Makarova marches to Coral Charge success

Ed Walker's charge returned to winning ways with a snug victory at Sandown on Saturday.

MAKAROVA winning the Coral Charge at Sandown in Esher, England.
MAKAROVA winning the Coral Charge at Sandown in Esher, England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The Ed Walker-trained Makarova came with a late rattle to see off both Purosangue and Desperate Hero in the Group 3 Coral Charge at Sandown.

The daughter of Acclamation was winning for the first time since landing a Listed prize at Ayr thirteen months ago but arrived on the back of a good effort when finishing seventh in the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Jack Channon's 5/1 chance Desperate Hero helped force the pace with Equality throughout the early proceedings and it looked as though the former, who was attempting group company for the first time following his impressive success at Hamilton, had slipped the field with a couple of furlongs to travel.

However, Desperate Hero's petrol gauge soon began to empty and once in the clear, Makarova quickly made inroads into the leader before taking up the running deep inside the final furlong. Andrew Balding's Purosangue came with her customary late run, but she could never quite get on terms with the eventual winner, who went on to claim the prize by three-quarters of a length at odds of 9/2.

Paddy Power cut the winner to 10/1 (from 16s) for the King George Qatar Stakes at the Goodwood Festival and trainer Ed Walker was quick to confirm that was his intention.

"This year she has been super consistent, and she started off rated 67 or something. She was so laid back and never looked like a sprinter in the early days. She just kind of woke up and learned to sprint. She's a legend," said the winning trainer.

"I wasn't confident at all she would get there today and not once did I get excited watching it. But you knew she would come good and the only time she hasn't come good is at Ascot with the blinkers on.

"In the blinkers, she sat right on the tail of Big Evs at Ascot and paid the price at the end, it is the first time she has failed to finish off her race over five furlongs.

"I think they had the desired effect of sharpening her up a bit and today back in the cheekpieces she was back to her old self, just racing behind the bridle a bit and finishing strong.

"We've chanced our arm a lot and unfortunately, she is only a Listed winner, so it is important we have now made her a Group 3 winner and we will try and make her a Group 2 winner if we can.

"She will probably go to the King George and maybe then another crack at the Nunthorpe or the race at the Curragh (Flying Five Stakes). After that there is the Prix de l'Abbaye and races like that.

"This will be her last season racing, especially now she is a Group 3 winner. We'll try to pick up some more black type this season and then she will go home."

Favourite Live In The Dream raced wide without cover in mid-division for much of the five-furlong contest and Adam West is keen to revert to aggressive front-running tactics with his Nunthorpe hero.

"I think as much as it is painful to see today, I am delighted as it has answered a lot of questions for us," explained West.

"We have a Group 1 horse with a particular style of racing and since the Nunthorpe and Breeders' Cup, we haven't had the confidence to do that for fear of setting ourselves up for a fall.

"If we ride like today, we have only got a 90 (rated) horse and still a good horse but to be at his best he has to be super aggressive and if anything wants to go with us, let them try.

"Today we decided to let him decide what he wanted to do, Sean (Kirrane, jockey) sat on him and didn't push him forward and didn't pull him back. It was annoying we didn't get any slipstream and if we were a couple over then it would have maybe just taken a bit of pressure off from the headwind.

"He's run well, and his class has got him fourth, but realistically that is not the style of racing he needs and we can absolutely pinpoint that for our next race whether that be Goodwood, Deauville or Nunthorpe.

"We just need him to rock, and roll get his confidence in the first furlong and if anything wants to go with us then let them try."


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