Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Alpha, left, with Ramon A Dominguez aboard, and Golden Ticket, right, with jockey David Cohen up finishing in a Dead Heat for Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.
Alpha, left, with Ramon A Dominguez aboard, and Golden Ticket, right, with jockey David Cohen up finishing in a Dead Heat for Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.

Dead heat in Travers means Alpha is now firm for Breeders

Kiaran McLaughlin will now point Alpha to the Breeders Cup Classic and Questing to the Ladies Classic for Godolphin, writes Geoffrey Riddle.

Kiaran McLaughlin had never won the $1 million (Dh3.67m) Travers Stakes before Saturday night but even then he had to share it after Godolphin's Alpha crossed the winning line at Saratoga Racecourse in unison with Golden Ticket.

Although there had been a dead heat in the Grade 1 event in 1874, back then they used to have a run-off which neither McLaughlin nor his childhood friend and fellow trainer Kenny McPeek were keen to see occur.

"It's a dead heat but it goes in the 'W' column," the Godolphin handler said.

"It doesn't happen very often in a Grade 1, $1 million race, but we're all happy it happened today. At the wire, it was too close to call but we'll take a dead heat."

In winning the 10-furlong race Alpha created his own little slice of history by emulating his sire Bernardini, who had scored in the Travers having picked up the Jim Dandy Stakes in 2006.

Like Bernardini, Alpha will now be trained with the Breeders' Cup Classic, staged this year at Santa Anita on the first Saturday in November, firmly in mind.

Bernardini used the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park as his prep race before getting run down in the Classic by McLaughlin's Invasor at Churchill Downs but Alpha will take a different route.

"I have talked to Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, and Alpha is likely to race next in the $1m Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on September 22 and then the Breeders' Cup."

Alpha's maiden Grade 1 success augments Questing's victory last Saturday in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes and the Godolphin filly is also likely to be at Parx next month where she is being aimed at the $1m Cotillion. The Cotillion is restricted to fillies and with Alpha now in the frame for the Breeders' Cup Classic it is almost certain that Questing will contest the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.

With Godolphin's Willing Foe also winning the Ebor Handicap at York Racecourse in England on Saturday it has been quite a weekend for the organisation's founder, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE. The Ruler of Dubai became the new world endurance champion on the same day by winning in the FEI World Endurance Championships in England.

It was not all good news for the Al Maktoum family, however, as Newfangled, owned by Princess Haya, failed to recover from her pelvic injury sustained in the Lowther Stakes at York on Thursday and had to be put down.

Newfangled was among the favourites to win next season's English 1000 Guineas and was described by her trainer Jon Gosden as the fastest juvenile he had ever trained.


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament was kicking off at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday with plenty of excitement in store. Ravindranath K / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 kicks off in Abu Dhabi

The first match in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, was held at Zayed Cricket Stadium amid plenty of colour.

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike qualifies Al Jazira for last 16 of Asian Champions League

A dramatic late goal gave Al Jazira a 3-2 victory at Al Rayyan of Qatar in the Asian Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night and it was just enough to push Walter Zenga’s side into the knockout stages.

 Zayed Cricket Stadium had not witnessed so electrcic an atmosphere before Wednesday evening. Pawan Singh / The National

Packed house gathers in Abu Dhabi for Indian Premier League opener

In less than half a day, Zayed Cricket Stadium witnessed the force that is Indian cricket, with the sound drowning out the controversies that have dogged the Twenty20 tournament, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks down after being defeated during the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 16, 2014 in Valencia, Spain. David Ramos/Getty Images

Plenty of life still in Barcelona, says Gerardo Martino

Barcelona coach maintained his side can still return to their former glories after they were beaten 2-1 by a Gareth Bale-inspired Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

 Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, left, and Nico Rosberg at the official press conference following qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 15, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

F1: Toto Wolff says Mercedes have all the right ingredients in place

With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel, Mercedes have so far dominated the first three grands prix going into this weekend’s fourth round in China.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, left, reacts as Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on during their English Premier League football match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on April 16, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. AFP PHOTO/Andrew YATES

Poyet says ‘I am sure that Luis Suarez is going to be happy’ after Sunderland draw at Manchester City

Sunderland’s survival chances remain slim because now they face Chelsea away at the weekend but manager Gus Poyet insists they are not trying to benefit Liverpool or his fellow Uruguayan, Luis Suarez.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National