Elbrus Cup 2007
Дата 23/11/2007 18:10:00 | Тема: English
|The 2007 Flat season in Moscow ended on the 9th of September and main action shifted to the South. The same day Nalchik Racecourse hosted the second edition of the Elbrus Cup meeting. |
The City of Nalchik Stakes for 2-year-olds was turned into a one horse race by a Catienus filly named So Cat who was previously unbeaten in four starts in Nalchik, but once disqualified through an interference. She has beaten colts in the First Crown Stakes course and distance in July and here appeared a clearcut favorite. She dictated the pace throughout the race and didn't let anyone approach closer than by 4½ lengths. She is certainly the best juvenile of Nalchik of 2007.
The Southern Federal District Cup for Russian bred 3-year-olds brought to post a capacity field of 16 runners, 7 of which were fillies. Favoritism went to the Nalchik Oaks form: winner Taiwanka (also scored in the Nalchik 1000 Guineas), runner-up Doverie and fourth place taker Uhta. Another fancy was highly regarded colt Summer Bloom who finished fourth in the Nalchik Derby. However none of these managed to menace as another filly Guf representing Moscow form has hit the front in the backstretch. Guf outstayed opposition and was well clear in the homestretch when the local hero Puert engaged pursuit. A gap was pretty big, but Puert, unhurried at the beginning, bridged it and went past Guf to score by a length. Puert was a champion 2-year-old of Nalchik in 2006, in 2007 he finished a worthy runner-up to Exclusive Pride in the local 2000 Guineas and Anilin Stakes. Unfortunately he was forced to miss the Derby due to outbreak of equine influenza.
Country's best milers lined up in the President of Kabardino-Balkariya Stakes over 2000 meters: the leading elder campaigner and reigning winner Brief Floyd was challenged by Moscow Guineas taker Quiet Royal (also third in the Russian Derby) and Nalchik Guineas winner Exclusive Pride. Another local star to be considered was a German bred Allez Dragon who finished third in the Guineas, Anilin Stakes and Derby. A real pacer Brief Floyd is very hard to catch when let lead, but it is said that on the other hand he is a type that can't withstand a face-off. So this was obviously a plan of Sergey Petin aboard Quiet Royal who tried to wear Brief Floyd down right after start. The pace was very fast and obviously the plan didn't work as it was Quiet Royal to drop back in the backstretch. Brief Floyd stayed well to finish with a 4½ lengths advantage over Allez Dragon, followed by a consistent performer Exter and Exclusive Pride. It was another impressive manifest of Brief Floyd's domination in 1600-2000 meters division and it is a real shame that he hadn't qualified for the 2007 President of Russia Stakes back in June.
The day's least competitive race was the 450th Anniversary of Kabardino-Balkaryia's Joining Russia Stakes over 3200 meters. It was won easily by last year's Russian Derby taker Djasil which by the way was his first ever since. There were no horses able to make him sweat, but on the other hand it was clear that he has hugely improved since the unimpressive Moscow campaign.
A number of very good horses all over Russia took part in the day's feature the Elbrus Cup over 2400 meters. Established Goal, hugely improved by then, is certainly a very talented horse, but his Moscow campaign was mainly disappointing. Only by August he finally progressed to winning the City of Moscow Stakes, but of course he should have run in the Derby. His stablemate Peregrine Falcon scored two decent wins in Moscow, but failed in the Derby reflecting that he would prefer it shorter. Also Moscow form was represented by two prolific elder performers: Grey Fox and Edison.
Nalchik was well represented by two leading elder horses: Aley and Zolsk as well as a 3-year-old Rezuan-Ai who scored in the Krasnodar Derby a fortnight ago. By the way, three top horses of Krasnodar: Atlas, Mentik and Abrek were also running. This was a truly run race from start to finish: Aley was setting a strong pace trying to capitalize on his track experience. Established Goal was asked to quicken in the backstretch which seemed a little too early, he moved to second and joined Aley. In the final stretch Established Goal has hit the front, but then was tackled by Mentik. With just a furlong left to go Established Goal managed to fight back and lead again, but suddenly a 3-year-old Chasing Spy after being kept off the pace emerged flying to get past him in the dieing strides to score by a half length.
This was a very spectacular race and a very worthy winner. Chasing Spy had scored in the Season Opening Stakes in Nalchik in May, but did not run since June due to equine influenza. Now he is scheduled to join a Moscow stable and run in the country's top races next year which he certainly deserves.