Perhaps not with a bang, but the Flat was back in Britain this weekend and it was Godolphin who were smiling at Doncaster as Secret Brief claimed the Betway Lincoln.
World Cup night in Dubai passed without a winner for either Saeed bin Suroor or Charlie Appleby, but the latter has softened that blow slightly by providing the best possible start to the domestic campaign in tandem with William Buick.
The race may also be remembered for a rare reverse for Ryan Moore in a tight finish on Bravo Zolo, with Secret Brief (12-1) claiming that scalp close home to win by a neck.
Recently-installed Godolphin racing supremo John Ferguson said: “It’s a lovely start for everybody in the team.
“This is a horse that has been trained in Dubai in the winter, so a perfect preparation from the sunshine of Dubai to heavy ground in Doncaster. He’s handled it really well and I was just impressed the way he travelled in the race.
“What we want is our horses to reach their potential, which they haven’t been doing, and this is a great start.
“We’ll have to see what the handicapper does on Tuesday before we make a plan.”
The day got even better for Godolphin as the royal blue silks were carried to an easy success in the Betway Doncaster Mile by Roger Varian’s Belardo (8-13 favourite) under James Doyle.
Victorious in the Dewhurst as a juvenile, he went winless last season but looks like he could have a profitable campaign this year.
Varian said: “He’ll go for the Sandown Mile next and he’s in the Lockinge (Newbury).”
Mick Channon’s Mobsta (8-1) was a relatively surprising winner of the Betway Cammidge Trophy for Silvestre de Sousa, while the Betway Spring Mile, for horses who failed to make the cut for the Lincoln, went to all-the-way winner Lord Of The Rock (20-1) for Michael Dods and Paul Mulrennan.
Mark Johnston has unleashed some hugely promising juveniles in the opening week of the season but Betway Brocklesby winner The Last Lion (4-5 favourite) could be as good as any of them.
Admittedly, the race lost its lustre when Wesley Ward’s American contender Create A Dream was pulled out on account of the ground but it was hard not to be impressed by the winner.
Andrea Atzeni enjoyed one of his most productive days in the saddle at Kempton with a 99-1 four-timer - highlighted by the victory of Kyllachy Queen in the Betfred Mobile Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes.
After steering Crazy Chic (4-1) home by a head for trainer Marco Botti in the Betfred “Home Of Goals Galore” Handicap, the Italian rider teamed up with stablemate Kyllachy Queen to take the feature race at the Sunbury circuit.
The 3-1 chance collared Volunteer Point in the dying strides to claim victory by a head to give Botti back-to-back wins in the Listed race after Lady Dutch had struck 12 months ago.
Lucie Botti, wife of the winning trainer, said: “She is entered in the Middleton (York) but that looks a hot race and it depends on her progress at home.”
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