(Edited Release from the Jockey Club of Turkey)
British trained horses won all four international races during the two-day International Racing Festival at Ýstanbul’s Veliefendi Racecourse on Sept. 3-4.
Gary Tanaka’s Pressing claimed his second consecutive victory in the International Topkapý Trophy on Sept. 4 after a big fight in the last 200 meters with Andrew Balding-trained Dream Eater. Pressing took the lead after the last bend under jockey Neil Callan, and he geared up and took a 1 1/2-length lead. While Callan was expecting an easy win, Dream Eater came strong from the inside and gave a hard time to Pressing, but the 2008 Topkapý Trophy winner was not eager to give up, and crossed the finish line a head in front in the mile test.
"I have to admit that I didn’t expect such a strong challenge from Dream Eater but Pressing didn’t put his head down even for a bit and we deservedly win," Callan said. "Pressing loves the firm track here and also the long straight. Words are not enough to explain how I feel. I am really honored to win this great race twice and definitely want to be back to Ýstanbul soon."
A 6-year-old son of Soviet Star trained by Michael Jarvis, Pressing earned $240,000 of the total $600,000 purse. According to the UK Press Association, Jarvis is recovering from heart surgery and was unable to attend the races in Turkey. Also, Alastair Donald, speaking on behalf of Tanaka, said there is a possibility Pressing could be sent to Santa Anita for the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT), according to the UKPA.
Michael Channon’s Halicarnassus was the other British winner of the day, taking the International Bosphorus Cup at 1 ½ miles. Pan River took the lead in the last 400 meters and and had a two-length lead. Annosh tried to find his way from inside and German-trained Sassoaloro was pushing hard while Halicarnassus came too strong from the outside with a fascinating sprint under Alan Munro. Munro couldn’t find a good path until the last 400 but once he did, he drove Halicarnassus directly to the leaders with an unstoppable sprint and made trainer Michael Channon smile again. Channon and Munro also teamed to win the Sept. 3 France Galop Ýstanbul Trophy with Eva’s Request.