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Maxfield bows out in style with resolute G1 Clark Stakes success


Maxfield enjoyed the perfect send-off as he maintained his faultless record at Churchill Downs, USA, with a determined victory in the G1 Clark Stakes on Friday, 26 November.

The son of Street Sense headed into his swansong before retiring to stand at Jonabell Farm having won all four of his previous appearances at the home of the Kentucky Derby, in addition to capturing the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland in 2019.

After breaking well, Maxfield soon settled in second of the eight runners as Travers Stakes runner-up Midnight Bourbon established a two-length advantage.

Maxfield took closer order with half a mile to race and the Brendan Walsh-trained four-year-old loomed up on the outside of Midnight Bourbon to press for the lead with three furlongs left.

Midnight Bourbon rallied at the top of the straight before Maxfield got the measure of his rival over a furlong from home.

Happy Saver closed strongly down the centre of the course soon after but Maxfield responded gamely for Jose Ortiz, finding more in the final stages to prevail by half a length.

Brendan Walsh said: “I am delighted that Maxfield got the job done and went out on a winning note. This is a very prestigious race and it was nice that he could win it. Hopefully, he can go on to have a great stud career. He has just been an unbelievable horse and I can’t say enough about him.

“Maxfield has been fantastic from the get-go, he’s come back from an injury and has been a great learning experience for all of us. He has helped me get out of bed in the mornings a lot in the last two years and it will be hard to find another one like him.

“It was fantastic to see Maxfield battle in the stretch. When he has won before, things have come easy to him, but he had to dig in today. Jose said that, when he felt Happy Saver come to his girth, Maxfield picked up again.

“It’s not just me but my whole team – he is a credit to them and the people at Godolphin, who have been fantastic through his whole career. I can’t thank everybody enough.”

Jose Ortiz added: “I knew that I had put Midnight Bourbon away and Maxfield gave me another gear when he felt Happy Saver coming. Brendan has done an amazing job with this horse and team Godolphin has been very patient. We are very happy that he goes out this way.”