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Times Up wins his second Series race

14 Sep 2012

There could not have been a more fitting winner of this afternoon's Stobart Doncaster Cup than Times Up, on the day after his trainer, John Dunlop, announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season after 46 years.

John Dunlop greets his dual QIPCO British Champions Series winner, Times Up, after the six-year-old won the Stobart Doncaster Cup this afternoon. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Yesterday John Dunlop announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season after a gloriously successful training career and today he saddled Times up to win the Stobart Doncaster Cup in game style.

The six-year-old stayer is in the form of his life having landed his first QIPCO British Champions Series race last month when he ran away with the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup at York.

Today he became the first horse to register two wins in the Long Distance division, leaving two previous race winners, Colour Vision and Saddlers Rock, trailing in his wake.

At York he defeated the fast improving James Fanshawe-trained stayer, High Jinx, by two and a quarter lengths and this time they were again first and second, but there was only a neck between them on this occasion with High Jinx finishing to great effect.

Hurricane Higgins was third and the sole three-year-old in the line-up, Repeater, was fourth.

Saddler’s Rock and Askar Tau, first and second in the Artemis Goodwood Cup, were fifth and sixth, while the Gold Cup winner, Colour Vision, led over three furlongs but faded inside the final furlong to finish seventh.

Last year’s Ladbrokes St Leger winner, Masked Marvel, was a big disappointment finishing a remote eighth.

The delighted winning trainer said: "I’m thrilled.

"He’s a good staying horse and he’s got a very appropriate name too. Mind, it’s not the end yet!

"He was travelling very well up the straight but I was a bit worried as they went no pace at all.

"He was very relaxed and he’s quickened up well. He’s in very good form.

"I’ve had a lot of luck here, won this race, the Leger and the November Handicap a few times, in fact this horse won the November Handicap."

The winning jockey, Eddie Ahern, said: "I said before the race wouldn’t it be fantastic if he could go out on a big one – this feels like a big one.

"The key to him is he travels so well. In the last three furlongs everything was under control.

"He was giving me a really good feel and was filling me with confidence.

"It was just a matter of waiting for the furlong pole to really let him go and see what was there.

"I’ve given him a couple of backhanders and he’s picked up. He’s galloped to the line.

"It’s a pity I came to England 10 years ago. If I’d have come 20 years ago I might have got to see all John’s amazing horses.

"Since I came here he’s been a massive supporter, always stuck by me. I never got jocked off a horse."