Bad weather has been the story of the season so far, as an overnight torrential downpour on the Newmarket July Course turned the ground heavy, and with that went the chances of antepost favourite Bated Breath’s participation in the race – and he was pulled out first thing this morning.
Bated Breath was followed by Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) winner Krypton Factor and then Libranno in the list of non-runners for this Group 1 prize as rain continued to pound down in the headquarters of racing, and with questions marks surrounding the capabilities of a few challengers in handling this ground threw the race wide open.
This morning also saw a bizarre market move for Sepoy, peddled by the support of Pricewise – who despite both his former trainer Peter Snowden, and jockey Kerrin McEvoy said he would struggle on soft ground was punted like he was an absolute good thing, but sadly failed to act on the surface as expected by those who know him best.
The field split into three groups as soon as the stalls opened, but Paul Hanagan soon took charge at the head of affairs down the centre of the track aboard the Richard Fahey trained Mayson, previously a dual winner on the Rowley Mile course earlier in the season.
As the field started to come under pressure in-behind; Hanagan let out an inch of rein on the likeable free-going son of Invincible Spirit, and he quickened up smartly in the conditions to extend his advantage on the run to the uphill section of the track. The Eve Johnston-Houghton trained The Cheka tried valiantly in second to close on the leader, as did Society Rock who came through late for third, but neither looked like laying a glove on the uber impressive winner.
This win crowned the first domestic Group 1 win for both Paul Hanagan and Richard Fahey. The pair had previously teamed up with then two-year-old Wootton Bassett to win the Jean-Luc Lagadere at Longchamp back in 2010.[frame_right src=”http://www.ohracing.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/mayson2.png” href=””][/frame_right]
“I was standing looking at the betting and he was the outsider of the lot and I was thinking this is the biggest joke in a long time. At York he got very upset and got his back leg caught in the stalls (for a few seconds) and at Newcastle it was bottomless and he couldn’t cope with it. He loves soft ground but not like at Newcastle (where you could see water collecting in your footprints). He’s in the Nunthorpe but I’d have worries going back there after that experience but I’ll speak to the owners and see.” – Richard Fahey
Defending Champion jockey Paul Hanagan left his role as stable jockey to Richard Fahey to pursue a career as a retained jockey to Hamdan Al Maktoum after the retirement of Richard Hills, but still picks up as many big rides for Richard Fahey as he can in amongst working for his new employer.
“He really enjoyed himself out in front and the big positive was that he loves the ground. He jumped so well and I didn’t want to take him back and I knew if I could keep him going he’d be hard to peg back – which he was. He’s got a lot of speed but I’d rather be looking at races over six furlongs rather than the Nunthorpe.” – Paul Hanagan
This is a first Group success for owner David W Armstrong, and hopefully Mayson can continue to improve off the back of this convincing success, and given the manner in which some of his rivals performed in the softer ground he will most likely be a half decent price to do so next time too.