The last weekend of September tends to produce some useful performances that are not only noted for this season, but next season too. There were no anomalies as over the weekend there were some seriously impressive performances by horses who could star this autumn or next season. Here are three eye catchers that we saw over the weekend.
Three Weekend Eye-catchers - 01/10/2018
Wissahickon – Bet365 Cambridgeshire
It’s apt we start with the feature race of the day and one of the most perplexing handicaps of the season: the Cambridgeshire.
The race is usually closely contested; however, this year’s renewal was turned into a procession as Wissahickon powered to a three-and-three-quarter-length victory over the 33 runners.
The colt, who is known to be rather unruly, including when stamping on his groom’s foot on the way out of the paddock, put no foot wrong in the race itself, making a mockery of his handicap mark to give Frankie Dettori and John Gosden their first Cambridgeshire victory since 1995.
The horse that last gave them success was Halling, who went on to strike at group one level five times, and now Wissahickon will inevitably begin his pattern-race career here after obliterating his handicap mark.
While it may be wishful thinking to believe that Wissahickon can emulate Halling, there is definitely a listed or group race to be won with him over this season and next.
Yet, with the likelihood of another weak older mile division next season, there’s nothing holding this three-year-old back to naturally progress to the top level after this imperious performance.
Hermosa – Weld Park Stakes
Aidan O’Brien already has a strong hand of juveniles – as he typically does – this year, and the Coolmore team can add another to that list in the shape of Hermosa.
The two-year-old by Galileo has taken a few runs to come to herself this season, but she excelled from a decent third in the Moyglare Stud Stakes to forge to victory in this group three contest.
When asked for an effort under Ryan Moore, Hermosa went through the gears and hit the line strongly to register a two-and-a-half-length success that could’ve so easily been extended further.
She shaped as if she was already crying out for the mile trip, and indications after the race from her trainer was that the Fillies’ Mile will be the next port of call for Hermosa, which could definitely be the making of her as a classic contender for next year.
Cypress Creek – Loughbrown Stakes
Sticking at Naas, the final eye catcher of the weekend is another for the trio of Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Coolmore, after Cypress Creek showed significant improvement to win this group three over two miles.
It was looking increasingly likely that Cypress Creek was to be the pacemaker in the staying classics this term, and while he was a rank outsider in the Irish St. Leger and finished last, he was only beaten seven lengths by Flag of Honour.
Going off an unfancied 6/1 chance here, Cypress Creek relished the step up to two miles to score with authority over a useful yardstick in Twilight Payment.
Flag of Honour is looking likely to be the replacement in the Ballydoyle staying team for the recently retired Order of St George, but Cypress Creek looked to be a different calibre of horse once stepped up in trip.
He could either go two ways in being a decent group level performer, or he could become a dark horse for next year’s Ascot Gold Cup. Nevertheless, Cypress Creek was certainly an eye catcher over the weekend.
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