Doncaster: Eagle soars for O’Meara
Open Eagle ended a fantastic season in fine style for trainer David O’Meara, romping to victory in the November Handicap on the final day of the flat season in Britain. O’Meara, who has enjoyed the most fruitful season of his fledgling career, watched in awe as his charge powered home to a facile victory under a canny ride from Danny Tudhope.
Tudhope had taken the brave decision of travelling out wide on the Montjeu gelding in search of better ground on a rotten day at Donny and it proved to be a master stroke as his charge cruised through the race before exploding towards the line. Open Eagle had only gotten into the race after winning at Redcar four days ago, but proved that that victory had taken nothing out of him as he powered through the very testing ground with ease.
It looked for a while that Jamie Spencer, having the final turf start of his brilliant career, would end on a high note with Dashing Star making the running and still travelling well passing the two pole. This is where Tudhope decided to move Open Eagle in from his wide route, joining Dashing Star in the middle of the track. When Tudhope pressed go, the response was immediate and the pair breezed clear to win by an amazingly easy 12 lengths.
Earlier on the card the Listed Wentworth Stakes went the way of the Michael Easterby trained Aetna who simply thrived in the mud. Despite coming into the race with fine form to back her up, including three victories on soft ground, Aetna was sent off a general 8/1 shot for the 6 furlong contest under Graham Gibbons.
She cruised into contention down the middle of the track and took control of the race entering the final furlong. From here she went clear under an urging Gibbons to record a 2 3/4 length victory from Lancelot Du Lac, with Spinatrix, who had beaten the winner at York last time, back in third.
The other Listed contest on the card, the Gillies Fillies Stakes went the way of the impressive Lady Tiana. Lucy Wadham’s 3yo was another to revel in the mud and cantered through the race before hitting the front in the closing stages and winning under a hands and heels ride from Graham Lee.
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: John Giles/PA Wire
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