Pallasator lands Doncaster Cup
11 Sep 2015
Pallasator gained an overdue first success at Group level when taking the Doncaster Cup on day three of the St Leger meeting.
Pallasator (right) won the Doncaster Cup for Andrea Atzeni
Six-year-old gelding Pallasator, third in last year’s British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot, had struggled to find his best this season but recaptured it at the perfect time to take the Doncaster Cup from Clondaw Warrior.
It was a closely-contested renewal of Doncaster’s long-standing staying prize, with half a dozen contesting favouritism before Pallasator came for late money to go off the 9/2 favourite. After his stablemate William of Orange had made the running, Pallasator was presented to lead three furlongs out and, once kicked on, was always likely to hold off the closers.
Several emerged from the pack to try to run him down. Handicap stalwart and former Chester Cup winner Suegioo was the most eye-catching down the outside, with Fun Mac, who’d been subject to exaggerated waiting tactics by Robert Havlin early on, following him through.
As it became clear they weren’t quite getting there, Clondaw Warrior under Frankie Dettori broke through as a final challenger. He was still closing at the line, but the gap remained at three-quarters of a length, with the same back to Suegioo.
Pallasator is owned by Qatar Racing Ltd., whose links to the QIPCO British Champions Series are all but certain to see him contest the Long Distance Cup once more come October 17. Sheik Fahad Al-Thani said after the race: “The hardest races to win are on [QIPCO British] Champions Day. To win there would be amazing.”
Given his exploits last year, Pallasator must return to Ascot with some sort of chance of making his owner’s wish come true. That represented a career-best effort for him on Timeform ratings, however, and his victory over a field of largely handicappers at Doncaster is unlikely to represent a huge step up on that. If he is to win, trainer Sir Mark Prescott will need to bring him to a peak again in little over five weeks’ time.