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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH FL, June 17, 2022 — Damn, how enjoyable was watching the Coronation Stakes, Frankie Dettori getting off the 2022 Royal Ascot duck and giving the great John Gosden his 60th winner Royal victory?

But it was a proud moment for American ship-in Spendarella, given a perfect pocket trip by William Buick. She gutted it out to finish second, overcoming the Group 1-winning leader Cachet to do so.

As they say, however, the undefeated filly that beat her, Inspiral, is one of those who just may breathe different air than most equines.

Last early, Dettori starting weaving his way forward, brushed a rival away to secure space on either side about a quarter mile from the post, and displayed a near-unbelievable turn of foot sprinting away at the end to win by daylight.

Not a bad season’s debut as Inspiral extended her undefeated streak to five.

Graham Motion was proud of his filly but really couldn’t hide his disappointment post-race. “Yes, we are proud of her, but I’d rather be in the winner’s circle,” Motion said. “Today she proved she’s a Grade 1 filly.”

Later, Motion said the mile trip is her best game and thankfully the U.S. turf season is about to heat up in earnest.

We’re thinking why not the G1 Fourstardave at Saratoga? Yes, it’s older males, just like those she would meet–good health and further development assumed–in the Breeders’ Cup Mile in November at Keeneland.

Obviously we’re a big fan of this miss. American males could be a tad softer than tackling Inspiral. Of course, both would be difficult tasks. We’re anxious to see how the rest of her season develops.


Big test for Graham Motion’s undefeated Spendarella and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf champion Pizza Bianca for Christophe Clement in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes, going as Friday’s 4th race.

Price and appearance will have to determine which way we will go but we have left five fillies open, from the inside-out: very game 1000 Guineas winner Cachet (9-2); undefeated Inspiral (9-5) for Team Gosden-Dettori.

Our list is completed with Pizza Bianca (15-1), Jose Ortiz in to ride; Sandrine (15-1), a winner here in the Albany at 2,and Spendarella, Motion tapping white hot William Buick for the assignment.

Still Talking About Yesterday’s Norfolk

It turns out that the stewards at Ascot are as inconsistent as racing officials in America.

How could well-named The Ridler not be disqualified for interference in the Norfolk Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup win-and-inner.

Brave Nation was totally eliminated, bumped and turned sideways, the other, Crispy Cat, reasonably was cost second place money.

Paul Hanagan is a veteran rider who should know better. The most egregious point to be made is that it sends a terrible signal.

Interference rules are interpreted differently in Britain. But what Hanagan did was, at minimum, dangerous. While the order of finish went unchanged, Hanagan still can get days for his actions.

It appeared unlikely that Hanagan’s actions cost the bothered horses the victory. But a strong argument can be made that the incident cost Crispy Cat second money.

Maybe this is one standard that Americans have right. Either way, the inaction by Ascot stewards sent a terrible message and set a bad taste for the rest of day’s events.

Insult to Injury

Royal Ascot stewards have suspended Paul Hanagan 10 days for careless riding aboard The Ridler, the huge upset winner of the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes for two-year-olds. The non-demotion, according to multiple foreign sources, was considered controversial and unpopular.

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