Australian sprinter Star Witness will head back to Australia to begin a promising career at stud after failing in the July Cup at Newmarket.
After running second in the King’s Stand Stakes and third in the Golden Jubilee, Star Witness started as an $8.00 second favourite, however he finished a disappointing tenth behind Dream Ahead and Bated Breath and Hitchens.
Star Witness, who was ridden by Aussie hoop Steven Arnold, sat just off the pace in the opening stages of the race, however when they quickened for home Star Witness could find another gear and he faded to finish mid field.
“There was no early speed on. He was a little plain today and I’m disappointed,” Arnold said.
Star Witness will now stand at Yarraman Park Stud with a service fee of $16,500.
The July Stakes was historic for another reason, as it was the first time in the history of British horse racing that a female rider had claimed outright victory in a Group One race.
Hayley Turner was told that she would ride Dream Ahead just two before the meet, after regular rider William Buick declared that he would be unavailable.
“I’m just so thrilled as I had it on my list of things to do. I only found out I was riding him two days ago and I haven’t sat on the horse before so I can’t take too much of the credit,” Turner said.
“William Buick told me how to ride him, and he said not to get there too soon.
“Steve’s Horse (Bated Breath) started to hang right and caused a bit of interference, but it’s always the case when you’re on a horse that travels so well that he gets you out of trouble.”
Turner became the first woman to ride an outright Group One winner. In 1997 Alex Graves became the first woman to win a Group One race, however she did it as part of a dead heat.
The win was also a form of vindication for trainer David Simcock, as it confirmed the class of Dream Ahead, who was rated as the equal top two year old last season with Frankel.
“This is important for the horse. There really wasn’t anything for him at before Ascot, so we had to go down the mile road and he didn’t stay the distance,” Simcock said.
“I’ve been quite protective of him, especially when people have questioned his rating and everything. But this win has only enhanced his reputation and I’d like to think there is more to come.
“I would just like to say thanks to all the team at Trillium Palace and also lots of congratulations go out to Hayley Turner. She couldn’t have done a better job.”