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Goldspur gets up in G3 Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes thriller


Goldspur continued an unbeaten start to his career as he produced a late rally to edge out Unconquerable and Hafit in a pulsating finish to the G3 Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes at Newmarket, UK, on Saturday, 9 October.

The Dubawi colt, an easy winner at Sandown Park on his only previous start for Charlie Appleby, led the field in the early stages of the 10-furlong contest for two-year-olds until stablemate Hafit took up a narrow advantage for William Buick after the first quarter-mile.

Unconquerable moved up to dispute the running with the Godolphin pair passing the three-furlong pole and the trio pulled clear of the rest of the field entering the final quarter-mile.

All three colts continued to battle for the lead throughout the final furlong, with Goldspur getting up in the final stride under James Doyle to beat Unconquerable by a head, with a further short-head back to Hafit in third.

Charlie Appleby said: “Full credit to the team back at home, who have done a great job in getting Goldspur back to where he needs to be. We went to Epsom with him but he decided to put both front feet over the stalls, which was an automatic withdrawal. He passed his stalls test with flying colours and behaved himself today.

“He is a nice homebred with a nice staying page. He was impressive on very soft ground at Sandown – the race didn’t particularly work out but he could do no more than what he did again today.

“Goldspur has only really come to hand of late and it’s all about next year with him. We will start looking at some of the Derby trials in the spring but they all have a long winter ahead of them. He definitely has the page for a Derby contender and is doing nothing wrong at the moment, bar that little blip at Epsom which has been ironed out.”

James Doyle said: “I was pretty certain that I had won and didn’t feel it was as tight as maybe it looked. Goldspur has done well – he really surprised us at Sandown because he had been sleeping in his work and we didn’t know what to expect. He put in a pretty good performance that day, although the form has been knocked a few times since.

“He had a bit of a mishap at Epsom Downs, when he got upset in the stalls, but he was much better in the preliminaries today and stood in the gates fine. He is a relentless galloper who sleeps at home, which is not a bad way to have them.

“He is a fine, big horse who should develop over the winter and it will be interesting to see which way he is campaigned next season.”