Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

Godolphin’s Earthlight makes it five wins from five starts with success at Newmarket

Andre Fabre-trained colt staves off Golden Horde challenge to clinch Group 1 Middle Park Stakes

Jockey Mickael Barzalona on Earthlight after winning the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. Press Association
Jockey Mickael Barzalona on Earthlight after winning the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. Press Association

Godolphin’s Earthlight stretched his winning streak to five from five starts after tasting success in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Trained in France by Andre Fabre, the two-year-old son of Shamardal – under Mickael Barzalona – beat Golden Horde by a neck over the 1,200m trip.

King Neptune, one of the three Aidan O’Brien runners in the eight-horse field, set the early pace.

Barzalona settled Earthlight in sixth and began to make progress past the halfway mark before challenging for the lead.

“I was very confident all the way as Earthlight was travelling easily and I knew there was something under the saddle,” Fabre said in the post-race interview.

“I definitely see him as being able to get a mile in the future and, with his pedigree, I think he could even go a bit further.”

With his latest success, Earthlight joins another Godolphin horse Pinatubo – trained by Charlie Appleby at Newmarket – as the two leading candidates for next year’s 2000 Guineas.

Pinatubo is also undefeated in five starts having won the Group 1 Vincent O'Brien National Stakes in his last start at the Curragh on September 15.

“We will now look at preparing him for the 2000 Guineas next year,” Fabre said of Earthlight.

“He will now go back home to eat well and sleep, as he usually does. I have been fortunate enough to have trained some great two year olds including Zafonic, who was a machine. Earthlight is a different sort of horse but is very exciting.”

Fabre has previously won the Middle Park Stakes with Lycius (1990) and Zieten (1992).

Barzalona was naturally pleased with Earthlight and saw him as an improved horse.

We have not gone beyond six furlongs with Earthlight, but I think he would stay a mile.

Jockey Barzalona

“He travelled easily,” he said. “I had some cover for the first furlong and I was very pleased with how nicely he won in the end.

“At the moment, we have not gone beyond six furlongs with Earthlight, but I think he would stay a mile.

“I have been lucky enough to ride some top-class two year olds and Earthlight is the best. He really is very good.”

The Dubai-owned runners missed out on the Group 1 double after Raffle Prize was beaten by outsider Millisle in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.

Raffle Prize, runner-up to Earthlight in the Prix Morny at Deauville last month, looked like a winner until Shane Foley found an extra gear on the Jessica Harrington-trained filly in the final 100m to win by a length and three-quarter.

Updated: September 28, 2019 08:32 PM

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