Feature Story

Great Scott! Jura runs out a Hardwicke hero 

Great Scott! Jura runs out a Hardwicke hero  Jun 22, 2024

By Sam Turner - 


Trainer George Scott was quick to map out a route to next month’s G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes after witnessing Isle Of Jura record a fairytale victory in the Hardwicke Stakes.

Rated just 71 when landing his debut win at Newbury less than 12 months ago, the four-year-old has been brilliantly placed by his handler to land his last five races, a sequence which includes a winter hat-trick in Bahrain. 

Despite his recent winning exploits, the son of New Approach was largely unconsidered in the market with the likes of Continuous and Middle Earth seemingly much better fancied to lift the G2 prize.

However, rider Callum Shepherd oozed confidence throughout and his improving partner shot clear of his rivals inside the final furlong to score by three-and-a-half widening lengths, a victory which left his pilot visibly emotional on pulling up. 

A delighted Scott said: “He’s an exceptional racehorse and it was an exceptional race from start to finish. He was the right horse at the right time (in his career).

“It’s amazing. Just over a year ago he was well beaten in a Thirsk maiden. To do this for Sheikh Nasser (Victorious Racing), such a big supporter of mine, is very special.

“We are just blessed to have him, he’s repaid us time and time again and the journey from hereon in is going to be very very special.

“Most best-laid plans go to pot, but this has been a long-term plan. This was an obvious race for him. We knew Goodwood would bring him on, and it has. We knew he would get the ground, and he has. It was a scintillating performance, so we shall enjoy it.

“Callum is a top-class rider he had his horse in the right position all the way, kicked nice and early and put the race to bed. It was a perfect ride. All roads lead to the King George, 100 per cent.”

MOORE WRITES ANOTHER CHAPTER

Bedtime Story put her rivals to sleep in the opening event, landing the Listed Chesham Stakes by an astonishing nine-and-a-half lengths under a virtually motionless Ryan Moore.

Aidan O’Brien’s trainee sauntered through the first 1000m and, once given the office by Moore, spreadeagled the field with a rare turn of foot to run out one of the widest margin winners in recent years at the royal meeting.   

O’Brien said: “We never let her go before, it’s the first time we’ve asked her to stretch and she just took off. We’ve treated her gently, she has an unbelievable pedigree and she’s obviously very special.

“It’s unusual for a filly to do that, she’d won nicely first time but we thought she was a Group One filly. You all saw what I saw, we won’t be looking for one that’s better, that is for sure.”

Moore said: “The only time I worked was pulling up really. She travelled very easy, they’ve gone too slow for her really. A performance like that, you don’t see normally.

“I had room at the three (furlong marker) so we started going forward and the race was over very quickly. Obviously, she’s a level above all of them.”

HAATEM GAINS JUST REWARD

Jockey James Doyle labeled Haatem “an absolute warrior” after lifting the twice placed Guineas colt to a deserved victory in the G3 Jersey Stakes. 

Richard Hannon’s colt, second and third respectively to stablemate Rosallion in the Irish and English Classics, coped well with the drop to 1400m, kicking for home under Doyle with a furlong to run.

The Oisin Murphy ridden Kikkuli looked set to reel in Haatem in the dying strides, but the son of Phoenix Of Spain held on grimly to score by a short head.    

"What a horse, he’s an absolute warrior," said Doyle. 

"It wasn’t his ideal setup. We came up with a plan and it worked. If he’d of got beat he would have been robbed because he responded well. Oisin quite smartly challenged away from me and he (Haatem) did spot him late but he responded well. What a horse."

A relieved Hannon added: “I’m just delighted for the horse that he won. It’s a Group 3 but I think this Jersey is an awful lot deeper than it normally is. He has credit for a lot more than that and I’m sure a Group 1 is coming pretty soon for him.”

HARRY ENJOYS DIVINE INSPIRATION

Thirty eight years to the day that Diego Maradona broke English hearts in the 1986 World Cup with the infamous “Hand Of God”, the horse of the same name gave trainer Harry Charlton his first royal winner when scoring in the Golden Gates Stakes under William Buick.

Racing in the renowned colours of Dubai businessman Mohammed Jaber, the progressive son of Churchill produced a sparkling turn of foot in the straight to see off Cambridge by a length-and-three-quarters. 


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