USA: Flintshire far too good for Manhattan rivals

Flintshire: impressive at Saratoga but probably just below the level required to win an Arc according to Harry Bentley

Flintshire: class told in winning debut for new US-based trainer Chad Brown

  PICTURE: EquiSport Photos/Jessie Holmes  

Report: USA, Saturday

Belmont Park: Manhattan Stakes (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 4yo+

DISPLAYING a fine turn of foot, Flintshire (Chad Brown/ Javier Castellano) outclassed his rivals in the $1 million Manhattan Stakes on his debut for his new trainer.

Sent off 7-10 favourite on the fast ground he loves, the Juddmonte six-year-old was far too good for a field full of US Grade 1 winners – and this despite racing four wide throughout after breaking alertly from gate ten at a distance shorter than any he had raced over on turf since his three-year-old days.

Racing with Lasix, Flintshire claimed the race in the stretch as he sprinted clear to score by a length and three-quarters over Ironicus, with World Approval third. Sent off 7-10 favourite, he stopped the clock in 1m58.92s.

Chad Brown said the Breeders’ Cup Turf is Flintshire’s long-term target. “He was sent to me in outstanding condition,” said the trainer. “We’re just trying to get him into our program, make sure he adapts okay and he doesn’t change for the worse, which he hasn’t.

“He showed the ability to cut back to a mile and a quarter with a good turn of foot today. He has an indescribable amount of class. He’s so intelligent. He picks things up at light speed, oozes class and is a privilege to work with every day.”

Castellano added: “He’s a phenomenal, spectacular horse. He’s very straightforward with his approach. He can go with the best horses in the country.”

Also on Saturday

Belmont Park: Ogden Phipps Stakes (Grade 1) 1m½f, dirt, 4yo+

Cavorting (Kiaran McLaughlin/Florent Geroux) came off much the best with a rousing performance to take her record at the track to four out of five in this $1m clash of five Grade 1 winners.

Stepping up in trip after making her name as a late-running sprinter when she won the Grade 1 Test over 7f, the four-year-old has now won seven of her 12 starts.

This was a career high as her vicitms included last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Stopchargingmaria (only sixth) and multiple Grade 1 scorers Curalina (fourth) and Sheer Drama (fifth).

“Her pedigree indicated that she wanted to go further,” said winning trainer McLaughlin. Second place was claimed late by Forever Unbridled at a respectful two and a half lengths behind the 43-10 winner.

Belmont Park: Just A Game Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 4yo+

DESPITE being well fancied, Newmarket visitor Irish Rookie produced a thoroughly downbeat display as she was well beaten behind the highly impressive Celestine (Bill Mott/Junior Alvarado), who defied an 8lb penalty in good style to take this $700,000 contest.

Drawn nine in a 13-runner field, the Martyn Meade-trained Irish Rookie raced well back before being rounding the turn four wide and being asked to challenge eight wide in the stretch, where she had little to offer.

In the end, she beat only one home as Celestine, a four-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy, showed a tremendous turn of foot to win by nearly four lengths in a time of 1m31.64s – very fast, just a hundredth off the course record, and reflective of the firm state of the turf after the forecast rain stayed away.

The winner, who raced in second before launching her final burst in the stretch, was sent off a 15-2 shot. Recepta took second a length ahead of the favourite Mrs Mcdougal.

Belmont Park: Acorn Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, dirt, 3yo fillies

As Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia faded in the stretch, second favourite Carina Mia (Bill Mott/Julien Leparoux) closed late to record a last-to-first victory by a length and a quarter over Off The Tracks, who rallied to claim second from the odds-on favourite.

Belmont Park: Jaipur Invitational (Grade 3) 6f, turf, 4yo+

Pure Sensation (Christophe Clement/Jose Ortiz) was sent off an 18-1 longshot but didn’t run like one as the five-year-old broke the track record with a scorching all-the-way victory in a time of 1m06.76s. “When this horse is right, he’s a top-class horse,” said the winning trainer.

Belmont Park: Brooklyn Invitational (Grade 2) 1m4f, dirt, 4yo+

Shaman Ghost (Jimmy Jerkens/Joel Rosario), Canada’s champion three-year-old in 2015 after winning the Queen’s Plate for former trainer Brian Lynch, scored for the fifth time in ten career starts in this $400,000 contest – one of the few US Graded stakes run at a trip beyond 1m2f.

Belmont Park: Woody Stephens Stakes (Grade 2) 7f, dirt, 3yo

With the blinkers taken off, Tom’s Ready (Dallas Stewart/Joel Rosario) dropped back in trip to register his first Graded stakes win with a last-to-first rally in this $500,000 event.




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