Systematic Rounds Out Year With Ascot Win
Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2002 4:09 PM
Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2002 3:57 PM
Systematic ended a sparkling second season in typically tenacious style when he fought back to beat Warrsan by half a length in the Group III Young Vic Theatre Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot Sunday.
The 3-year-old colt by Rainbow Quest is owned by Maktoum al Maktoum.
It was his seventh success of the year for Systematic and Mark Johnston feels that is enough for him for now. "He has been on the go from the first day of the season and has now run 11 times this term; I don't think he will run again this year," he said.
Systematic looked in trouble when he was headed by the runner-up approaching the final furlong, but he fought back to regain the lead inside the final 100 yards.
"That is typical of him," said Johnston. "I told (rider) Darryll (Holland) before the race that he never wins by very far, but that he is very tough and he will fight all the way to the line."
The trainer has an amazing record at Ascot, where he has now won with one of every five runners he has had here during the last five years.
"I really don't know why the horses do so well here," he said, "and I was staggered when I saw the return (on investment). But for whatever reason it is the track seems to suit them all; the final uphill stretch seems to encourage them to fight back, just like Systematic did there."
Warrsan, trained by Clive Brittain, found just Systematic half a length too good after stepping down from 14 furlongs on his last outing to a 1 1/2 mile here.
"Each time he runs a litttle better," Brittain said. "Obviously he gets a solid (1 3/4 mile) and in another year he could be a Melbourne Cup horse."
Third-placed Frankies Dream represented trainer Terry Mills, who won Saturday's Group I Queen Elizabeth II Stakes with Where Or When.
"Frankies Dream is a good horse - he's just unlucky and keeps finding one or two horses too good for him," Mills said.
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