Creative Force gets the better of Naval Crown in G3 Jersey Stakes
Tackling seven furlongs for the first time, Creative Force (James Doyle) was covered up towards the rear of a group led by Storm Damage (Andrea Atzeni) down the centre of the course, with Naval Crown (William Buick) heading the runners on the stands’ rail.
Creative Force quickened to take up the running on his side a furlong and a half from home and pressed Naval Crown for the overall advantage entering the final furlong, despite drifting towards the stands’ side.
Both sons of Dubawi battled for the lead, with Creative Force asserting as he straightened up in the closing stages for a length and a quarter verdict over his stable-companion.
It was a fourth straight victory this year and first Group-race success for Creative Force, whose only career defeat in six starts came in the G2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last season.
Charlie Appleby said: “We were hopeful on Creative Force’s pedigree and what he has shown us at home in his attitude that stepping up to seven furlongs would be within his realm, and he has gone and duly obliged today.
“James Doyle has given him a lovely ride. He knew he had to sit a bit patiently on him stepping up over this trip and on this ground, and as James said on his way in, a very brave horse. I’m delighted first and foremost for the team - it’s great to get a second winner on the board this week.
“Often people say, why do you run two horses together but you have got to give yourself the best chance of winning, and you’ve got two brave horses there. William Buick gave Naval Crown a great ride - he came out and said, I’d like to bag that rail and ride my race from there, and he did everything right. He just came up against a very willing character there coming up the middle in Creative Force, so I’m delighted to have the one-two.
“I think we’ll probably look at something like the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest, dropping back half a furlong to six and a half furlongs. Creative Force has bags of pace, travels and picks up well, so I think that will be a nice race there to suit his profile. Potentially, the likelihood is the same for Naval Crown - they might just have to take each other on again and see if we can reverse the form.”
James Doyle added: “I was quietly confident about Creative Force. You go back through his form and he has beaten two subsequent Royal Ascot winners. It was difficult for William as Creative Force and Naval Crown were closely matched - it was a big choice and it worked out for me today.
“Creative Force went through the ground, no problem. The draw was the only slight worry, especially with the lack of pace around us. But he's a brave horse and did it all by himself from two and a half furlongs, with no targets to follow, so full credit to him.
“Full credit to Charlie, I can't thank him enough. All his team have done a fantastic job and it's nice for us to have winners at these meetings.”