Progressive Tsar scores impressive success
The familiar colours of Khalid Abdullah were in the winner’s enclosure for the second race in succession when Tsar (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori, 9/4 Fav) registered his third success in five starts in the Betfred “Nifty Fifty” Handicap over the straight mile.
The three-year-old Kingman colt was slightly slow into stride and settled towards the rear of the field. He made rapid headway to take the advantage entering the final quarter mile and stayed on strongly inside the final furlong to score by a length and a half from Dance Fever (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby, 10/1).
Winning jockey Frankie Dettori said: “Tsar likes a bit of cover, from the wing I had to miss the break and, I will be honest with you, I did not give him the best of rides. I gave him a mountain to climb. He just took me into the race with ease and he got me out of trouble basically, but I thought it was a very good effort from where he was.
“He is very honest, he likes quick ground and he likes a target. He got all that today.
“He is ok, and has only run three or four times so he is learning all the time.”
Looking ahead to his big ride on Enable, also owned by Khalid Abdullah in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, Dettori continued: “I am nervous, excited, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel nervous, I am riding the best in the world on ratings. She is known around the world and everybody is tuning in to watch her.
“It is a shame we have not got a crowd and it is a shame there are only three of us, still Japan brings some great form to the table. The race at Sandown will make her a little bit fitter and I am excited. Twenty minutes to wait, let’s give it a go!
“The ground is quick, but we all have to race on it. There is a wonderful cover of grass. With this rain forecast Chris [Stickels], the clerk of the course, was in a very tricky position because if he watered and it rained, there is a chance of really loose ground. It is a wonderful cover, I am not going to criticise anyone.
‘There are three of us so if I am not leading, I will be second or third. I am not going to give anyway of my secrets!”
3.00pm Betfred “Nifty Fifty” Handicap
1 Tsar – John Gosden 3-9-05 Frankie Dettori 9/4 Fav
2 Dance Fever – Clive Cox 3-9-02 Adam Kirby 10/1
3 Evening Sun – Roger Charlton 3-8-13 Ryan Moore 11/4
Winner owned by Khalid Abdullah
Breeding: Kingman – Kilo Alpha (King’s Best (USA))
Breeder: Juddmonte Farms Ltd
Time: 1m 40.45s
Distances: 1½, 2¼
Tote: Win: £2.20 Places: £1.20 £1.50 £1.50 Exacta: £15.90