Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Newcastle win just the tonic for July Cup hope Genki

Roger Charlton's admirable seven-year-old Genki finally landed his first group race when getting the better of a fine tussle with Doncaster Rover to land the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle on Saturday in front of a massive crowd of Geordie race fans, writes Elliot Slater.

Taking the opening race on The Pitman's Derby Day at the Gosforth Park circuit, Genki was back in action only a week after having finished eighth to Society Rock (beaten only four lengths) in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and was certainly not winning out of turn. The rain-softened ground appeared to help the gelded son of Shinko Forest who was a little tardy leaving the stalls under George Baker but gradually moved into contention as the front-runners began to run out of steam. Baker commented that he always thought he was going to win once he got upsides Doncaster Rover, and sure enough the Beckhampton based gelding didn't let the sound down as he battled to his second success of the season having beaten Iver Bridge Lad in the Listed Abernant Stakes at Newmarket in April. The Newmarket odds now suggest he could be set for another win at that track.

Genki, owned by Gillian Khosla, was recording his eight win from 29 starts and adds the Chipchase Stakes to his other big win which came back in 2009 when beating Evens And Odds to win the prestigious Stewards Cup at Glorious Goodwood. Clearly getting better with age, only last September he ran probably his best race yet when a fine third to Markab in the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock, so will not be out of place at the highest level if he does indeed turn up at Newmarket for a crack at the Darley July Cup.

Bookmakers reacted to his Newcastle win by cutting Genki's odds to win the latest leg of the Global Sprint Challenge to as short as 16/1 in places, having been available at up to 33/1 before his weekend success.

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