Long John, Atlantic Jewel Star at Caulfield
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Long John narrowly held back a storming late run from Divine Calling for a half-length win in the BECK Caulfield Guineas (Aus-I) Oct. 12 at Caulfield.
The race was the feature event among three group I events on the card that also included wins by star mare Atlantic Jewel in the Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes and Solzhenitsyn in the David Jones Toorak Handicap.
Sheikh Mohammed enjoyed two top-level wins in Australia on the day with Complacent winning at Royal Randwick in the Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (Aus-I).
The 7-2 Guineas favorite off his creditable third to Eclair Big Bang in the Guineas Prelude (Aus-III) two weeks ago at Caulfield, Long John raced prominently in fifth on the fence early in the main event before Kerrin McEvoy guided him out to secure the advantage with 600 meters to run.
Eclair Big Bang took charge from early pacesetter Weinholt to lead at the halfway point, but Long John rallied willingly and seized a clear lead in the straight. He appeared uncatchable until Divine Calling burst out of the pack in hot pursuit, nearly overtaking the winner 50 meters out but just missed. Third-place finisher Shamus Award unfurled a good closing rally to take third in the 14-horse field.
Éclair Big Bang faded to finish last.
Long John completed 1,600 meters (about one mile) in 1:36.73 on turf rated as good.
In so doing, Long John became the 14th group or grade I winner for Darley's Kentucky-based Street Cry. Long John is the second Caulfield Guineas winner for his sire, joining Whobegotyou in 2008.
Trained by Peter Snowden, Long John improved to five victories and two thirds from seven career starts. The gelding is under consideration for the Victoria Derby (Aus-I) Nov. 2 at Flemington.
Bred in Australia by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley, Long John is out of the winning Night Shift mare Hosiery, a half sister to group I Hong Kong winner Masked. Hosiery was group I-placed at the international level. Long John is a half brother to stakes winner Ribald. The family includes Australian champion Black Shoes.
Atlantic Jewel struck for her 10th win from 11 starts with authority in the Caulfield Stakes earlier on the card, powering from the back of the field and surging clear to win by four lengths from Foreteller.
The 13-10 favorite after her first career defeat in the Underwood Stakes (Aus-I) Sept. 21, the 5-year-old Fastnet Rock mare missed the break in the Caulfield Stakes but was ready to roll on the turn and took a clear lead en route to a dominant win under Michael Rodd.
She was timed in 2:03.99 for 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) and is the hot favorite for the Sportingbet W. S. Cox Plate (Aus-I), Australia weight-for-age championship, Oct. 26 at Moonee Valley.
Trained by Mark Kavanagh, Atlantic Jewel is campaigned by a partnership group that includes Coolmore and associates,
Solzhenitsyn was the 6-1 favorite to score a repeat victory in the Toorak and delivered by 1 1/4 lengths over hard-charging French raider Trevieres, who was making his first Australian start.
The 7-year-old St. Petersburg gelding entered off a third in a tight photo with Rebel Dane and Fontelina in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (Aus-I) last time out but roared back to land the Toorak after settling a couple lengths behind the early leaders.
Nash Rawiller asked Solzhenitsyn to run at the 300-meter mark as Trevieres found a gap and surged forward, nearly catching the winner nearing the finish line.
Trained by Robert Heathcote, Solzhenitsyn finished 1,600 meters in 1:36.30 to surpass AUS$1 million in earnings. He will be trained toward the 2104 Cox Plate.
At Royal Randwick, Sheikh Mohammed and Snowden look to have another Victoria Derby candidate in Complacent, the Spring Champion winner who is from the first Australian crop of Authorized.
The race was wide open on the home turn, but Complacent asserted himself, seizing the lead while never seriously threatened in a 1 1/4-length victory over Criterion.
Complacent won a third consecutive race, coming in off a head victory in the Gloaming Stakes (Aus-III) in his stakes debut Sept. 28 at Rosehill Gardens. Overall, he has three wins and two seconds from five career starts.
Ridden by Christian Reith, Complacent finished 2,000 meters in 2:03.34.
Complacent is out of the winning Quest for Fame mare Insouciance, a full sister to Australian champion Dracula. He is the second top-level winner for Authorized, who is based at Sheikh Mohammed's Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket.
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