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Austin hits target at Veliefendi as Batt excels to give Scott first Group success.

Byline: Mark Scully at Veliefendi

THEY came, they saw, they conquered. Charlie Austin and his Excel Racing team ventured to Veliefendi in search of a share of the monster PS167,094 pot for yesterday's Group 3 Trakya Trophy and Another Batt did not let them down.

The son of Windsor Knot, who has been to plenty of big meetings this year including Royal Ascot, came out on top as he held off the charge of local hope Armondo in the straight to hand both the syndicate and trainer George Scott a first Grouprace success.

Connections had been concerned about the ground, which was significantly quicker than the official good to soft description according to all who walked or competed on it, but Another Batt fought hard down the centre of the course to prevail.

Southampton FC star Austin was full of praise not only for the horse but the staff who had spent the week in Istanbul with him prior to his run, and urged more British owners to consider the trip to Turkey in future.

"He owes us nothing and every time he's run so well," said Austin. "I didn't realise until seeing on this trip how hard our stable staff and all the stable staff work. As much as it means to us, it means so much to them, and it's a big team effort, they've looked after the horse so well."

Scott added: "It's a fantastic result. We've been looked after incredibly well here and the horse has thrived. He's danced every dance and earned a break now probably."

Both Chess Move, owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and trained by George Baker, and the Mark Johnston-trained Rufus King finished out of the places.

After winning both of Saturday's highlights with Leshlaa and Arabian Hope, Saeed Bin Suroor's dominance of the Longines-backed international festival continued when Secret Number proved far too good for his rivals in the Group 2 Bosphorus Cup.

Returning from a break of almost 300 days following his trip to Melbourne last year, Secret Number added to his trainer's good record at Turkey's flagship meeting with an authoritative display.

Circling the field on the turn for home under Gerald Mosse, Secret Number was comfortably on top of Elbereth, whose connections could not have been more thrilled to finish second, having taken third in the same race 12 months ago.

"It was a good ride and the horse ran well," said Bin Suroor. "He was off for a long time but he'd been working well in the morning and this is the right trip for him.

"The race was a bit slow but he finished really well. He's a really tough horse and I'm so pleased he won."

David Taylor, owner and breeder of Elbereth, had suggested the race could be the last for his six-year-old and, while there was no call on whether that was the case, he was filled with pride by his mare's run.

"I couldn't be more pleased," he said. "I'm so lucky. The average guy in the street doesn't understand, it's just a horse in a race, but when you've bred them and watched them grow up it's so exciting. It means so much just to be here."

Bin Suroor's Dream Castle was the first of Frankel's offspring to race in Turkey but the stallion will have to wait a little longer for a first winner after German raider Wonnemond swooped late to deny Britain a clean sweep of the thoroughbred Group races.

Bin Suroor was hoping to win every race in which he had runners, having sidestepped the juvenile contest, and Dream Castle loomed up with every chance under Gerald Mosse in the Group 2 Topkapi Trophy, but Wonnemond picked him off down the centre under Daniele Porcu to win by length.

. ??WHILE Godolphin enjoyed a profitable weekend at home and abroad, victory in Germany's most prestigious race eluded them as Best Solution and Prize Money filled the last two places in the Grosser Preis von Baden yesterday behind decisive winner Guignol.

In the Group 3 Steinhoff Zukunftsrennen on the same Baden-Baden card, the Mark Johnston-trained Starlight Mystery finished sixth behind Narella.
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Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2017
Words:692
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