Hillstar and Just The Judge win Woodbines plums - By Tom Krish
Posted on - 20 Oct 2014
Hillstar and Just The Judge win Woodbine's plums
By Tom Krish
The British made a clean sweep of the three big races at Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto on Sunday.
Andrew Mullen and Caspar Netscher emerged victorious in the Grade II Nearctic Stakes. Hillstar gave jockey Ryan Moore back to back wins in the Pattison Canadian International. Jamie Spencer, about to retire from race-riding, steered Just The Judge to a come-from-behind success in the E P Taylor Stakes. All three races were run on grass.
Hillstar, a Sir Michael Stoute pupil, went postward as the 5/4 favorite. Brown Panther, a run-away winner of the Irish St Leger, was in no mood to race. Jockey Richard Kingscote was dislodged and Brown Panther ran off. Hillstar, a Danehill Dancer progeny out of a Mark Of Esteem mare, Crystal Star, won from Big Blue Kitten. The time for the 2400-metre International was 2 29 on good turf.
Ryan Moore, as laconic as one can be, may have spoken a great deal. “I was out a little bit early but he (Hillstar) was fine and had plenty. It was going to take a good horse to get by him. He was the best today (with Brown Panther’s scratch) and I wanted to keep everything straightforward. I am sure the boss ( SirStoute) had this race as a target from a long way out.”
Jockey Moore’s win in Canada made the trip to Toronto a lucrative exercise. Richard Hughes was not in action in England. End of Sunday, Hughes kept his five-point lead over jockey Moore. Neither rides in England on Monday. There are only two flat meetings, Pontefract and Windsor.
I have watched and followed jockey Jamie Spencer since 2003. If coming from far behind and getting up in the waning yards is an art, Jamie Spencer, I would categorically say, has mastered it. Just The Judge, the 16/10 favorite, was kept in the rear in the E P Taylor Stakes. Finding a seam in the lane, Spencer got the Lawman filly going and was in front with the wire still some distance away. As Odeliz, another British runner, made a strong bid, Just The Judge found enough to score by one half length. The 2000-metre race was run in 2 03:47.
Just The Judge, trained by Charles Hills, was winning after several months. By Lawman out of Faraday Light, a Rainbow Quest mare, Just The Judge’s last win came in the 2013 Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh. The Breeders’ Cup Filly-Mare Turf at Sana Anita is Just The Judge’s next target.
Jockey Spencer said, “the race was very unsatisfactory. I jumped awkwardly. It was tight when I wanted to move. I did not give her too hard a race as this is a stepping stone to the Breeders’ Cup. She has won but I’d prefer it had gone a little bit smoother.”
There is another notable defection in the Breeders’ Cup lineup. Beholder is out of the BC distaff. The daughter of Henny Hughes, a Richard Mandella trainee, won the Juvenile event in 2012. She won the Distaff in 2013. Trainer Mandella, colourful and loquacious, spoke. “She had a nice work on Saturday. On Sunday, she had a temperature of 104 degrees. She has been treated with pencillin and the fever has come down. She will be alright but she is out of the Distaff.”
Groupie Doll is not running this year and she would have been seeking three in a row. Wise Dan’s withdrawal was announced last week and he was targeted for the BC Mile. He won in 2012 and 2013. Mizdirection is another absentee. She won in 2013 and 2013.
It has been revealed that Leading Light came out of Saturday’s Long DistanceStakes at Ascot with career-ending injuries. The 2/1 favorite was seriously interfered with.
Charm Spirit has been retired. He will stand at stud in 2015. The Invincible Spirit colt won three Group I races in a row. Charm Spirit will join the roster of Qatar Bloodstock stallions. David Redvers, racing manager for Qatar Bloodstock, commented, “trainer Head considers Charm Spirit worthy of being spoken of in the same breath as Goldikova and Moonlight Cloud which is some accolade. Invincible Spirit, Charm Spirit’s sire, is proving himself not just as an exceptional sire but also increasingly as a sire of sires.”
The big race in England at week’s end is the Group I Racing Post Trophy for two year-olds. There are three weeks left in the British flat season.
Bold Majesty gave Dr M A M another Classic win. I have not been to Mysore since 1971. A visit to Mysore Racecourse is high on my agenda. The Artist, my pick in the Derby, was outclassed.
I will be in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon (Oct 30) and my wife and I will attend the Breeders’ Cup races on Oct 31 and Nov 1. We go to Chicago on Nov 2. We will be in India on Nov 7. The visits to India are heart-warming, emotional and give us a chance to keep our friendships going.