Daisies in bloom at Salisbury
News from Wednesday’s meeting at Salisbury where Chain Of Daisies handed Fergus Sweeney his biggest winner of the season.
Chain Of Daisies, seen here winning at Newmarket last season, took the feature
Fergus Sweeney celebrated his most significant winner of the season after guiding Chain Of Daisies to victory in a course record time in the EBF Stallions Upavon Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury.
In a campaign which has provided the Group One-winning rider with little to shout about, the Henry Candy-trained four-year-old gifted him a timely boost when making all in the Listed prize.
Having finished fourth in the 10-furlong contest 12 months ago, the 11/2 shot was not to be denied on this occasion after finding plenty from the sharp end to score by a length in a new record time and form the first leg of a double for the winning trainer.
Candy said: “Like the others, she has just taken forever to come right. When she is right, she is pretty handy.
“Fergus just said she felt she got a feel that the second horse was getting near and that she went on her own and pulled it out. She is very competitive and tough. If more horses were like her, I’d be very happy. She is so genuine.
“Fergus said very sternly after we should step her up in trip. She likes top of the ground. That is important to her as she is not a soft ground filly at all.
“It is fantastic for Fergus. There is not a lot wrong with him, but fashion is a cruel thing in the jockey’s world. There are plenty in the weighing room that could get the job done but never get a chance.”
The Kingston Warren handler completed his brace after Exoplanet Blue (4/1) opened her account for the campaign when taking a two-length success in the concluding Littleton Stud Racing Excellence Apprentice Handicap.
Candy added: “She is such an able filly. Everyone that rides her can’t believe she hasn’t won six races. They (Exoplanet Blue and Chain Of Daisies) worked together yesterday.”
Akhlaaq enhanced his prospects of taking up a number of high-profile entries after making a winning debut in the British Stallion Studs EBF Molson Coors Maiden Stakes
Despite showing signs of greenness in the six furlong prize, the 11/4 shot, who holds entries in the Mill Reef and Champagne Stakes, made up rapid late ground to oblige by a neck and form the first leg of a double for winning rider Paul Hanagan.
Burrows said: “He has worked nicely at home. He just took a moment to find his feet and get organised, but he came home well.
“He has been in a while but we have not done masses with him. What he has done, he has done nicely.
“He took a moment to pull up which is always a good sign. Paul said to stick at six for now until he is a bit more streetwise. I think he probably will get another furlong.
“He is well entered up. We will take him back see how he is and make a plan.”
Takatul (8/11) provided Hanagan with the second leg of his brace when making it three wins from as many starts in the Sam FM Pembroke Cup.
With victories at Thirsk and Yarmouth to his name, the Charlie Hills-trained three-year-old, who is a half-brother to Group race winner Intilaaq, added a win at the Wiltshire track to his CV.
Hills said: “He has a great temperament. He is a big horse that we’ve just had to take time with last year. We will see what the handicapper does, but I don’t think he can be too harsh.
“He just gets the job done and, walking away, you can see he has no care in the world. He is bred very well and is a half-brother to Intilaaq. We will take it a step at a time.”
Having finished in the frame on both his previous starts So Celebre (2/1), from the yard of Ian Williams, gained an overdue win when grinding out victory in the Champagne Joseph Perrier Handicap, while the Clive Cox-trained Pine Ridge (3/1) backed up her win at Bath last time out when making all to score by a neck in the S H Jones Wines Handicap.