DONCASTER, ENGLAND // Mickael Barzalona will embark on a stint riding in Japan this week without a success at the highest level in Britain this year after Pinzolo put up a disappointing effort in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy on Saturday afternoon behind impressive winner Kingston Hill.
Confidence was high in the Godolphin camp that Pinzolo might extend his unbeaten sequence to three, but by halfway the writing was on the wall and Andrea Atzeni guided Kingston Hill to a four-and-a-half length win from Aidan O’Brien’s Johann Strauss.
Johnny Murtagh’s year of wonder continued when he rode Altruistic, the horse he trains, to third, while Pinzolo was 10th of 11.
Barzalona has not won a Group 1 race for Godolphin since partnering Certify to victory in the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last season, although he did win the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly in June on Richard Hannon’s Havana Gold.
Charlie Appleby, who trains Pinzolo, also has Outstrip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita, California on Friday but American jockey Mike Smith will partner the grey colt.
Barzalona will head east and will remain in Japan until the end of December before travelling to Dubai in preparation for the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
For Atzeni, the victory on Kingston Hill was his maiden Group 1 victory in Britain and caps a remarkable season which has seen him ride for the majority of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum’s horses in Britain.
“He’s a dream horse to ride really, he settles and is so laid-back,” Azteni said. “He’s a top-class horse and he’s definitely the best I’ve been on so far.”
Four of the last 10 winners of the Racing Post Trophy went on to secure the English Derby at Epsom the following year, but trainer Roger Varian said that the English 2,000 Guineas might be a logical stepping stone for the winner.
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