Marrakech Moon shines bright for Gosden and Havlin
John Gosden celebrated a winner on the day he said farewell to Enable after Marrakech Moon struck gold at the second time of asking at Yarmouth
Despite showing signs of greenness in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes, the 5-2 favourite picked up well late on in the seven-furlong prize to reel in Aquaman and score by half a length.
Robert Havlin, who partnered Enable to glory on her debut at Newcastle in 2016, said: “It’s a sad day, but a happy day as well. It is a sad day, but it is good for her that she can now relax and enjoy herself.”
He added of the winner, who is a son of No Nay Never: “He still showed signs of babyness and that was very much the case on his first run.
“He was on and off the bridle that day, but finished well and he has taken that step forward today.
“I was keen to keep him handy as I didn’t want to give too much ground away, as it was borderline heavy out there.
“I loved his attitude as he knuckled down well and handled that ground and there is a good chance we will see him out again before the end of the season.”
Oisin Murphy expects plenty more to come from the Andrew Balding-trained Opera Gift (11-4) who backed up his last time out victory at Pontefract to claim the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap by three lengths.
Murphy said: “Andrew felt he was better than his opening mark and it was a good spot by him to get him to win at Pontefract last time.
“Hopefully he will go on and progress. He stays well and handles that ground and I think he will get further than that.”
After the race the reigning champion jockey issued his own tribute to Enable following news of the great mare’s retirement.
Murphy said: “I competed against her, but I never managed to beat her.
“She has been a star for racing and credit to the whole team at Clarehaven Stables and Juddmonte and everyone connected to her.”
Andrea Atzeni can expect to be kept busy during Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, and he kick-started his build up with a facile success aboard Whitehaven in the Visit attheraces.com Handicap.
Atzeni said of the Hughie Morrison-trained 9-2 shot: “The ground here is hard work and although she did win with cut in the ground at Lingfield it was a bit heavier here. I spoke to Hughie before the race and he said the race at Kempton didn’t suit her, but today she settled nicely and pulled away well.”
Looking ahead to Ascot, the Classic-winning rider is most excited about being reunited with Ebor winner Fujaira Prince, who will be stepping up to two miles for the first time in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.
He said: “It was a great performance in the Irish St Leger (second to Search For A Song) and maybe the ground had dried up a little bit too much for him.
“He likes Ascot and I think he will stay the two miles. He is in great order and we are very hopeful.”
Aldaary, from the yard of William Haggas, put in the performance of the meeting when running out an impressive winner of the British EBF Novice Stakes.
Jim Crowley, rider of the 11-4 joint-favourite, said: “He jumped and travelled well and did it all professionally. It was a very taking performance for his first start.”