New Approach's Isle Of Jura Registers Career Best in the Hardwicke

Isle of Jura


Victorious Racing's Isle Of Jura (GB) (New Approach {Ire}–Falls Of Lora {Ire}, by Street Cry {Ire}), who enjoyed a lucrative winter campaign snagging four of five starts in Bahrain, made a winning European comeback in last month's Listed Festival Stakes and stepped forward to secure an emotional victory for rider Callum Shepherd in Saturday's G2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The 16-1 chance was positioned fifth through the initial strides and improved one spot after the opening exchanges of this 12-furlong contest. Easing closer on the home turn and moving into second passing the quarter-mile marker, he seized control approaching the final furlong and was driven clear to secure a career best on pattern-race debut.

A maiden Royal victory was some measure of compensation for Shepherd, who was relieved of riding duties aboard Ambiente Friendly (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}) in the build-up to this month's G1 Derby. The immediate aftermath provided a moment of release for the rider, who was in tears as he commented, “We took him over for that series in Bahrain and he just kept improving. Isle Of Jura has been amazing, he's never let us down and has got better with every start. He has become very straightforward and he has a real desire to win as well. He was rusty at Goodwood, but you still saw that innate desire to pass the post in front, which is so important. It's so wonderful for his owner, Sheikh Nasser. It was lovely he went over there [to Bahrain] so they could enjoy him on home soil, so to speak, and he's come back and continued to climb. He loves quick ground and stays a mile-and-a-half very well. Six weeks ago I thought I'd found my diamond [Ambiente Friendly] and that wasn't to be, but Isle Of Jura has certainly blossomed into one.”

Trainer George Scott was also basking in the glory of a first Royal winner and added, “Isle Of Jura is a special horse, he has improved all the time and has been a pleasure to train. He is the most ginormous horse and has just kept improving physically. He is a beautiful mover and a lot of hard work has gone into him at home. The finish was a moment I will never forget. Everything stopped for a minute and I could enjoy the last half-furlong. Most best-laid plans go to pot, but this has been a long-term plan. This was an obvious race for him. We knew Goodwood would bring him on, and it has, and we knew he would get the ground, and he has. It was a scintillating performance, so we shall enjoy it. Callum gave him a perfect ride. He sat nice and tight to a slow pace. He was in pole position and able to make use of his position, kick nice and early and put the race to bed. All roads lead to the [G1] King George [& Queen Elizabeth S.], 100 percent.”

Goliath's trainer Francis-Henri Graffard was disappointed with a lack of tempo, but ultimately satisfied with the 4-year-old's performance. “We came here because we wanted to avoid the French style of racing, with no pace, and unfortunately today they decided to do a little bit of the same,” he said. “Goliath was a bit too keen through the race and, usually, he's difficult to manage, but he wasn't too bad today. I walked the course and there was a good cover of grass and I thought it was safe ground for him, but he's probably better with a bit of cut. He has to settle in his races to be able to stay and to produce a good turn of foot, but we are very pleased with the run. He's a very nice horse and we beat some very nice horses, too. He's entered in the King George, but we'll see what the weather forecast is. It is a long journey and a tough race, but why not?”

Oisin Murphy was not satisfied with Middle Earth's positioning during the early stages, but was pleased with the third's effort in the home straight. “I didn't want to be back at the field, but Middle Earth is a bit of a slow starter,” he commented. “He travelled and finished very well. He ran home the last three furlongs in, I'd imagine, the quickest time of the race, so you have to be grateful for that. He's probably run up to his rating. It wouldn't surprise me if he went to the King George, but it would be lovely to win a Group 2 on the way to more difficult races.”



Pedigree Notes

Isle Of Jura, who becomes the 39th pattern-race winner for his sire, is the fifth of eight foals and one of six scorers from as many runners produced by G3 UAE Oaks victrix Falls Of Lora (Ire) (Street Cry {Ire}), herself a daughter of stakes-winning G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches second Firth Of Lorne (Ire) (Danehill). The February-foaled bay is a full-brother to four-time Australian Group 1 winner Cascadian (GB) and kin to GI Summer Stakes victor Albahr (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), a 2-year-old colt by Night Of Thunder (Ire) and a yearling colt by Dubawi (Ire). Firth Of Lorne's quintet of black-type performers also includes GI Breeders' Cup Mile, GI Woodbine Mile and GI Maker's Mark Mile hero Master Of The Seas (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and stakes-winning G1 St James's Palace Stakes runner-up Latharnach (Iffraaj {GB}). She is also the second dam of G1 Metropolitan victor Just Fine (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}).

Saturday, Ascot, Britain
HARDWICKE S.-G2, £250,000, Ascot, 6-22, 4yo/up, 11f 211yT, 2:32.19, g/f.
1–ISLE OF JURA (GB), 129, g, 4, by New Approach (Ire)
      1st Dam: Falls Of Lora (Ire) (GSW-UAE & SW-Eng, $246,417), by Street Cry (Ire)
      2nd Dam: Firth Of Lorne (Ire), by Danehill
      3rd Dam: Kerrera (Ire), by Diesis (GB)
1ST GROUP WIN. (£150,000 3yo '23 TATAMA). O-Victorious Racing; B-Godolphin (GB); T-George Scott; J-Callum Shepherd. £141,775. Lifetime Record: MSW-Bhr, 13-8-1-0, $590,627. *Full to Cascadian (GB), MG1SW-Aus & G1SP-Fr, $7,497,680; and 1/2 to Albahr (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), GISW-Can & SW-Eng, $236,981. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Goliath (Ger), 129, g, 4, Adlerflug (Ger)–Gouache (Ger), by Shamardal. O-Baron Philip Von Ullmann; B-Gestut Schlenderhan (GER); T-Francis-Henri Graffard. £53,750.
3–Middle Earth (GB), 129, c, 4, Roaring Lion–Roheryn (Ire), by Galileo (Ire). O-Qatar Bloodstock & Ciaron Maher; B-The Roheryn Partnership (GB); T-John & Thady Gosden. £26,900.
Margins: 3 3/4, 3/4, 1. Odds: 16.00, 18.00, 2.25.
Also Ran: Candleford (Ire), Continuous (Jpn), Crypto Force (GB), Elegant Man, Desert Hero (GB), Missed The Cut.

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