O’Meara brings up 1000 winners with Sudona
Sudona gave trainer David O’Meara his 1000th domestic Flat success when taking the Pontefract Sports And Education Foundation Handicap at the West Yorkshire track.
O’Meara, whose stables are in Upper Helmsley on the outskirts of York, took out a licence only in 2010 and is the second-fastest to reach the landmark in the UK after Richard Hannon junior.
Sudona was sent off the 6-4 favourite and, ridden by stable jockey Danny Tudhope, was always in a handy position from his inside draw.
It was pretty straightforward throughout, with Sudona hitting the front in the straight and seeing off his only serious challenger Zlatan to score by a length.
O’Meara told PA: “I’m absolutely delighted.
“It’s been 10 years and a month since we first took out a licence.
“When you first start out, you don’t think you’ll get this number at all. Obviously, in the last nine months or a year I knew it was getting close. It’s great.”
O’Meara’s first Group One triumph came with G Force, also ridden by Tudhope, in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock in September 2014.
Seven more victories at the top level have followed with Suedois (Shadwell Turf Mile), Amazing Maria (Falmouth Stakes and Prix Rothschild), Mondialiste (Arlington Million and Woodbine Mile), Move In Time (Prix de l’Abbaye) and Lord Glitters (Queen Anne Stakes).
The horse that gave O’Meara a first real taste of the big time was Blue Bajan.
It's been a good 10 years. Hopefully the next 10 years will be as good
“He was very special,” he added.
“He was a real good horse. He won a Group Two, the Henry II and was just touched off in a Yorkshire Cup.
“On the back of that we’ve had horses like Penitent, G Force, Amazing Maria, Mondialiste, Suedois and Move In Time in the Abbaye. We’ve had a lot of highlights.
“It’s been a good 10 years. Hopefully the next 10 years will be as good.”
O’Meara quickly took his career tally to 1001 when Summerghand (evens favourite) gave him and Tudhope a double in the King Richard II Handicap.
The six-year-old sprinter got a dream run up the rail to lead in the last half-furlong and hold off George Bowen by half a length.
Victory provided Summerghand with compensation for his defeat by the narrowest of margins in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot.