2009 is the second year when Russian Jockey Club (National Gallop Racing Society) is organizing Russian Breeders’ Cup Series and the 6th of September became event’s finale. Due to the climate conditions the Flat Season in Moscow is very short: from mid May to early September and then gallop activities move to the South.
Day’s major event Nikolay N.Nasibov Cup (2400 meters) is the main “comparison” Stakes race for 3yo and up, an analog to King George VI or Prix de l’Arc. Despite the small field of just six runners it had everything required for generations’ face-off. The classic generation was represented by Russian Derby’s first, fourth and fifth, respectively Static Memory by Malibu Moon, homebred Sebin by Entrepreneur (standing now in the Voskhod Stud) and Record Holder by Giant’s Causeway. Veterans’ community delegated first, third and fourth in the Minister of Agriculture Stakes (2400m): Grey Fox by Formal Gold, Barguzin by Linamix and Galiego by Greben. Key absentee (currently not sound) was of course Donskoi Stud’s Monomakh by Mineshaft, winner of the President of the Russian Federation Stakes (2400m) in July, here duly substituted by stablemate Galiego, third to Monomakh in President’s Event and in fact beating Royal Ascot winner Bronze Cannon in fourth on that occasion.
Deep going of the Moscow 1800 meters dirt track always makes a mile and a half race a real staying contest with tactics a bit similar to US dirt races, when battle for the lead starts after half way and one staying off the pace has nearly no chance. Galiego has hit the front right away like he always does, followed closely by Static Memory and Barguzin. Galiego managed to wear down his opponents, but not Static Memory, who accelerated with 500 meters to go and took over the lead to score by two lengths from Galiego, followed by Sebin, Record Holder, disappointing Gray Fox and Barguzin. The winner clocked 2.41,2.
Static Memory is by Malibu Moon and out of a Conquistador Cielo mare Smart Catch. The champion is owned by Volgograd Stud (country’s biggest stud owning about 75 broodmares, both breeding and importing horses), trained by Nikolay Ischenko and ridden by the champion jockey Magomet Kappushev. Static Memory’s form this year includes seven starts in Moscow, Pyatigorsk and Rostov with five wins and one third, along with the Derby and Nasibov Cup he prevailed in the Anilin Stakes (2000m), a Derby prep similar to Dante Stakes or Derby Trial.
3yo fillies competed in the First Lady Stakes over 2000 meters and the disposition here appeared be like in the Nasibov Cup. The small line-up of just five runners made up a race, again turned into a showdown of Volgograd and Donskoi. Central Moscow Hippodrome Stakes winner Batistana by Turbo Storm (full brother to High Yield) bred in Donskoi Stud set a strong pace, trying to exhaust Volgograd’s Russian 1000 Guineas winner Besamela by Singspiel. However, this didn’t work and Besamela passed Batistana in front of the grandstand to win by two and a half lengths. Third was Volgograd’s Slender Miss by Malibu Moon, followed by Active Lemon by Lemon Drop Kid and tailed-off Kodori by Yes It’s True. Race’s time was 2.12,1.
English bred Besamela is by Singspiel and out of Argentinean Gr.1 winner La Belga by Roy. In training with the former champion jumps jockey Khusey Kasayev (who had participated in England vs Ireland vs Russia challenges in the UK in early 90-s) she was ridden again by Magomet Kappushev. She could have become the champion in the distaff division making a decent bid by taking the Guineas, Struna Stakes (1400m similar to Nell Gwyn Stakes) and First Lady Stakes, but Ramzan Kadyrov’s unbeaten Tam View by Distant View had proved too good for all fillies in the country. Tam View dominated in the Oaks and National Horsebreeding Union Stakes, while Besamela finished second in both these contests.
Another attraction of the day was the Mediterranean Horseracing Union Cup, the leg of international jockeys’ challenge, featuring riders from France, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and Croatia. And if two previous victories were not enough, Magomet Kappushev scored another one here aboard a Tiznow colt Lutyj owned by Edouard Mordukhovich and Valentin Bukhtoyarov, who enjoyed success in a listed event at Longchamp the same night.
But Magomet appeared all-conquering that afternoon. Next time it was the draw organized by Goffs and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing granting its winner with a trip to the Goffs Orby Sale and Goffs Millions Stakes. Draw was held by the Irish Ambassador Philip McDonagh, ITM’s Chief Executive Michael O’Hagan and Goff’s Marketing Manager Joey Cullen.
Winter Favorite Stakes (1600m, similar to Racing Post Trophy) for entire colts attracted eleven runners and proved to be very competitive. Donskoi Stud sent Yaropolk by Smarty Jones and Zlatoust by Malibu Moon to the post, Volgograd had Ferry Drive by Dynaformer, but the one fancied here turned out to be Magas by El Corredor after scoring in a maiden in great style under Magomet’s younger brother Myrzabek Kappushev. Shovgenovskiy Food Industries Company had three runners here: Pharaon by Johannesburg, Legion El by El Prado and Mimi’s Dream Boy by Medaglia d’Oro, each still a maiden. However in the homestretch Legion El found enough to overpower favorite Magas and score vigorously by six lengths.
Legion El is by El Prado and out of an Our Emblem mare Upupandaway, his form this year is made of two starts and in both he finished a good runner-up to good horses, in particular to the champion 2yo Golden Kaskad (by Tale Of The Cat) in V.O.Vitt Memorial Stakes. Being a typical El Prado, big and strong, Legion El looks like a major threat for next year’s Classics. He belongs to by the first year owner Shovgenovskiy Food Industries Company, in training with Sergey Perederiy and ridden by Vitaliy Markov.
Now, when the Moscow Flat Season is finished, the next major national meeting will take place on the 27th of September in Pyatogorsk (on the Fibersand), which will feature domestic group 1 races: First Crown Stakes for 2yo’s and Champions’ Cup for horses 3 and up.