An audacious judgement call, backed up by a gut feeling, came off here yesterday and Peter Chapple-Hyam turned the clock back 15 years. After Authorized, with the help of Frankie Dettori, belied his inexperience and his 25-1 starting price to take the Racing Post Trophy, the Newmarket-based trainer goes into the winter with two juvenile Group One winners in his yard. Just as he did in 1991, when subsequent 2,000 Guineas and Derby winners Rodrigo Di Triano and Dr Devious kept him dreaming through the cold days.
Much water has passed under many bridges since then, in the form of being sacked from the helm at Robert Sangster's Manton, a not earth-movingly successful stint in Hong Kong, and a fairly low-key return to this country. Twelve months ago, he was pondering his future. "Then I thought," he said, "you bloody can train. So bloody get on with it." This season, his third back in Britain, a plethora of two-year-old talent has emerged from his St Gatien stables to rather prove his point. Most notably, Dutch Art has taken the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes and is prominent in the Guineas betting, Hamoody won the Richmond Stakes, but Authorized may be the best of the lot. The scopey, handsome Montjeu colt had raced only once before yesterday, a promising third place over the same course and distance, yet he coped with his 13 rivals and the testing underfoot conditions like an old hand.
"I had ridden him in work a couple of weeks ago," said Dettori, "and he felt tremendous. We knew he had class, but wondered about his experience for a race like this, and to be honest I was leaning towards letting him win his maiden. But from over a furlong out, I was counting my money. I gave him a kick, and I thought 'wow'."
Authorized pulled a length and a quarter clear of another outsider, 33-1 shot Charlie Farnsbarns, with third, Medicine Path at 20-1, two lengths behind. The 8-11 favourite, Eagle Mountain, came in a neck behind in fourth, staying on after being chopped a couple of times in his run.
The decision to let Authorized take his chance was not straightforward, even on the day. "Pitching a maiden into Group One company is not really my way," said Chapple-Hyam, "and though he was looking good at home, I ummed and aahed about it. Then after the rain this week, I was umming and aahing about letting him run on the heavy ground. It was only after our other horse [Striving Storm, third in the opening race] ran so well I said let's go for it."
Authorized, who cost 400,000gns as a yearling, runs for the Kuwaiti businessmen Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar, whose colours have been carried by Hamoody and also the high-class Jeremy Noseda-trained miler Araafa this season. The pair were underbidders for the 1.2 million-guinea Pivotal colt sold to Sheikh Mohammed at the Newmarket sales earlier this month. Their latest young star has rocketed up the betting for next year's Derby and is generally now second favourite at 12-1 behind the unbeaten Dewhurst Stakes winner Teofilo. "The first thought is that he's likely to start off next year in the Dante Stakes," said Chapple-Hyam, "but I wouldn't completely rule out the Guineas. He's got a lot of strengthening to do yet, and when they get stronger, they tend to get faster. He's by Montjeu, but he doesn't seem to have any quirks, is easy to handle and just gets on with it. A horse like him is why we do the job. It's what gets us up in the morning."
The Racing Post Trophy, transferred here because the builders are in at its traditional home, Doncaster, has provided two of the past five Derby winners, High Chaparral and Motivator. Yesterday's Group Three opener, the Horris Hill Stakes, does not normally impinge on the Classic scene but the winner, Dijeerr, showed admirable courage under Philip Robinson to rally and snatch back the lead from Mythical Kid in the last half-stride of the seven furlongs and put himself on the outer fringes of the Guineas betting. Michael Jarvis, trainer of Sheikh Ahmed's Danzig colt, who chased home Racing Post Trophy fifth, Thousand Words, last time, said: "A mile will be his optimum trip."
Short Skirt, the Oaks third, ensured a decent payday in the Tattersalls sale-ring for her owner-breeder, John Greetham, when she outslogged her rivals in the St Simon Stakes to notch her second Group Three victory of the season. The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Diktat filly, with Ryan Moore in the saddle, came in two lengths clear of another three-year-old, Mountain, in the 12-furlong all-aged contest.
On the other side of the world, last year's St Leger third, Tawqeet, won the Caulfield Cup in a blanket finish and now shares favouritism for next month's Melbourne Cup with Yeats.
BETS OF THE DAY
The useful novice hurdler Turko (3.20) is bred for fences, is reported to have schooled well and gets the four-year-old's allowance.
Though his form tailed off last season, the versatile veteran Haut De Gamme (2.50) can go well fresh and the ground will suit.