Harry Dunlop announced he was quitting training last month but is now leaving in style thanks to a remarkable success with the unconsidered 40-1 shot Polly Pott in the prestigious May Hill Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting on Thursday.
The filly was available at 100-1 on the morning of the Group Two contest but believed her odds and lowly rating with victory under Danny Tudhope, riding her for the first time.
A tearful Dunlop was in shock afterwards and told ITV Racing: “It’s extraordinary. She’s a tough filly and has got better and better winning her fourth race in a row but I didn’t think we should do that. The softer ground can always slow the others down and it suited her. We’ll have to think about a Group One [race] now but I don’t know which one. Maybe the Fillies’ Mile, why not?”
He added: “I’m really pleased for all my team at home. Obviously in my personal circumstances it’s a great sending off and I think someone is looking down – it’s quite emotional. It’s surreal really. I’ve only got 12 horses and they’re running well. We’re lucky enough to have horses like this and it’s very hard when you haven’t got them, but you’ve got to enjoy them when you do get one. She cost 21,000 guineas and you’re taking on these smartly-bred fillies that cost half a million. It’s great to beat them.
Tudhope was equally surprised and said: “She tries her heart out. I think [the owners] were placed hoping to come here today and get but fair play to Harry and the team.”
Adayar made the perfect return to action after nearly a year off the track with a smooth win in the Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Conditions Stakes. The first horse for 20 years to win the Derby and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the same season last year, the Frankel colt then went on to finish fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
He was last seen when disappointing in the Champion Stakes just 13 days after his French run and for various reasons had been off the track since.
Having picked up a cough in the spring which caused him to lose condition, he missed the Coronation Cup, Royal Ascot, the Eclipse and the Juddmonte International and trainer Charlie Appleby was relieved to get him back on the track.
Paddy Power cut the winner to 8-1 from 14s for the Champion Stakes and to 16s from 20 for the Arc.
Mimikyu put a disappointing display at York well behind her with a smooth success under Frankie Dettori in the Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes.
Trainer John Gosden said: “We thought she would win the Galtres well, but unfortunately she got stacked three wide all the way and pulled, pulled, pulled.” Considering future plans, he added: “She’s in the Prix Royallieu on the Saturday of Arc weekend at Longchamp, or we could go for the Group One on Champions Day, which funnily enough her sister Journey won [in 2016].”
The third day of the Leger meeting at Doncaster, along with the rest of the racing scheduled for Friday, has been abandoned as a mark of respect following the death of the Queen.
The British Horseracing Authority will make a further announcement on Friday as to when racing will resume, together with additional information detailing how the sport will continue to mark the passing of the monarch.