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Smart Call Unplaced

Daughter of Ideal World battles as Shamreen makes all

2016 J&B Met winner Smart Call failed to deliver the goods when contesting  the Gr2 Moyglare ‘Jewels’ Blandford Stakes on Day 2 of the 2017 Longines Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh on Sunday.

Smart Call – seen winning the Met

While the daughter of Ideal World has managed decent placed efforts – including  catching the eye with a third in the Gr2 Betfred Middleton Stakes during the Dante festival at York and a fair fourth behind Qemah in the Gr2  Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Ascot – she is yet to win outside of South Africa.

Smart Call made her Irish debut in the Gr1 Pretty Polly Stakes on 2 July, running just off the pace before being unable to find any extra over the final furlong to finish mid-field. She crossed the Channel to France on 20 August to line up for the Gr1 Darley Prix Jean Romanet  at Deauville.  She suffered a heavy bump at the top of the straight, but regrouped gamely to finish 1 1/2 lengths 4th behind Ajman Princess. That prep suggested she would have a decent chance in the Blandford.

With Donnacha O’Brien in the saddle on Sunday, Jessica Slack’s smart mare raced wide on the turn as Shamreen made all and was right there until about 200m out when she started fading and she eventually finished unplaced and six lengths behind the winner.

She is now trained by Sir Michael Stoute and it was her fifth start overseas



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7 comments on “Smart Call Unplaced”

  1. Smart Call has run in a number of races in England, Ireland and France with no success, not even a Gr 2. Having won the Gr1 Met in South Africa and beating our champion colt, does that not cast a big question mark on the quality of our race horses. She has been ridden by any number of jockeys and even had our local champion jockey flown out to partner her. Why not send the successful Met jockey, JP van der Merwe to ride her, he may just have the necessary affinity to coax the best out of her. Some horses run best for some jockeys.

  2. maker is probably correct – perhaps, putting it into football terms, our horses are Championship rather than Premier League material.
    The most disappointed person watching Sunday’s race must have been Alec Laird who told me a few weeks back that he felt the Yorkshire Oaks at the big York meeting was the right race for Smart Call.
    Strange – with so many top UK jocks around – that Sir Michael Stoute should choose Aidan O’Brien’s son, Donnacha, who has limited big race experience.
    Mary and Jessica Slack now have to decide whether to give her another season (I think I would) or have her covered over there by a top stallion.

  3. I think she ran well I France on better ground on a flatter course. She got taken out coming into the straight and ran on well.

    I just think the way our horses run in SA is completely different to the undulating courses with soft/yielding going that the UK horses are adept at. Running in Dubai/Australia/USA she would probably beat many of these she is running behind, even though the competition is indeed stronger.

    As for her Met performance, it was special, but on form up until that run there was never any suggestion that she had the ability to do that, to that field . All the brilliant fillies of her generation failed against the colts over classic distances except for that 1 run. So may have been flattering even though there is no doubt she was improving at the time and it was pretty special.

    1. Ratings tell a story.
      In May she ran 111.
      In June she ran 112
      In July she ran 98
      In August she ran 110+
      In Sep she ran 99 – she was beaten 6 lengths, suggesting that on her 112 form she would have been right there.
      It looks like the going (yielding to soft) may have been against her.
      Mollett’s comment about Donnacha O’Brien was properly put away on the next day in Ireland, when Happily beat Magical (Ryan Moore) by a nose in a clever ride in the Gr1 Moyglare Stud S.!

  4. I think our horses are not suited to racing in the UK, Smart Call is a very good race mare, i think they should give her a rest now send her to Dubai with Mike De Kock and let those UK horses come to Dubai, i have no doubt she will beat them. Our form is very strong, a horse like Variety Club beat Able Friend by about 4 lengths or so and before that Able Friend was considered to be one of the best milers in the world, if you think Variety Club only beat Beach Beauty by about a length then you see how strong our form is, that Variety Club performance was second only to Frankel…………no other horse would have beat Variety Club in a mile that year………It’s a pity Legal Eagle did not go to Dubai, because he would have been very hard to beat in the Dubai Duty Free over 1800M.

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