GROUP VICTORY FOR SON OF FIRST DEFENCE

Taken from www.racinguk.com
By Geoffrey Riddle

Dundonnell proved his 12-length demolition last time out was no fluke by stepping up in class to take the Acomb Stakes at York on Wednesday.

Ridden by James Doyle with supreme confidence, Roger Charlton’s charge held off the sustained challenge of Steeler in the final furlong to take the Group 3 contest by three-quarters of length.

Afonso De Sousa, who was behind Dundonnell at Newmarket in July, was third for Aidan O’Brien.

“He jumped out and I tried to teach him a little bit,” Doyle told Racing UK. “I slipped him a bit of rein and I got there too soon but he toughed it out well. There were few runners and I feared it might be a tactical affair but it rode like a good race. He looks like he will get a mile, mile and a quarter next year.”

Dundonnell was cut to as short as 14-1 for next year’s 2,000 Guineas but was as big as 25-1 with Ladbrokes.

"A mile should be absolutely fine for him," Charlton said. "There's quite a lot of speed in his pedigree, so I don't think he's a mile-and-a-half horse.  I don't think there's any rush to make a plan. He obviously deserves to step up in grade, so that probably means a Group One race. A mile would suit him and fast ground suits him."

For owner Khalid Abdullah, whose breeding operation Juddmonte sponsors the International Stakes on the same card, it was a wonderful start to the day that saw his Frankel take centre stage. His pink, white and green silks were also carried by Noble Mission in the Great Voltigeur into fourth.

It was a first Group victory for FIRST DEFENCE, Dundonnell’s sire who was trained in America by Bobby Frankel, and Grimthorpe revealed that Juddmonte house a full sister to Dundonnell in Kentucky and an unraced filly called Alerted with Roger Charlton.

Alerted is entered at Warwick on Bank Holiday Monday.

O'Brien said of Afonso De Sousa: "He ran a lovely race. We're delighted with him and he might get a bit further."

 

Date: 22 August  2012