French filly Vorda struck the front in the closing stages, scooting past the leading Princess Noor to win the Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-I) for 2-year-old fillies Sept. 28 at Newmarket.
In another 2-year-old race earlier on the card, Berkshire wore down the front-runners with a sustained rally to edge co-favorite Somewhat in the final strides of the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II). The victory earned Berskshire an automatic berth, with fees paid, in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT.
Vorda, on cue from Olivier Peslier, unleashed a swift rally from midfield to prevail by three-quarters of a length in her first group I win. She competed six furlongs in 1:13.34 at the 11-8 favorite on turf rated as good to firm.
Highly regarded Royal Ascot winner Kiyoshi
, who was third in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) last time out, finished third again, 1 1/4 lengths behind Princess Noor, also a Royal Ascot winner.
Princess Noor led from the halfway mark but she could not hold back Vorda, who unleashed a burst of speed to overtake her in the final furlong.
In her first attempt in group I company, Vorda was a creditable runner-up against males, finishing a length behind No Nay Never
, in the Prix Morny (Fr-I) Aug. 18 at Deauville. She came into that race off three consecutive victories, including the Prix Robert Papin (Fr-II) July 12 at Maisons-Laffitte.
Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Vorda is trained by Phillipe Sogorb. The Prix Morny is the only defeat for the Orpen filly, who with the Cheveley Park win posted her fourth triumph from five career starts.
Bred in France by Edy Srl, Vorda is out of the winning Observatory mare Velda. Notable members of family include Italian champion and dual classic winner Val d' Erica. Sire Orpen stands in France at Haras du Thenney. Vorda is among 81 stakes winners for the 17-year-old son of Lure.
Berkshire, a colt by Mount Nelson, also at 11-8 odds, won the Royal Lodge by a neck and covered one mile in 1:39.97 under Jim Crowley.
The race was part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win & You're In" series, landing Berkshire in the Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) at the same distance Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park
should his connections desire.
Trained by Paul Cole for Sultan Ahmad Shah, Berkshire was starting for the first time since his stylish win in the Chesham Stakes in June at Royal Ascot. A 16-1 longshot in that race after finishing third on his debut in May at Newbury, the colt completed a last-to-first rally in a few powerful strides.
Somewhat led from the halfway mark until overtaken by Berkshire in the final 75 yards. Somewhat outlasted 40-1 shot Sir Jack Layden
by a neck for second in the five-horse field. The Kentucky-bred Dynaformer colt entered off a fourth in the Chesham and won a listed stakes at Newbury last time out.
Berkshire, who has two wins and a third from three starts, is out of French group I winner Kinnaird, by Dr Devious.
From the second crop of Mount Nelson, he is his sire's second graded or group winner. A 9-year-old son of Rock of Gibraltar, Mount Nelson stands in England at Newsells Park Stud, breeder of Berkshire. Cole purchased Berkshire for 60,000 guineas ($96,432 in United States funds) out of Book 2 at last year's Tattersalls October yearling sale.