Tamarisk races to Charlton rescue; Beckhampton trainer enjoys overdue change of luck as July Cup runner-up grabs Group 1 glory; runner-up grabs Group 1 glory - but handicapper still has Elnadim rated higher.
TAMARISK tamarisk (tăm`ərĭsk), shrub or small tree of the genus Tamarix, native chiefly to the Mediterranean area and to central Asia. The plants are often heathlike and thrive in arid and coastal regions. led the Roger Charlton stable out of the competitive doldrums with a blistering charge to victory in the Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup on Saturday.
The three-year-old left the winners of the season's other top sprints toiling in his wake at Haydock-but not by enough to top the European sprint rankings.
In what was only his second effort at top-level sprinting, Tamarisk led from start to finish to beat Bolshoi by a length and three-quarters with Tomba third.
The 4-1 favourite Elnadim disappointed again, beating just one finisher.
But, in handicapper hand·i·cap·per
n. Sports & Games
1. One who assigns handicaps.
2. One who predicts the winners in a horserace, especially one who publishes such predictions as a guide for bettors.
Noun 1. Phil Smith's provisional assessment of the race, Tamarisk's new rating of 120 is still 2lb inferior to Elnadim, who conquered him in the July Cup The July Cup is a Group 1 flat horse race in the United Kingdom for three-year-old and above thoroughbreds. It is run over a distance of 6 furlongs (1,207 metres) on the July Course at Newmarket Racecourse in early July. It was first run in 1876. .
"Tamarisk has improved 2-3lb every time he has run. Hopefully he will go on improving and it's good to have a three-year-old rated so high," explained Smith.
"But people forget that Elnadim put up what many thought was an outstanding performance at Newmarket and I still believe that, even though he has not done his stuff at Haydock.
"I've not discussed this with my colleagues and the figure is subject to review, but I believe the July Cup had a slightly stronger field."
Tamarisk's terrific performance rescued Charlton's Beckhampton yard from a season of embarrassing mediocrity me·di·oc·ri·ty
n. pl. me·di·oc·ri·ties
1. The state or quality of being mediocre.
2. Mediocre ability, achievement, or performance.
3. One that displays mediocre qualities. as he secured the trainer's first Group 1 success for seven years.
Charlton was assistant to the late Jeremy Tree when the stable produced Dowsing dowsing
Occult practice used for finding water, minerals, or other hidden substances. A dowser generally uses a Y-shaped piece of hazel, rowan, or willow wood (also called a dowser or a divining rod). and Danehill to land the Sprint Cup in successive years and this 14th win of the season lifted spirits considerably.
"This can be a tough game when things are not going well. I would normally expect to have something between 40 and 50 winners in a year.
"But it's been desperate simply because I've had a lot of bad horses so the yard was pretty disillusioned dis·il·lu·sion
tr.v. dis·il·lu·sioned, dis·il·lu·sion·ing, dis·il·lu·sions
To free or deprive of illusion.
1. The act of disenchanting.
2. The condition or fact of being disenchanted. ," he said.
"So to have a horse as good as Tamarisk in a string of largely moderate horses has not made him easy to train. But it helps lift the pressure when you have a winner like this."
Tamarisk, owned by the successful Highclere Thoroughbred Racing syndicate that campaigned Lake Coniston, flirted with classic company early in the season.
But following his defeat in the 2,000 Guineas it became apparent that he had speed to burn.
He was dropped in trip to win a Listed race at Lingfield before finishing runner-up to Elnadim in the July Cup.
Along with the connections of Elnadim, Charlton worried about the threat of rain in the north-west, but, while it fell elsewhere, the weather stayed fine.
Smartly away from the stalls under Tim Sprake, Tamarisk had establish a clear lead well over a furlong furlong: see English units of measurement. out and then stretched away for a comfortable victory.
King's Stand Stakes The King's Stand Stakes is a Group 2 flat horse race in the United Kingdom for three-year-old and above thoroughbreds run over a distance of 5 furlongs (1,006 metres) at Ascot Racecourse during the Royal Ascot meeting in June. winner Bolshoi produced his customary late finish to claim second with Tomba half a length back in third and Andreyev fourth.
But Lochangel, the Nunthorpe Stakes The Nunthorpe Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in the United Kingdom for two-year-old and above thoroughbreds. It is run over a distance of 5 furlongs (1,006 metres) at York Racecourse during the Ebor Festival meeting in August. winner, was sixth and Elnadim 12th of 13.
Charlton added: "The horse had had the perfect preparation.
"He'd improved all year, looked better than ever and was training better than ever, so I was pretty confident we had a horse that would take all the beating.
"But listening to the farming forecast last Sunday they said it was going to be wet, and other forecasts also indicated it would rain in the Haydock area.
"It's been something of a miracle that they haven't had any rain."
Tamarisk could now contest the Group 1 Prix de la Foret The Prix de la Forêt is a Group 1 flat horse race in France for three-year-old and above thoroughbreds. It is run over a distance of 1,400 metres (approximately 7 furlongs) at Longchamp Racecourse in October. at Longchamp on October 18 over seven furlongs, a trip over which he scored twice last year before finishing second to Xaar in the Dewhurst Stakes The Dewhurst Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in the United Kingdom for two-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is run over a distance of 7 furlongs (1,408 metres) at Newmarket's Rowley Mile course in October. It was first run in 1875. .
"It's Group 1s for him now on and the ground will have to be right for him to run again. Otherwise, I would think that would be it for jockeys to be frightened of next year," said Charlton.
"He's an exciting proposition. He has a very good pedigree and is probably the soundest horse I've had anything to do with.
"The only time he hasn't run well is in the 2,000 Guineas. I still think he's immature, he's only run in two other proper sprints and I see no reason why he shouldn't continue to improve."