Frederick Engels' class disarms mutinous Soldier
His proletarian name notwithstanding, David Brown must have one of the fathers of communism spinning in his grave. Having once mucked out stables for Dick Hern – a retired major, of course, and stickler of the old school – Brown became such a proficient capitalist that he was able to retire from the steel business four years ago to become a trainer in his own right. And now he is turning a colt named Frederick Engels, running in the silks of a wealthy young sheikh, into a new darling of the sport of kings.
Last month, Brown took Frederick Engels down from his stables near Newark to Royal Ascot – where the betting ring serves as such a pure model for the operation of market forces; and the various enclosures, likewise, for enduring class distinctions. After landing a big gamble there, yesterday the colt proceeded to the July Course at Newmarket. His namesake would doubtless have surveyed the bibulous indulgence, of all classes, and suggested an obvious portent in the squalls disrupting the garden party atmosphere. But only the most black-hearted revolutionary could possibly resent these women, in their elegant frocks, as they queued to cash their bets on Frederick Engels.
Throughout the TNT July Stakes, a spectre was haunting Roman Soldier. The other big fancy, who had himself run so well at Ascot, seemed too loose in his action, too lacking in rhythm. Frederick Engels, in contrast, was always going smoothly behind him. Trying a sixth furlong for the first time, he was finally produced by Eddie Ahern to win by a length; the principals were harried all the way by Bannock, a neck away in third, but there was daylight to the rest.
"I didn't like to say so, but I expected him to win today," Brown said. "He worked this week with a good horse, and we felt you would have to run to [a mark of] 125 to beat him today. He has so much class over five and six, trust me, he'll go farther. He had a bit up his sleeve and I think there is still a long way to go with this horse. He's a May foal, so the best should be yet to come."
Frederick Engels is at least showing his working-class credentials with sheer industry. He has already soaked up five races since mid-May, and is now likely to tackle the Gimcrack Stakes at York next month. His rivals there may include Harbour Watch, who saw off some useful youngsters in a conditions race later on the card.
It had opened with an interesting contest for the Bahrain Trophy. Having looked set to romp clear of a rather wayward rival, Masked Marvel began to falter even as Census finally regrouped. There was just a head in it at the line, the pair clear, but Jimmy Fortune – riding for John Gosden for the first time since his replacement as stable jockey, 16 months ago, by the suspended William Buick – was adamant the winner was merely idling. Masked Marvel had last been seen down the field in the Derby, but Gosden explained that he had not handled Epsom and is now inclined to keep him fresh for the St Leger. Census will follow him there, and sponsors Ladbrokes quote both at 16-1. Crystal Capella careered away with the other Group race on the card, the Princess of Wales's Stakes, by no fewer than eight lengths. As Sir Michael Stoute remarked, she is a very smart filly on her day – but those days have not always been easy to predict. "She's had lots of problems, and not been the soundest filly," the trainer conceded. "So it's pretty sporting the owners kept her in training. The Yorkshire Oaks springs to mind, but we'll see."
Both the big races today are confined to fillies. Having dominated the Coronation Stakes, with their three-year-olds, the French can confirm that they also have the best older females over a mile in the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes. Saphresa (3.0) is already a dual Group One winner, having won consecutive Sun Chariot Stakes over on the Rowley Mile, and resumed with a very sprightly performance at Longchamp last month. Giving 14lbs to a classy three-year-old, she travelled and quickened with gusto and looks value at 3-1.
The Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes features a genuine curiosity in My Freedom, who won a Pontefract maiden by the staggering margin of 17 lengths. Gratifying though it would be, to see her restore Peter Chapple-Hyam to the big time, the form of Shumoos (2.25) for now has more substance. On her debut, Shumoos beat no less a colt than Frederick Engels by four and a half lengths. Anyone holding a ticket bearing her name today, then, may legitimately consider himself to own the means of production.
Chris McGrath's Nap
My Freedom (5.20 Newmarket) Can build on a promising resumption at Newcastle, when heavily backed but caught in traffic. Few miles on the clock and, raised 1lb, demonstrably remains on a feasible mark.
Shumoos (2.25 Newmarket) Faces an extraordinarily easy maiden winner in My Freedom but has more runs on the board, thrashing Frederick Engels on her debut then looking ready for this extra furlong when sharing a photo at Royal Ascot.
One to watch
Pintrada (James Bethell) Was set plenty to do in a messy race at Haydock on Saturday, and his fourth suggests this revised mark should not be beyond him.
Where the money's going
Pekan Star, who won his first handicap over course and distance at the Dante meeting, is 4-1 from 6-1 with William Hill for the John Smith's Cup at York tomorrow.
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