Sun Chariot Stakes Preview – Saturday 6th October
Last updated: October 5, 2018 by Leon Marshal
The feature race at Newmarket on Saturday is the £250,000 Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes for fillies and mares over a mile. The race was originally staged over ten furlongs but was cut to a mile in 2000. Notable winners over the old distance include Oaks winner Time Charter and subsequent Champion Stakes winners Cormorant Wood (1983) and Indian Skimmer (1988).
In more recent times, Rod Collet sent Sahpresa across the English Channel for three consecutive victories between 2009 and 2011. Siyouma (2012) and Esoterique (2015) also won for France while Aidan O’Brien has saddled the last two winners with Alice Springs (2016) and Roly Poly (2017).
French hopes rest with Wind Chimes
Andre Fabre has elected to send Wind Chimes for this valuable prize, a three-year-old daughter of Mastercraftsman. She came from off the pace to finish a close third to Teppal in the French 1000 Guineas in May. The filly was beaten in a Group 3 next time but made amends with a fluent success in the Prix de Lieurey at Deauville in August. She then put up her best performance to date when beaten a head by Recoletos in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp. Wind Chimes had Group 1 winners Lightning Spear and Without Parole behind her that day.
The home defence is led by Karl Burke’s consistent filly Laurens, a three-year-old daughter of Siyouni. She ran a good race in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket when second to shock 66-1 winner Billesdon Brook. Laurens then won at Longchamp before beating Musis Amica in the French Oaks at Chantilly.
She then clashed with the Irish Oaks winner Sea Of Class in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks. PJ McDonald had a tough time settling her in the early stages and she failed to see out the mile and a half trip. Burke dropped her back to a mile for the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown where she defeated Alpha Centauri by three-quarters of a length. The gloss was taken off that victory slightly by the news that the runner-up had suffered a career-ending injury during the race.
I Can Fly leads O’Brien team
Aidan O’Brien has a strong entry as he seeks a third successive triumph. I Can Fly posted a career-best effort when easily defeating stable companion Kenya in the Group 2 Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown. The runner-up ran abysmally in last week’s Cambridgeshire so there is a slight question mark over the form. I Can Fly was only eleventh in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and was virtually pulled up in the Epsom Oaks. She is obviously far better than she showed in those races.
Clemmie was very highly rated in the spring but missed the Guineas due to injury. She has taken a while to reach her peak this season but there were encouraging signs in her third to Laurens at Leopardstown. Happily was further back in fifth place but was not far behind Laurens in the French Oaks.
Veracious represents the stable of Sir Michael Stoute, a three-year-old by Frankel out of a Pivotal mare. She gained a well-deserved Group 3 victory at Sandown last time out after finishing third in the Coronation Stakes and Nassau Stakes. She also missed the Guineas in the spring and looks the sort to make up into a top class four-year-old. Billesdon Brook has not reproduced her brilliant Guineas form while Teppal was well beaten at Royal Ascot. The pick of the older horses is Aljazzi, an easy winner of the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot. She finished well without getting to the leaders next time in a Group 1 at Deauville.
Wind Chimes @5-2 Bet365
Each-way 1/5 odds, 1,2,3
The Sun Chariot Stakes is due off at 3.15 at Newmarket on Saturday 6th October and will be televised live on ITV4.