Overdose of success on cards
Hungary may not be exactly a hotbed of thoroughbred racing; indeed, there is only one significant track in a country with a population of 10 million. The place has, though, made three significant contributions to the sport.
The first was the 1876 Derby winner Kisber; the second, the extraordinary mare Kincsem, holder of the world unbeaten record of 54 races, a sequence that included the 1878 Goodwood Cup.
The third, a horse affectionately known as the Budapest Bullet, is scheduled to run at Haydock on Saturday. Overdose is favourite for the best sprint of the domestic season so far, the Temple Stakes, a Group Two contest that will be his eagerly awaited first outing on these shores. The six-year-old has won 15 of his 16 races, but still has something of a point to prove.
All his victories, mostly achieved by freakishly wide margins, have come in soft company in his homeland and in Italy, Austria, Slovakia and Germany.
He did take on Europe's best on one occasion and slaughtered them in the 2008 Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp, but unfairly, there is no record of his run that day in the form book; the race was declared void after the starting stall of one of his rivals failed to open.
Trained by Jozef Roszival, Overdose opened this year's campaign with a win in Germany last month and has been lodging with Amanda Perrett in Sussex ahead of Saturday's venture, in which he will be opposed by last year's winner Kingsgate Native.
The same afternoon at the Curragh, Frankel's immediate pursuer in the 2,000 Guineas, Dubawi Gold, will seek compensation in the Irish version, to which he has been supplemented at a cost of £32,500.
The Richard Hannon-trained colt, as short as 6-4 favourite, will have a maximum of nine rivals after Zoffany, one of the 11 acceptors, was ruled out late yesterday by a bout of colic. Pathfork and Dream Ahead were the most notable of the defectors.
- Memories of 2006 Derby winner Sir Percy were evoked at Bath yesterday when the sire's first representative to make the track made a winning debut.
Percy Jackson, trained by Denis Coakley in Lambourn, was supported from a price of 7-1 into 2-1 favouritism to win the British Stallion Studs EBF/SIS Live Maiden Stakes and duly obliged.
Sir Percy stands at Lanwades Stud in Newmarket for a fee of £6,000 and Coakley paid just 6,000 guineas for Percy Jackson at the Tattersalls October Sale.
Eddie Ahern had to shake him up for a few strides, but once the penny dropped, Percy Jackson shot clear to win by two and a quarter lengths from Otto The Great.
“I'm not sure if Ascot is on the cards, I'm not sure how good the race was, but he did it very easy and he seems to be a nice horse,” said Coakley.