Owner/breeder Peter Savill, the former chairman of the British Horseracing Board, said of the 6/5 favourite Moonrise Landing who swooped late beat Godolphin’s Anglophile by a half-length: “I was wondering if Moonrise Landing was going to get a run, but she has a turn of foot and is terrific mare.
“She has improved a lot and let’s hope she can convert that to the turf now because she is an exciting prospect.
“She was injured in the Oaks trial here a couple of years ago and was off for a year afterwards. It took time to get her confidence back but she has got it back since we changed riding tactics, dropping her out, letting her relax and come through horses. She has got a turn of foot for a two-mile horse.
“Our biggest worry was that she had been off for three months and they can run a bit fresh after that. Ralph (Beckett – trainer) was happy enough that he had got her relaxed but if she ran again I think she would be even more settled. We have got a plan for her in mind but we will keep that to ourselves for now.”
Despite a troubled passage, five-year-old Moonrise Landing made it four in a row in the 32Red All-Weather Marathon and relegated Anglophile to second place for the second successive year.
Jim Crowley, the winning rider, said: “I had a few traffic problems coming down the hill – we were just caught on heels. She likes to be held up, runs her best races that way, but sometimes round here it isn’t ideal.
“But though I was locked up, I was filling her up, filling her up, filling her up. The front two nipped through on the inside a little bit, but I was always confident we were in striking distance and it probably looked worse on television than it felt to me.
“She has won like a classy individual and has a turn of foot like a mile and a half filly. She can go anywhere, and there are all those nice staying races.”
Moonrise Landing, a five-year-old by Dalakhani, is trained by Ralph Beckett who commented: “She was just too good for them, but in a way we sort of got away with it today. I don’t think the track really suits her, she’s probably better on a flat track and a more galloping track. As you saw she took a long time to pick up as well.
“There’s a bit to come and we look forward to getting her on the turf now, in those long distance Group races, perhaps the Henry II or Sagaro or something like that next.
“But this is great today. Maybe there isn’t any more to come from her, but what she did there should make her competitive. We were going nowhere with her for most of last year, she’d had most of her three-year-old career off after a fracture in the Lingfield Oaks trial and she just suddenly blossomed last autumn.
“I wasn’t that keen on running her at Newmarket in September when she won over a mile and a half but Peter [Savill] made me run her and he was right. And she got a bit of confidence and away we went.”
SECOND AGAIN FOR UNLUCKY ANGLOPHILE
Anglophile found one too good last season and found himself in the same position again this year, when he was beaten by Moonrise Landing in the 32Red All-Weather Marathon Championships, going down by half a length.
James Doyle, who will be on a 8.15pm flight to Dubai after he rides in the last at Lingfield, said: “He’s run a stormer again, he’s real tough character.
“I lost my pitch a little bit early because he didn’t travel that great. He moved into the race and got all the gaps down the hill and round the turn, but he was beaten by a decent mare on the day, something I think she will go on to show,” said Doyle of the 5/1 shot.
Trainer Andrew Balding was encouraged by Ballynanty, who finished third under Oisin Murphy.
“I’m very pleased,” said Balding of the 8/1 chance. “He just didn’t quite see out the race, he’s only a four-year-old so hopefully there is improvement in him. He was aimed at this, but plans are pretty open with him so will just have to see how the dust settles after this run.”
2.40pm £150,000 32Red All-Weather Marathon Championships, 1m 7f 169y
For four-year-olds and upwards who, after October 28, 2015, and before March 19, 2016, have run three times on a designated All-Weather surface in Great Britain, Ireland or France, OR have run three times during the Championship period, including twice on a designated All-Weather surface in Great Britain, Ireland or France AND have run at least once at Meydan (Dirt) OR have won an “All-Weather marathon Fast-Track qualifier” race. Weights: 4-y-o colts and geldings 9st; fillies 8st 9lb; 5-y-o and up colts and geldings 9st 5lb; fillies 9st. Maximum field of 14 (plus 2 reserves).
1) 2 MOONRISE LANDING (IRE) 5 9-00 Peter Savill Ralph Beckett Jim Crowley 6/5 Fav
2) 4 ANGLOPHILE 5 9-05 Godolphin Charlie Appleby James Doyle 5/1
3) 11 BALLYNANTY (IRE) 4 9-00 Richard Wilmot-Smith Andrew Balding Oisin Murphy 8/1
4) 5 FIRST MOHICAN 8 9-05 Henry Ponsonby Alan King Jimmy Fortune 16/1
5) 8 BLUE SURF 7 9-05 John Connolly & Partners Amanda Perrett Adam Kirby 20/1
6) 12 PEARL CASTLE (IRE) 6 9-05 Cosy Seal Racing Limited Karl Burke Dougie Costello 40/1
7) 13 ROYAL MARSKELL 7 9-05 Chantal Wootten Gay Kelleway Luke Morris 66/1
8) 6 SHALAMAN (IRE) 7 9-05 B J Hooper David Marnane IRE Pat Smullen 33/1
9) 9 JOHN REEL (FR) 7 9-05 Walters Plant Hire Ltd David Evans John Egan 12/1
10) 7 NOTARISED 5 9-05 Hugh Hart Mark Johnston Joe Fanning 6/1
11) 10 SUNBLAZER (IRE) 6 9-05 Norman Carter Kim Bailey William Twiston-Davies 14/1
12) 3 HANDSOME DAN (IRE) 10 9-05 Graham Brothers Racing P’ship Sarah Hollinshead Danny Tudhope 100/1
13) 11 MONALEEN (IRE) 5 9-00 Farranamanagh Ian Williams Silvestre de Sousa 25/1
Time: 3m 18.65s
Distances: ½, ½, 3½, 2½, ½, ¾, 5, ¾, ½, 12, 22, 15
Tote Win: £2.30 Places £1.40, £1.70, £2.30 Exacta: £8.10