Disaster for Dettori ‘one of those unfortunate things’

 

The Greenham Stakes at Newbury was intended to be a classic trial, but an unexpected incident turned the race into a disappointment for punters. Chaldean, the top juvenile last season, was heavily backed to confirm his place in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. However, as the stalls opened, he was slightly hampered and his jockey, Frankie Dettori, was thrown to the ground. Isaac Shelby, trained by Brian Meehan, took advantage of the situation to win the race.

Chaldean won the Dewhurst Stakes last year and was still the second-favourite at 5-1 for the 2,000 Guineas despite his setback. Andrew Balding, who trains Chaldean for Juddmonte, said: “It was one of those unfortunate things, but I’m happy the horse seems fine and I hope Frankie is as well. We don’t normally bash into other horses at home – he’s ducked slightly right and hit another horse and Frankie has come off.”

Isaac Shelby, owned by Manton Thoroughbreds and racing in the Robert Sangster silks, had previously won the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket. Meehan has always had his eyes set on the Poule d’essai des Poulains, and the market moves for Isaac Shelby were related to the French Guineas. Meehan had been disappointed after Isaac Shelby’s flop in the Dewhurst Stakes and decided not to return to Newmarket until the horse was older and more mature.

Meehan said that Isaac Shelby was not the finished article and had more to come, despite the mishap at the Dewhurst.

“The French Guineas has always been the plan,” Meehan said. “I was spooked by Newmarket in the Dewhurst so I don’t want to go back there until he’s a little older and more mature. He was lame after that so we didn’t run in the Craven there this week and we’ll go to the French Guineas.

“I was gutted after the Dewhurst, so disappointed, but he wasn’t the finished article and there was so much more to come. It was only his third run and we had a mishap, but he’s back now. He seems to go on any ground, but it was probably quite holding today.”

Of the Chaldean incident, Meehan added: “That was unfortunate and nobody wants to see that. It’s a shame for Andrew, Frankie and Juddmonte.”

Sean Levey has seen enough ups and downs as a jockey so was willing to take the high of Isaac Shelby prevailing.

“I think Frankie’s horse stumbled leaving the gates, but my horse ran a blinder under the circumstances. I didn’t think they suited him,” he said “The first one being the ground, but the second one being Chaldean being loose, who lit me up and I ran keener for far longer than I’d have liked. There’s no doubt he’s quality though.”

The incident with Chaldean may have left some questions about his ability to perform at the Newmarket Classic. However, punters may have gained some clarity about Isaac Shelby’s quality from the race.

 

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On Saturday at Newbury, only three units out of 1,109 were successful in the Tote Placepot, resulting in a huge payout of £30,013 for a £1 stake. Despite no favourites winning, two short-priced favourites were unplaced, leaving just 349 units after the second leg and only 44 units remaining after the third leg, which was won by Isaac Shelby at odds of 15-2.

The BetGoodwin Spring Cup Handicap saw favourites perform to market expectations, but only 3.57 units remained after the 1m maiden when three outsiders filled the top three spots at odds of 12-1, 4-1 and 13-2.

The final dividend was paid out to just 3.06 units, with Tote+ customers receiving £31,514. The total pool size was £91,629.74.

Jamie Hart, spokesperson for Tote, said: “The whole idea of guaranteeing these big placepot pools was to generate the opportunity for placepot punters to win massive payouts. After two five-digit paydays at Cheltenham it’s great to see the pattern continuing into the Flat season with this £30,013 placepot at Newbury.”

At Ayr’s Scottish Grand National fixture, 2,587 units won the Placepot, with a payout of £102.99 for a £1 stake.

 

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