Sahpresa Repeats in Sun Chariot
by Mary Schweitzer
Date Posted: 10/2/2010 12:32:33 PM
Last Updated: 10/5/2010 11:33:50 AM
Sahpresa defended her title with an easy 1 3/4-length victory in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket Oct. 2. She became just the second filly to win the Sun Chariot twice, joining Free Guest, who captured the race in 1984 and 1985.
Sent From Heaven broke sharply and was sent straight to the front under Michael Hills. The 3-year-old filly took the field of 11 along at a smart clip for much of the race with the hope of stealing the race on the front end. Sent From Heaven was tracked closely by Spacious and Strawberrydaiquiri, as Sahpresa was held up in last by Christophe Soumillon.
As the field approached the two-furlong marker, Sent From Heaven began to run out of steam and was passed by both Spacious and Strawberrydaiquiri. Ryan Moore had Strawberrydaiquiri under a full drive, and the gray mare easily dispatched Spacious and looked primed to notch her first group I victory.
Soumillon had eased Sahpresa out into the middle of the course to get a clear run and the 5-year-old mare quickly shifted into high gear, accelerating past Strawberrydaiquiri and pulling clear from that rival in the final furlong to post the victory.
Strawberrydaiquiri held on for second, one length in front of the late-running Rainfall. Favored Music Show finished fourth, a neck back.
The final time for the eight furlongs was 1:38.80 over a soft turf course.
Winning trainer Rod Collet said after the race: “I was a bit wary of the soft ground as she didn’t go on it as a 3-year-old, but she’s matured. She disappointed at Ascot and was very nervous beforehand. We’ll go for the Championship Mile (Jpn-I) in Japan next.”
Sahpresa was bred in Kentucky by her owner, Douglas McIntyre. She is by Sahm out of Sorpresa, by Pleasant Tap.
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