Oxted secures first Group 1 wins for Cieren Fallon junior and Roger Teal on final day of successful 2020 Newmarket Moët & Chandon July Festival
Three days of high-quality action for Newmarket’s Moët & Chandon July Festival culminated today with Oxted putting in a scintillating performance in the Group 1 Darley July Cup, to give both trainer Roger Teal and young jockey Cieren Fallon their first Group 1 wins.
Since racing resumed on June 1, there has been a feast of top-class action which has included the rearranged QIPCO Guineas festival at Newmarket and the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom which both took place a month later than usual following a shutdown enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the racing calendar has now got a more familiar feel about it and this week has been able to go ahead in its usual slot.
Despite the rain dampening proceedings on the opening day, there were a number of stand-out performances on the track which lit up the racecourse.
Tactical, owned by the Queen, had looked a two-year-old colt to follow when winning at Royal Ascot and he confirmed that promise in no uncertain terms, when storming to success under William Buick in the Group 2 Tattersalls July Stakes for trainer Andrew Balding.
Al Aasy, trained by William Haggas and ridden by Jim Crowley, handled a big step up in class to throw his hat into the St Leger ring after winning the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy. He was shortened from 25/1 into 10/1 by bet365 following that smooth success.
Hollie Doyle has already enjoyed a landmark season after claiming her first Royal Ascot winner last month, and she hit new heights on Thursday when tasting her first Group race victory when storming home to win the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes aboard Dame Malliot, for Newmarket trainer Ed Vaughan and owner Mr Oppenheimer.
Jim Crowley’s golden 2020 shows no sign of slowing down. Six winners at Royal Ascot has been followed up by an excellent Moët & Chandon July Festival.
After Al Aasy’s success on Thursday, the John Gosden-trained Nazeef gave Crowley another Group 1 on Friday when coming out on top in a thrilling renewal of the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes.
Nazeef’s stablemate, Terrebellum had looked the likely winner, but under a strong drive, Crowley secured victory by a neck from Billesdon Brook with Terrebellum a further neck behind in third. Nazeef has now won six races on the bounce and the progressive filly looks sure to be a big player in whichever Group 1 race she appears in next.
North Lincolnshire-based Nick Bradley Racing landed an amazing 1-2 in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes (sponsored by bet365) with Dandalla just prevailing over Fev Rover in the six-furlong contest. Dandalla, trained by Karl Burke, only cost €22,000 as a yearling and is unbeaten in three races having previously won the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Following Hollie Doyle’s landmark success on Thursday, there was another big moment on Friday when PJ McDonald reached 1,000 winners in Britain when he partnered Zabeel Champion to win the bet365 Handicap on Friday.
Oxted was undoubtedly the stand-out story from the final day at Newmarket and Saturday, July 11 will be a day that neither trainer nor jockey will ever forget.
Elsewhere, the bet365 Bunbury Cup saw Motakahayyel get Richard Hannon Jr on the board for the week after a string of near misses including Billesdon Brook in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes.
STYLE AWARDS GOES AHEAD
The Moët & Chandon July Festival is known for its fashion and vibrant floral displays, almost as much as for its fine dining and of course, premium Flat racing.
The Jockey Club Newmarket launched a Virtual Style Awards to replace its esteemed ‘Best Dressed’ competition and the inaugural July Festival Floral Awards, both of which received entries from a wide geographical area.
Judges including media partners, Velvet Magazine (by Iliffe Media, owners of the Newmarket Journal), Rosie Rubun, Founder of Rosie Olivia Millinery and Laura Blair, Founder of London Fashion Girl named Megan Barber winner of the ‘Best Dressed’ #StyleAwards. Megan won a beauty hamper worth over £400.
The winner of the July Festival Floral Awards, judged by Tom Hoblyn, with points awarded for impact, originality, overall impression and quality of planting, will be announced on Newmarket Racecourses Instagram (@newmarket_racecourse) later today with #FloralAwards prizes courtesy of Moët & Chandon, to enjoy at home this summer.
General manager of Newmarket Racecourse, Sophie Able, said:“The Moët & Chandon July Festival is the highlight of the year for Newmarket’s July Course.
"Despite feeling quieter without the buzz and atmosphere that the three days usually brings, it has been a fantastic festival of racing with endless high-class action. We hope that before long we are able to once again open our doors and welcome racegoers on course.
“Once again, I must give huge credit to the team here at Newmarket who have worked tirelessly, in the lead-up to and during the week, to deliver a safe and secure racecourse.
“My thanks also go to all of the trainers, jockeys, owners, valets, media and stable staff who have adhered to the protocols. It is down to them and their hard work that we have been able to host three days of brilliant racing.
“On the track itself, a word has to go to the brilliant winners of our Group 1s; Nazeef in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes on Friday and Oxted in today’s Darley July Cup. We look forward to following their progress in the remainder of the season.”
She added: “Finally, my thanks go to our sponsors Moët & Chandon, bet365, Tattersalls, Darley, Bahrain and the EBF for their continued support. They have all worked with us under unusual circumstances to deliver a July Festival like no other before it, and we are very grateful to them all.”
* The next meeting at the July Course, which will also be staged behind closed doors, takes place on Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25.
More by this authorRussell Claydon