The American Triple Crown won’t be won this year after Cloud Computing caused an upset in the Preakness Stakes, with Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming dropping out and finishing eighth.
Cloud Computing, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano, skipped the Derby and it paid dividends at Pimlico.
Always Dreaming was up the front again, as he was in the Kentucky Derby, but didn’t have the same energy this time, fading on the final turn while Cloud Computing proved too strong, running over the top of Classic Empire in front of a crowd of more than 140,000.
The final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, will be held on June 10.
Over in the UK, the major players continue to dominate the features with Godolphin taking out the Group One Lockinge Stakes with Ribchester on Saturday.
William Buick guided the Richard Fahey-trained four-year-old to victory, beating his main rival Galileo Gold at Newbury.
Ribchester beats Lightning Spear in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes pic.twitter.com/ddRZicyJcW— Newbury Racecourse (@NewburyRacing) May 20, 2017
Meanwhile on Sunday, star Coolmore juvenile Caravaggio extended his unbeaten run to five with a stunning return in the Group Three Lackan Stakes at Naas.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has described him as the quickest horse he’s ever had in the stable and, after a dominant four-and-three-quarter length victory, he’ll be heading towards the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
The Dante Festival was on at York during the week and the big guns didn’t miss out there either with the Queen tasting success in the Group Two Yorkshire Cup with Dartmouth, while the Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum-owned Permian took out the Group Two Dante Stakes and the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum-owned Tasleet won the Group Two Duke Of York Stakes.
The Queen's DARTMOUTH wins by a nose in an incredible finish to the Betway Yorkshire Cup pic.twitter.com/P7FLu6m3pM— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) May 19, 2017
Permian holds off Benbatl for a gritty victory in the Betfred Dante Stakes pic.twitter.com/7XfCiXPdn5— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) May 18, 2017
The Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes goes to Tasleet for Jim Crowley, William Haggas and owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum pic.twitter.com/bcT5FHJNs1— York Racecourse (@yorkracecourse) May 17, 2017
Speaking of big guns, champion racehorse Frankel enjoyed his biggest success as a stallion with Soul Stirring’s win in the Grade One Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) at Tokyo on Sunday.
It’s the first Classic winner for Frankel, who is starting to build an imposing record at stud, while Soul Stirring had also provided his first Grade One victory after saluting in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies last season.
The Kazuo Fujisawa-trained three-year-old started a 2.4 favourite and justified the price with an easy win, settling just off the pace and then responding to the urgings of jockey Christophe Lemaire, beating Mozu Katchan and Admire Miyabi.
A first crop Classic winner for FRANKEL as his daughter Soul Stirring wins the Japanese Oaks! pic.twitter.com/vkAMZGlI9f— Dubai Racing Channel (@DubaiRacingTV) May 21, 2017
Down in Australia, the terrific season of David Hayes’ Lindsay Park continued at Morphettville on Saturday with new stable acquisition Vega Magic proving too strong in The Goodwood at Morphettville on Saturday.
In shades of Redkirk Warrior’s Newmarket Handicap victory, the former West Australian speedster got a terrific ride from Craig Williams to take out the A$1 million Group One first-up, beating Missrock and Casino Wizard. The favourite Black Heart Bart never looked likely, finishing seventh.
Hayes now hopes to get Vega Magic a slot in the A$10 million Everest at Randwick in October.
The other Group One in Australia over the weekend was the Doomben Cup, with the Kris Lees-trained Sense Of Occasion prevailing with Corey Brown in the saddle.
And in this week’s edition of things you don’t want to see on a racecourse, here are two doozies.
Firstly, an example of how not to ride out a race, courtesy of Oisin Murphy.
Oisin Murphy, you lucky lucky boy. pic.twitter.com/7lafrIGIdj— Chris Ogle (@ChrisOgle2) May 16, 2017
And finally, if you’re going to have a fall, try not to get into this position. Amazingly, no serious damage done to anyone concerned.