Celeric shows his best side; LONSDALE STAKES.
2 Arctic Owl R Cochrane 6-5f
3 Rainbow High M Hills 11-2
Owner: C Spence
Trainer: J Dunlop
Distances: 1l, 3l
PERHAPS it was the threat of blinkers if he failed to deliver-or maybe it was the return to his old stamping ground on the Knavesmire. Either way, Celeric was back to his thrilling best in the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Stakes yesterday and gained the sixth York win of his illustrious career by cutting down Arctic Owl with a relentless surge under Pat Eddery.
Trainer John Dunlop was in good spirits after watching his old warhorse storm to victory, as he reflected on his pre-race threat to fit Celeric with blinkers.
"Who mentioned blinkers?" was the rhetorical question as both he and a jubilant band of owners began to celebrate the seven-year-old's 13th success in a career which has yielded pounds 450,000 in prize-money.
Celeric's limited response off the bridle in the Goodwood Cup had doubtless played a large part in his being sent off at 10-1 for this Group 3 event.
Arctic Owl proved much stronger in the market at 6-5, and looked a worthy favourite as he swept into the lead halfway up the home straight.
Soon, however, Eddery had him firmly in his sights. A switch inside afterwards saw Celeric produce his trademark acceleration and, although he idled in front as usual, he never looked in danger as he came home a length and three lengths clear of Arctic Owl and Rainbow High.
Dunlop said: "On reflection, perhaps the combination of fast ground and an undulating track were against him at Goodwood, and now he's back on song we'll have to have a look at the Doncaster Cup."
James Fanshawe was more than happy with Arctic Owl's attempt to give the winner 3lb.
"Perhaps the rain came a little too late for him," he said, "but he ran really well again.
"The plan has always been the Irish St Leger and the Melbourne Cup and those are still the two races we're thinking of for him."
The stewards looked into an incident involving Celeric and Maridpour just under three furlongs out in which the pair appeared to come close, but decided that no interference had taken place.
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Aug 18, 1999|
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