Chindit in top form for potential swansong at Newmarket

By Sports Desk September 28, 2023

The in-form Chindit will bid for a fantastic three-timer in the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Joel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

Richard Hannon’s five-year-old has won at Group level in each of the four years he has been in training with the Everleigh handler and has thrived of late, adding Sandown’s Fortune Stakes to the Group Three Superior Mile he secured at Haydock earlier this month.

He will now attempt to end September on a real high in a race which could be his final outing before commencing stallion duties for owner Dr Cyrus Poonawalla in India.

Hannon said: “I’ve been very happy with him at home and he’s just doing his routine canters and moving great – he’s arguably in the form of his life.

“He’s a gentleman and a pleasure to have around and I think this might well be his last run before he goes to India to stand as a stallion.

“He’s top-class and has been ultra-consistent and deserves his shot at a nice big race like this.”

Standing in Chindit’s way is Charlie Hills’ defending champion Mutasaabeq who made all in good style 12 months ago.

Four of his six career victories have come on the Rowley Mile, but he has been without a win since scoring at the track in May and having somewhat disappointed in his most recent efforts, connections are hoping his love affair with the track can see him bounce back to his very best.

Hills said: “He seems to love Newmarket and the Rowley Mile. He has a great record there and it has always been the plan really to aim him at this race after York.

“He’s been good (since York). We were a bit disappointed and he didn’t finish off his race as well as he could have done. We’ve had no problems with him and his work has been good leading up to this race so we’ll see how we get on.

“There is not too many runners in it and I’m not sure what the tactics will be, but we’ve got a good record there.”

William Haggas’ Maljoom counts a German 2000 Guineas triumph among three wins from his first four starts and could be classed as an unlucky loser when seeing his unbeaten record ended in the St James’s Palace Stakes at last year’s Royal Ascot.

He now returns from 472 days off for this Group Two event, while John and Thady Gosden have a decent hand saddling both Epictetus and Sovereign Stakes scorer Mighty Ulysses, who had Sir Michael Stoute’s reopposing Regal Reality behind in third at Salisbury.

It could prove a profitable afternoon for the Clarehaven team who also hold all the aces in the Princess Royal Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Stakes with Running Lion and Sweet Memories.

The former was extremely progressive earlier in the campaign before seeing her momentum checked in both the Oaks at Epsom – when withdrawn at the start – and then the French equivalent when well held.

She was a keeping-on second following a break at Salisbury last month and is now upped in trip for a first try at 12 furlongs.

The Frankie Dettori-ridden Coppice and Atalanta Stakes second Queen For You dominate the market in the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai British EBF Rosemary Stakes, another race in which the Gosden training team have leading claims.

Meanwhile the lightly-raced Lion’s Pride is also given the chance to confirm his potential in a competitive Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Godolphin Stakes which features last year’s St Leger runner-up New London and Lion’s Pride’s Windsor conqueror Candleford.

Related items

  • Nomination to Paddington makes 72,000 guineas in aid of Graham Lee Nomination to Paddington makes 72,000 guineas in aid of Graham Lee

    A nomination to star colt Paddington was sold for 72,000 guineas at Tattersalls on Monday to raise funds on behalf of injured jockey Graham Lee.

    The Grand National and Ascot Gold Cup-winning rider remains in hospital after suffering serious neck and spinal injuries in a fall at Newcastle last month.

    A JustGiving page set up by Lee’s daughter Amy for the Injured Jockeys Fund is approaching the £170,000 mark – and the Coolmore team were keen to add their support by auctioning off a nomination to their top-class three-year-old Paddington before the first ‘Sceptre’ lot at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale.

    Paddington rattled off four straight Group One victories in the space of 68 days earlier this year, landing the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

    The recently-retired son of Siyouni will stand his first season at Coolmore in 2024 with a stallion fee of €55,000.

    The winning bid was made by Lady Lloyd Webber of Watership Down Stud.

  • Grand National Mission not yet certain for Mahler Grand National Mission not yet certain for Mahler

    A decision on whether Coral Gold Cup runner-up Mahler Mission will be aimed at the Randox Grand National has yet to be made following his fine effort in defeat at Newbury on Saturday.

    Having looked the likely winner of the National Hunt Chase at last season’s Cheltenham Festival before falling two fences from home, the seven-year-old made a promising return when second at Carlisle last month, teeing him up for an appearance in one of the year’s most prestigious handicaps.

    Mahler Mission travelled powerfully and fenced fluently for much of the three-and-a-quarter-mile journey before being reeled in by the patiently ridden Datsalrightgino.

    While proud of his stable star’s performance, John McConnell was left wondering what might have been after admitting his preparation was not entirely trouble-free, while the fact he finished without his two front shoes could not have been a help.

    McConnell said: “Overall, we were delighted, he ran a great race and just got beaten by one on the day. We were very happy with him and we’ve got plenty to look forward to.

    “He travelled very well and it looked like he got outstayed nearly in the end. We didn’t have the clearest of runs up to it, so maybe he was a little bit short, but I’m not going to make excuses – when you’re second in a race like that, it’s great.

    “People forget that was only his seventh run over fences, so it was definitely a big deal.”

    Mahler Mission is a 16-1 joint-favourite for the Grand National with Paddy Power, but he is not yet certain to make the trip to Aintree in April.

    “I have to talk to the owners and see what they want to do,” McConnell added.

    “Obviously, the National has been talked about a lot and if that’s going to be a target, we’ll have to sit down and work back from that.

    “It’s obviously a major race and it would be great to be a part of it, but at the same time you’re kind of sacrificing your season nearly to set yourself up for it, so it’s a hard call.

    “I’ll have to speak to the owners and see what they’re thinking. With the mark he has, you’d like to take advantage of it, so if we were going to go down that road, we wouldn’t want to be any higher (in the handicap) than we are and that would frame our whole season.

    “We’re just not sure if we’re going to aim for that yet. On Saturday, we didn’t really discuss it, we were just happy for him to have run so well.”

    Mahler Mission holds an entry in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on December 27, but he appears unlikely to line up in that lucrative contest if the National is confirmed as his major target.

    “Again, it depends on the route we’re going to take. The Paddy Power itself is a good race with plenty of prize-money on offer, so it is an option,” said McConnell.

  • Coko Beach dominates Becher landscape Coko Beach dominates Becher landscape

    Coko Beach heads 17 confirmations for the BoyleSports Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree on Saturday.

    Gordon Elliott’s grey has been a fine servant to owners Gigginstown House Stud, winning a Thyestes Chase, the Grade Two Ten Up Novice Chase, Punchestown’s Grand National Trial and the Troytown Chase on his most recent appearance at Navan last month.

    The eight-year-old was pulled up in the Grand National last season, having finished eighth in 2022, and could bid to make it third time lucky over the famous fences on Merseyside this weekend.

    If Coko Beach does line up, his lofty rating of 162 means he will have to concede upwards of 15lb to each of his rivals.

    Leading contenders include last year’s winner Ashtown Lad (Dan Skelton) and last year’s third Percussion (Laura Morgan), who again showed his liking for the track when runner-up in the Grand Sefton four weeks ago.

    Nicky Henderson has left in Fantastic Lady and Mister Coffey, while Nicky Richards views the race as an ideal target for Houston Texas, who was last seen winning the Cumberland Handicap Chase at Carlisle for the second year in succession.

    However, the Greystoke handler admits the possible presence of Coko Beach gives him a headache as it means Houston Texas is currently 8lb out of the handicap.

    Richards, who won the 1999 Becher Chase with Feels Like Gold, said: “It will all depend what Gordon’s going to do as if his horse runs it will just spoil it for me – I’m not running from that far out of the handicap. It wouldn’t the brightest thing in the world to do, would it?

    “I’d be very hopeful that he’d enjoy it round there. He’s a good, bold jumping lad and very sensible with it as well.

    “I just thought it would be ideal for him and was hoping I would sneak in at the bottom and have a right chance, but you don’t want to be that far out of the handicap – you’ve got to be realistic with it.”

    Fergal O’Brien’s Highland Hunter, Stuart Crawford’s Now Where Or When and the Venetia Williams-trained Chambard also feature among the acceptors.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.