09/24/2011 12:08PM

Newmarket: Sahpresa makes it a Sun Chariot hat trick


French raider Sahpresa captured the Sun Chariot Stakes for the third year in a row, winning the Group 1 race by one length over Chachamaidee on Saturday at Newmarket in England.

A horse winning the same stakes three straight years is impressive, but Sahpresa’s task was made easier by the abject failure of three main rivals. Second choice Alanza finished a one-paced sixth, fourth choice Together checked in seventh, and third-favorite Timepiece, who had beaten Sahpresa at Newmarket in July, was last of eight.

Sahpresa, a 6-year-old by Sahm who is based in France with trainer Rod Collet, now has won 8 of 20 starts. She raced in mid-pack under Christophe Lemaire on Saturday, making her move inside the final quarter-mile and taking command a furlong out, with Lemaire hand-riding Sahpresa the final 100 yards. Time for the one mile on good-to-firm going was 1:37.60. Strawberrydaiquiri finished third.

◗ Two-year-old filly Lightening Pearl won her Group 1 debut earlier Saturday at Newmarket, capturing the Cheveley Park Stakes by a measured half-length over Sunday Times. Angels Will Fall finished third, with favored and previously unbeaten Best Terms a flat fifth in the six-furlong race. Winning time was 1:11.23.

Ridden by John Murtagh and trained by Ger Lyons, Lightening Pearl was supplement to the Cheveley Park earlier this week on the strength of a blowout Irish Group 3 win in late August. Lightening Pearl now has won 3 of 5 starts, though she was no match for Aidan O’Brien-trained Maybe in the Debutante Stakes earlier in August.

◗ Nathaniel, one of the leading contenders for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe next Sunday, had a Saturday workout with 2010 St. Leger winner Arctic Cosmos at Newbury on Thursday morning, but trainer John Gosden cautioned that Nathaniel’s participation in the Arc depended on the Longchamp course not becoming too firm before the race.