sport

Gosden hits front in title bid

John Gosden scored a Listed-race double as part of a treble on the first day of Newmarket's Cambridgeshire meeting.

The hat-trick took the Newmarket handler past Aidan O'Brien and into the lead in the Flat trainers' championship standings.

Gosden has amassed unquestionably his strongest squad since he returned to Britain in 1989, but admitted that any thoughts of a first title must wait until next month's enormously valuable British Champions Day at Ascot.

One of his winners on the Rowley Mile, Caucus, could be part of a formidable challenge from Clarehaven Stables on October 20 while Gallipot's owner Lady Rothschild has other notable horses at Gosden's disposal.

He usurped O'Brien after the progressive Gallipot (7-2 favourite) came two and a quarter lengths clear of Albamara for her first victory at Listed level in the Princess Royal Richard Hambro EBF Stakes. She carries the same colours as Great Heavens, a contender for the British Champions Fillies' And Mares' Stakes.

"We've been top of the table before but been shuffled back to second, Stoutey (Sir Michael Stoute) came past us in the final furlong one year," Gosden said.

"You'd better ask me about that (the title) after October 20.

"Gallipot has come right through the ranks and has improved again. She'll make a nice Group race filly next year."

Caucus (12-1) appeared for the first time since a weak effort in the Ascot Gold Cup when driven out for the same winning distance in the Listed Jockey Club Rose Bowl.

"He didn't stay at Ascot and pulled a muscle, but he has come back really well," Gosden said.

"He's in the staying race on Champions Day, and we'll take a look at that."

Hezmah (100-30) and Paul Hanagan rounded Gosden's afternoon off nicely with victory in the concluding British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing E.B.F. Fillies' Handicap.

What 10-times champion trainer Stoute would give for a few of Gosden's horses, but he could have unearthed a potential colt for next year's Investec Derby in Telescope.

The 8-13 favourite finished second on his debut at Ascot and needed only to be given a brief reminder by Richard Hughes to take the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing E.B.F. Maiden Stakes by two and a quarter lengths.

There was a discernible buzz about the trainer's first winner on the Rowley Mile course for 712 days, with Coral offering 20-1 for next year's Epsom Classic and Ladbrokes as short as 16s.

"He's a big horse with lots of scope," said Stoute. "He has run two very promising races and as he's out of a Darshaan mare by Galileo, he should get further.

"I don't know if you'll see him again this year. He's in the Racing Post Trophy, but I wouldn't commit myself to that."

Hong Kong-based owner Ronald Arculli was on hand to see Ed Dunlop's Red Avenger (13-2) win the Cambridge News Excellent Horseracing Coverage Nursery in the colours of last year's Emirates Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux.

"It was a good performance by a two-year-old to win down the middle of the track, I'm very happy with him," said Arculli.

"I think he's earned his rest for the year now."

Charlie Hills' Basseterre (4-1) prevented Boogie Shoes from recording back-to-back victories in the Arkle Finance Handicap.