Time to believe in Danedream
The signature finishing flourish may have been missing from Danedream's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe dress rehearsal at Baden-Baden, but the German star did enough to convince most that she will again be a major player in Paris next month.
The filly did just enough to win the Group One Grosser Preis Von Baden, her flamboyant rider, Andrasch Starke, resorting to one crack of the whip to hold off the persistent challenges of Ovambo Queen and Pastorius.
It was not the same scintillating display she put up in this race 12 months ago and certainly not the spectacular surge she then produced at Longchamp when she broke the course record after sprinting five lengths clear of a top-class Arc field.
Her camp were not anticipating anything flashy in a race that was never going to be run at a fast enough pace to suit her, and so were “thrilled” at victory in her final prep race.
Costing a paltry €9,000 (£7,000) as an unraced two-year-old, Danedream took her career earnings to more than £3m when touching off Nathaniel by a nostril in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July and that tally will now top £5m if she can complete the Arc double.
Nathaniel will seek revenge in the Arc, but before then has the small matter of next Saturday's Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes to deal with. John Gosden's colt is a strong favourite for that, but with such as Snow Fairy and St Nicholas Abbey lining up against him it will be no cakewalk.
Newmarket trainer William Haggas yesterday showed that Turkey holds more to draw the British than just golf and sunshine. The Turks' biggest fixture of the year was at Veliefendi over the weekend and following wins by Godolphin's Hunter's Light and the Tom Dascombe-trained Rhythm Of Light in Saturday's main races, Master Of Hounds, having his first run for Haggas, landed the meeting's top prize of £225,000 after a thrilling duel with another British raider, Archbishop.
Aidan O'Brien unleashed another promising juvenile at Dundalk in the shape of Sir Walter Scott in the www.sesif.org race.
A three-parts brother to the top-class Frozen Fire, he was surprisingly friendless in the market given he holds engagements in the likes of the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes and the Beresford Stakes.
Sent off at 9-2 he looked like finishing third as the Ger Lyons-trained pair of Washboard Sam and Seeking Luck, both previous winners, appeared to be going better either side of him.
But without Colm O'Donoghue having to get too serious, the Galileo colt hit top gear inside the final 100 yards beating Seeking Luck by a neck.
“He did it well but he was a bit green early on,” said O'Donoghue.