-year-old campaign with success in a 10-furlong handicap at Newmarket's Craven meeting that has thrown up some class acts Apr. 18 and was beaten for pace when runner-up to stablemate Key Victory (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the Listed Newmarket S. over the same trip May 5. Two weeks later, he took the Listed Fairway S. again over that course and distance before his Royal Ascot exploits. His Irish Derby run was his fifth in just over nine weeks and he may have been a shade below-par, but his trainer believes he was more undone by the lack of a genuine pace there. “People might say we backed him up quick enough in the Irish Derby after Royal Ascot, but I felt the horse was going there in great order,” Appleby said. “It was more the fact the race didn't pan out as we expected as they slowed up in front and we weren't in the right position. My race-reading wasn't right, as I told William [Buick] to hold him up there to finish his race and he rode to instructions. James let him into a rhythm and gave the horse a fantastic ride. He's bred to get the Leger trip.” Doyle appeared convinced that Old Persian would stay the extended 14-furlong trip at Doncaster and said, “All he does is gallop and he was very dominant at the line. He's a real fighter as well.”

Of Cross Counter, who will join Saturday's G3 Geoffrey Freer S. winner Hamada (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}) on the trip to Flemington, Appleby added, “He was probably backed up quickly after breaking the course record at Goodwood and got a bit warmer today in the paddock. In an ideal world, I'd have loved another 10 days but we don't live in that world. This might put him up a half kilo in the weights which might give him an ideal racing weight [for the Melbourne Cup] now. I didn't want to take him down as a three-year-old and give him a prep run there. I thought it would be easier if I could get a prep run in here and go down there as a fresher horse and run him off the plane. They are the best I've ever sent down there, but there is a lot of travelling and the biggest challenge is how they adapt.”

Kew Gardens was running the best race of all the Ballydoyle horses on day one and he maintains pole position for the Leger. Coolmore's UK representative Kevin Buckley said, “He's run a great race, he's just been beaten by the penalty. It's nice to see him come back from his little break after his race in France in such good form. He should step up on that perfectly in time for Town Moor. Ryan was very happy with him.”

Old Persian's pedigree does not imply that he is a certain stayer over an extra 2 1/2 furlongs, despite his dam Indian Petal (GB) (Singspiel {Ire}) being a full-sister to Silkwood (GB) who captured the G2 Ribblesdale S. over this trip in 2007. Her half-sister Silent Honor (Ire) (Sunday Silence) had the pace to win the G2 Cherry Hinton S. over six furlongs at two, but did not get the chance to show what she could do beyond her juvenile campaign while another half-sibling Shrill (GB) (Shamardal) was a listed-paced sprinter. Another of Indian Petal's full-sisters Vine Street (Ire) produced the operation's Leshlaa (Street Cry {Ire}) who took the G2 Anatolia Trophy but has not been asked to go beyond 10 furlongs. The third dam, the Listed Prix Amandine winner Massaraat (Nureyev), is a full-sister to the great miler Miesque (Nureyev) which links Old Persian to Alpha Centauri (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) and the ill-fated 2017 G2 King Edward VII S. and G2 Dante S. winner and G1 Grand Prix de Paris runner-up Permian (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}). Indian Petal's 2-year-old filly Chapelli (GB), by Dubawi's son Poet's Voice (GB), possessed the pace to be third in the recent Listed Dragon S. over five furlongs. She also has a yearling filly by Pivotal (GB) and a foal full-brother to Old Persian.

Wednesday, York, Britain
SKY BET GREAT VOLTIGEUR S.-G2, £170,000, York, 8-22, 3yo, c/g, 11f 188yT, 2:28.34, g/f.
1–OLD PERSIAN (GB), 129, c, 3, by Dubawi (Ire)
1st Dam: Indian Petal (GB), by Singspiel (Ire)
2nd Dam: Wood Vine, by Woodman
3rd Dam: Massaraat, by Nureyev
O/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charlie Appleby; J-James Doyle. £96,407. Lifetime Record: 10-6-1-1, $390,860. *1/2 to Chapelli (GB) (Poet's Voice {GB}), SP-Eng. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Cross Counter (GB), 126, g, 3, Teofilo (Ire)–Waitress, by Kingmambo. O/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charlie Appleby. £36,550.
3–Kew Gardens (Ire), 131, c, 3, Galileo (Ire)–Chelsea Rose (Ire), by Desert King (Ire). O-Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier & Michael Tabor; B-Barronstown Stud (IRE); T-Aidan O'Brien. £18,292.
Margins: HD, 1HF, 3. Odds: 7.00, 1.50, 3.50.
Also Ran: Wells Farhh Go (Ire), The Pentagon (Ire), Nelson (Ire), Sevenna Star (Ire), Zabriskie (Ire), M C Muldoon (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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