Sahpresa made history with a third straight victory in the $272,000 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket Sept. 24.
Sent off as the favorite to score a repeat win in the one-mile race, the 6-year-old daughter of Sahm was coming off a good third-place finish to Immortal Verse and Goldikova in the Prix Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I) in August. Prior to that race, she got to within a neck of beating Goldikova in the Prix Rothschild (Fr-I) July 31.
Sahpresa broke alertly and was settled in the middle of the pack by jockey Christophe Lemaire as Strawberrydaiquiri set the pace. The gray mare, who finished second in this race last year, set a steady tempo under Martin Dwyer as she led the field of eight fillies and mares through the early stages of the race. She was tracked closely by Timepiece and Together, with Music Show racing in fourth.
Strawberrydaiquiri continued to have things her own way on the front end as the field passed the halfway point. But the pace began to quicken with less than two furlongs to go. Strawberrydaiquiri continued to cling to a narrow lead, but Sahpresa was moving effortlessly under Lemaire and cruised up alongside the longtime leader a furlong from the wire.
Strawberrydaiquiri dug in but was no match for Sahpresa, who quickened easily and began to pull away in the final yards. Sahpresa reached the wire one length in front. Chachamaidee closed strongly to finish second, with Strawberrydaiquiri having to settle for third, three-quarters of a length behind Chachamaidee.
The final time was 1:37.60 over the good to firm going.
Trainer Rod Collet, who conditions Sahpresa for owner Teruya Yoshida, was proud of his charge, telling reporters after the race: “Well done to Sahpresa. It’s a pleasure and this means more because her former owner and breeder Douglas McIntyre died a few days ago. I’m so pleased.”
Sahpresa was bred in Kentucky by McIntyre. She is out of the winning Pleasant Tap mare, Sorpresa.