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Saddler’s Rock proves too strong for Opinion Poll

9 Sep 2011

The three-year-old raider from Ireland, Saddler's Rock, denied Opinion Poll his third straight victory in the QIPCO British Champions Series Long Distance division when winning this afternoon's Stobart Doncaster Cup.

Saddler’s Rock comes home a decisive winner of the Stobart Doncaster Cup.  Image courtesy of

Saddler’s Rock gave trainer John Oxx and jockey Niall McCullagh their first QIPCO British Champions Series victory when denying Opinion Poll his third Series win in today’s Stobart Doncaster Cup, the fifth race in the Long Distance division.

When Frankie Dettori cruised into the lead over two furlongs from home, the result appeared to be a formality.

McCullagh had other ideas, however, and as he stoked up Saddler’s Rock, the only three-year-old in the field began to motor into contention.

The distress signals were out for Opinion Poll approaching the final furlong and Saddler Rock swept into the lead soon after to record an impressive four length victory.

Opinion Poll’s second place boosted Frankie Dettori’s standing on the jockeys’ leaderboard – first or second place for Blue Bunting in tomorrow’s Ladbrokes St Leger will take him past Tom Queally at the top.

"He’s a very economical little horse and he only does what he has to," said the victorious jockey.

"When I gave him a squeeze three-out he took off but I didn’t want to get there too early.

"He finished his race off well and he’ll be a nice Cup horse next year."

Jimmy O’Neill, Oxx’s assistant, added: "He’s very relaxed, he just goes through the motions at home.

"He’s from the last crop of Sadler’s Wells, we’ve had a few but he’s the best.

"He’ll make a cracking Cup horse for next year and we might put him away now."

For the full race result, CLICK HERE.