Racing returned to the flat turf at Doncaster on Saturday and the feature race of the day was the Lincoln, which was won in some style by Iffraaj’s smart son Auxerre (pictured).
The four-year-old is now unbeaten in his last four starts and his jockey James Doyle was full of praise for his mount afterwards, saying, “Auxerre is lightly raced and has only run once in a double-figure field prior to this and to go out and make all as he did was impressive.
“He was a little bit fresh and is going to improve an awful lot.
“He pulled quite hard going to the start and was a little edgy in the gates but that will settle down.
“He was the unknown quantity in the race and I don't think we'll see him in handicap company again.”
Also on Saturday, the Darley stallions were responsible for the first three home in the G3 Prix Edmond Blanc at Saint-Cloud, with The Revenant (Dubawi) winning by a head from Godolphin’s useful son of Shamardal, Graphite. Lunch Lady (also by Shamardal) was just a neck back in third to complete the trifecta.
The first two-year-old races of the year are now taking place and Shamardal looks to have a smart filly in the making in the form of Ickworth, who won the five-furlong maiden at Dundalk more comfortably than the three-quarter length margin would suggest.
Her trainer Willie McCreery indicated a step up in class could be next for his charge, saying, “She was very forward from day one, very sharp into her stride, and this was always the target.
“There wasn't a blow out of her there and she's a sharp little devil. The Listed race at the Curragh over five could be a target.”
These wins were on top of the brilliant four-timer at Meydan for Darley-sired runners, where Cross Counter (Teofilo) took the G2 Dubai Gold Cup, Blue Point (Shamardal) flew to victory in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint, Old Persian (Dubawi) landed the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic, and of course Thunder Snow’s history-making win in the Dubai World Cup.