Times Up right on cue for Dunlop

Times Up was a fairytale winner for soon-to-retire John Dunlop when putting up a classy staying performance in the Stobart Doncaster Cup.

The Arundel handler announced on Thursday he plans to bring his long and illustrious training career to an end when the curtain comes down on the current Flat season in November.

Times Up (5-1) has been one of his stable stars over the past couple of seasons and he followed on from where he left off at York where he lifted the Lonsdale Cup.

Ridden patiently by Eddie Ahern, the six-year-old moved smoothly to take the lead heading inside the final furlong and he galloped all the way to the line to beat the staying-on High Jinx by a neck.

Dunlop said: “He’s a good staying horse and he’s got a very appropriate name too.

“Fairytales don’t usually happen, only nasty ones, so I’m delighted.

“He was always going well throughout. He’s not getting any younger, like me, but there’s more mileage in him.

“I don’t think he’ll go to Ascot (on Champions’ Day) as he’s better going the other way round really.

“He could go for the Prix du Cadran – he ran well at Longchamp last year.”

Sir Graham Wade could be a Cup horse for next season after he supplemented success at Haydock on Saturday in the Ladbrokes Mallard Handicap.

A 6lb penalty made no difference to Mark Johnston’s young grey as he came out on top in a steadily-run race over the full St Leger course.

Kieren Fallon had the 9-4 favourite handily placed before hitting the front and then hanging on by a neck from the evergreen Nanton.

The victory was a relief to Johnston’s wife and assistant Deirdre, as she made the decision to let the grey take his chance.

“I’m very relieved it all worked out. I wasn’t sure if he should be running again,” she said.

“He’s our dream horse for the Cup races next year. He’s a stayer in the making.”

Certify maintained her 100% record with a battling head verdict over Purr Along in the Barrett Steel May Hill Stakes.

The 4-6 shot, ridden by Mickael Barzalona, gave Godolphin their third straight victory in this Group Two test, but it was a close call as Purr Along made her pull out all the stops.

There was just a head between them at the post with eight lengths back to the third, Light Up My Life.

Winning trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni said: “They went a slow pace and usually when it’s like that, the one in front keeps going. She got there and battled on well.

“There are two options for her – France and Newmarket. We will aim for Newmarket (the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile). That is in two weeks’ time.

“If she needs more time she will go to Longchamp (for the Prix Marcel Boussac) as that is in three weeks.”

Sir Prancealot will bid for a first success at the top level in Newmarket’s vision.ae Middle Park Stakes after gaining a smooth win in the Group Two Polypipe Flying Childers Stakes.

Dropped back down to five furlongs for the first time since winning Sandown’s National Stakes in May, the 7-4 favourite was brought through the pack with a perfectly-timed run by Johnny Murtagh to score by half a length from Bungle Inthejungle.

“He deserved it. We’ve taken on Reckless Abandon twice. He beat all the rest in the Prix Morny, but just got tired going to the line,” said trainer Richard Hannon’s son and assistant Richard Hannon jnr.

Ashdan followed in the hoofprints of Frankel as he made it two wins from as many starts in the Khalid Abdullah silks in the Rossington Hall Conditions Stakes.

Just as the world’s highest-rated racehorse had done two years ago, Ashdan arrived on Town Moor on the back of a solitary Newmarket maiden victory and the 4-5 favourite got home by a length and a half from No Jet Lag in the hands of William Buick.

Trainer John Gosden said: “He’s a young horse and has a lot to learn. He was keen early on and got no cover on the outside, but won nicely and will learn a lot from today.

“He’s well-entered and we could look at races like the Dewhurst and the Racing Post Trophy and take it one step at a time.”

Gosden and Buick doubled up with Dick Doughtywylie (7-2), owned and bred by Gosden’s wife Rachel Hood, in the Frank Whittle Partnership Classified Stakes.

The William Haggas-trained Cape Classic (9-1) was a ready length-and-three-quarter winner of the Willie McKay Sports Management Handicap under Adam Beschizza.

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