Tower Of London stands tall at G2 Centaur Stakes - GulfToday

Tower Of London stands tall at G2 Centaur Stakes

Horse Race

Tower Of London, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, races towards the finish line to win the G2 Centaur Stakes on Sunday.

Tower Of London lowered the six-furlong course record at Hanshin, Japan, as he stormed to a comprehensive victory in the G2 Centaur Stakes on Sunday.

The Kazuo Fujisawa-trained Raven’s Pass colt, making his third consecutive appearance in sprints having previously raced over further, was pushed along leaving the stalls by Christophe Lemaire and settled in eighth of the 13-strong field after the first quarter-mile.

Tower Of London was angled out approaching the final furlong and showed tremendous acceleration, taking up the running in a matter of strides before powering clear to beat Fantasist by three lengths in 1m 6.7s on firm ground.

It was a fourth Graded-race success for the four-year-old, who now looks set to return to G1 level for the Sprinters Stakes (6f) at Nakayama on Sunday, Sept.29 — a race won by Godolphin’s champion sprinter Fine Needle in 2018.

Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “That was quite simply sensational. Tower Of London was again slightly sluggish out of the gates but travelled brilliantly throughout the race. It is incredible that he smashed the previous track record time with just an easy hands and heels ride and despite being eased down somewhat before the line. It is also very significant that the previous record was established 17 years ago by the brilliant Believe.

“Tower Of London had earlier this year established a new track record at Tokyo over seven furlongs and now holds the Hanshin six-furlong record too and is clearly a horse of exceptional ability.

“He will now be aimed at the G1 Sprinters Stakes which we won last year with Fine Needle. Christophe Lemaire is already committed to another horse and we have not as yet decided who will ride him.

“Hopefully, he will stay sound and well and, if so, I believe we may travel abroad with him next year. “

Meanwhile, Exhilarates improved her already high ranking among Godolphin’s Australian three-year-olds with a victory in Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The winner of one of the country’s best juvenile events, the Magic Millions Two-Year-old Classic, last summer, Exhilarates resumed with a resounding last-to-first win in the G3 Quezette Stakes two weeks ago. In a performance that revealed another aspect of what is promising to be extraordinary ability, Exhilarates raced on the pace over the 1200m of the Atlantic Jewel and won in equally decisive fashion.

While her trainer James Cummings is still to finalise her spring campaign, it is possible he will stretch her to 1400m in the G2 Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield on Sept.29.

The Atlantic Jewel win drew a glowing endorsement from her rider, Melbourne’s premier jockey Craig Williams.

“I thought her win today was even better than it may have looked,” Williams said.

“She controlled the race early and then she switched off and I was back on top of them.

“I had to trust her that she was that good, and she was today.

“If I didn’t think she was that good I definitely wouldn’t have been asking her to control the race that far out.

“She’s very, very professional and they’ve got options whether they keep her over shorter distances or even go out in distance with her. But she’s a true professional.”

Also at Moonee Valley, Best Of Days continued his return to racing with a third placing in the G2 Feehan Stakes.

The G1 winner from last spring indicated he had plenty to offer racing well to finish 2-1/2 lengths from the winner Homesman.

At Randwick, Avilius endured a torrid run from his wide gate before claiming second place in the G2 Chelmsford Stakes, 3-1/4 lengths behind Samadoubt.

Line Of Duty produced another fine effort over a mile when finishing third in the G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp at Longchamp, France, on Sunday, 8 September.

The three-year-old colt, who filled the same position for trainer Charlie Appleby in the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois over the same trip at Deauville on Sunday, 11 August, broke well and was held up in seventh of the 10 runners by William Buick.

Line Of Duty was switched out to deliver his challenge at the top of the straight and quickened strongly entering the final furlong to take third from Olmedo near the line.

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