Owned by Mr Nurlan Bizakov, Altyn Orda unshipped Andrea Atzeni on the way to post and despite running loose for a hundred or so yards, she was thankfully caught without any dramas and was reunited with her jockey who took her steadily to post.
An easy canter down to the start was far removed from the strong gallop Altyn Orda produced on her way back up the Rowley Mile, the daughter of Kyllachy travelling powerfully before being produced to lead heading into the Dip.
The opposition on her side of the track melted away quite quickly, leaving Altyn Orda isolated out in front as the Roger Charlton-trained Gavota and Aidan O’Brien’s I Can Fly, who were sent off favourite and second favourite respectively, launched a sustained challenge in the centre of the track.
However, with the rail to help and the filly showing a fine attitude, Altyn Orda stayed on powerfully to repel all raiders and hold on by a neck, igniting the prospect of a potential tilt at Classic glory next spring.
Roger said: “Altyn Orda came into this race as a maiden, but the form of both her starts was red hot. I thought it was a pretty deep renewal of the race and you now have to be thinking in terms of either coming back here for a Guineas trial or going straight to a Guineas of some description. She deserves to be talked about in those terms and next spring will tell us a lot more about her. She will get a mile no problem.”
Twenty minutes later, Sheikh Mohammed Obaid’s Zabeel Prince completed a hat-trick of wins with a facile success in the feature one-mile handicap at York, becoming the hundredth winner of the calendar year for the Varian Stable team, with our 96 domestic successes having been supplemented by three victories in Ireland and one in France.
The strapping son of Lope De Vega, who had previously secured easy wins at Nottingham and Yarmouth, was ridden on this occasion by Silvestre De Sousa, who was partnering his twenty-first winner for us this year, making the Varian Stable team his best numerical supporter for 2017 with one week of the official championship season remaining.
This was all too easy for Zabeel Prince, who sat behind the leaders in the early part of the race before tanking to the front two furlongs from home.
Shaken up by Silvestre, Zabeel Prince readily extended two and three-quarter lengths clear of the David O’Meara-trained Bravery, the win ensuring he picks up a penalty for the very valuable Balmoral Handicap at Ascot next Saturday, for which he now looks like securing a place in the line-up.
“Zabeel Prince is a really talented horse who has taken time to come to himself but he has clearly been worth the wait. So long as he comes out of this race ok, and so long as Sheikh Mohammed Obaid is happy to do so, we will look to run him at Ascot next weekend.”