THE American four-year-old filly Zenyatta was the undoubted star of day one of the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita, California when she put in a huge run from the tail of the field to win the $2million Ladies’ Classic comfortably.
Unbeaten in all her nine races now, the tall, rangy daughter of Street Cry looked temperamental in the paddock, striking at the ground with her forelegs. But jockey Mike Smith settled her at the back of the pack before producing her on the bridle round the home bend to surge past the field and win without picking up his stick.
Godolphin horses finished second and third, Cocoa Beach coming home in front of the Frankie Dettori-ridden Music Note.
The nearest the European team got to a winner was Heart Shaped in the Juvenile Fillies’ Turf. The Aidan O’Brien-trained chestnut filly came off worst in a photo-finish with Maram.
“She ran a blinder,” said part-owner John Magnier.
Ventura, trained in Britain until last year by Amanda Perrett, took the opening Filly & Mare Sprint under Garrett Gomez. Owned and bred by Khalid Abdulla’s Juddmonte Farms, the four-year-old switched to trainer Bobby Frankel last autumn.
Pursuit Of Glory, trained in Ireland by John Magnier’s son-in-law David Wachman, couldn’t get near the impressive winner Stardom Bound – another winner for jockey Mike Smith – in the Juvenile Fillies’ race on the artificial Pro-Ride surface.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Visit came to win the Filly & Mare Turf, but didn’t quite stay the last quarter-mile and was passed by Forever Together, Sealy Hill and Wait A While. The winner is trained by New York-based Brit Jonathan Sheppard, better known for his jumpers.
“This is my first championship race, and I’m very humbled by it,” he said.
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Thursday 30 October