Doncaster: Impressive Belardo bounces back to form


Roger Varian: “I would like to take him to Sandown for the Sandown Mile”

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Report: Doncaster, Saturday

Betway Doncaster Mile Stakes (Listed) 1m, 4yo+

BELARDO is back. The 2014 champion juvenile had a difficult Classic season, tasting defeat on all seven starts, but he returned to winning ways on his first start at four in the style of a horse comfortably better than his Listed race rivals.

The field was halved by non-runners, due to the ground, meaning Belardo went off at 8-13, but he delivered a performance worth a far shorter price.

He appeared trapped behind a wall of horses at one point in the straight, but James Doyle had enough horse to sit and wait and when the gap opened the response was devestating. On rain softened ground he accelerated impressively and put the bed to race in quarter of a furlong, and cruised home for a two and a quarter-length victory from 9-1 shot Calling Out.

“I was a bit worried two furlongs out as he was boxed in but as soon as they started to split it always looked like he would win,” said Varian.

“His work has been excellent at home, we targeted this race a long while ago and I am delighted. I need to talk to the owners but I would like to take him to Sandown for the Sandown Mile.”   

Also on Saturday

Betway Brocklesby Conditions Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Class 4) 5f, 2yo

MARK JOHNSTON talked up The Last Lion beforehand and he delivered, brushing his field aside with contempt to win with consumate ease.

The withdrawal of Wesley Ward’s favourite Create A Dream meant he was sent off the 4-5 favourite, and he won as one should, travelling strongly and powering clear to win by an eased-down length and three-quarters from the fast-finishing 33-1 shot Simmy’s Temple, with 40-1 chance Monte Cinq a further three and a quarter lengths adrift in third.

Johnston suffered his first defeat with a juvenile this season when Dusker was fourth at Kempton, but took his record to an impressive four from five with the colt he described in Saturday’s Racing Post as better than nine-length Wolverhampton winner Sutter County.

“The Last Lion was entered at Wolverhampton and was my first choice in the race won by Sutter County last week, but was eliminated,” said Johnston.

“Like all my horses he has done plenty of stalls work and has had one gallop on grass. I don’t know where he’ll go next, the new novice system gives us plenty of options.”

Betway Cammidge Trophy (Listed) 6f, 3yo+

MICK CHANNON and Silvestre de Sousa teamed up in authoritative fashion to land the Cammidge with Mobsta. The four-year-old soft-ground specialist took advantage of the testing conditions to win going away.

Sent off at 8-1, Mobsta travelled strongest and kicked hardest to put a length between himself and Suedois, with Maarek in third.

“Mobsta was a smart two-year-old and he had a few niggles last season, though he did run well in a Listed race here on his final start when he didn’t the best of runs,” said the trainer’s son Jack Channon.

“He goes well on the soft, he seems to handle it better than most, but he’ll go on better ground. We’ll take him home before we decide where he’ll run next.”

Lord Of The Rock

Paul Mulrennan: “We think the world of this horse, he could be anything”

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Betway Spring Mile (Handicap) (Class 2) 1m, 4yo+

THE Michael Dods-trained Lord Of The Rock won Doncaster’s opening race, the Spring Mile, under a fine front-running ride by Paul Mulrennan.

Drawn in stall four, he galloped strongly and saw off all challengers, including the late thrust of topweight Donncha to oblige at 20-1. While the winner was drawn low, the second, third and fourth came from stalls 19, 20 and 18 respectively with the field coming up the middle.

“We think the world of this horse, he could be anything,” said Mulrennan. “Michael gelded him over the winter and that has made the difference.

“He is a free-going sort, I got a good break, he relaxed in front and when they came to me he battled on well – though the last furlong felt a long way. There should be a lot more to come from him.”


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