Old Persian lands second top-level win with Northern Dancer strike at Woodbine

Old Persian added a second top-level success to his name when running out a comfortable winner of the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes under James Doyle at Woodbine on Saturday night.

The Charlie Appleby-trained colt, who had landed the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March, was settled in third by James Doyle and smoothly overtook the front-running Cooler Mike before registering a two-and-a-half-length success over Nessy.

It was Old Persian's first victory since Dubai having since met with defeat in the Coronation Cup at Epsom in June and then when a beaten favourite at Hoppegarten last month.

Alex Merriam of Godolphin said: “Old Persian didn’t run great in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, but that was coming back after a good effort in Dubai, and we were pleased enough with his run in Germany.

“They have gone a strong gallop today, which suited Old Persian, and James has given him a nice ride. It has worked out well.

“I have spoken to Charlie and we will see how Old Persian comes out of this race before deciding where to go next.”

Doyle added: “I think the rain that fell during the week here definitely played to our strengths. The track is in great condition, it has dried throughout the day, and it’s a beautiful racing surface.

“From the minute Old Persian stepped on the track, he wasn’t really concentrating 100 per cent. He was more enjoying the crowd rather than what was going on in front of him, which is amazing because he has run some cracking races at Meydan and there is no bigger stand than there.

“I was a bit concerned early on. He missed the break, but they went pretty quick and we were able to muster some speed down the fence to secure a bit of space.

"We had a very clean trip the whole way through and he is a powerful stayer over this trip with a good turn of foot. When the pace collapsed at the bottom of the stretch, he excelled and sprinted away nicely.”

El Tormenta surprises in 44-1 Mile victory

El Tormenta produced an upset when overcoming Got Stormy in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, giving trainer Gail Cox the first top-level win of her career in the process.

Sent off a 44-1 shot, the four-year-old raced in midfield before edging out Got Stormy by half a length, earning a slot at the Breeders' Cup Mile courtesy of the race being a 'Win and You're In' event.

Cox said: "It's a Grade 1 win and it's a 'Win and You're In,' so it's huge. He's a very, very nice horse and was probably overlooked here.

"Last year I thought he was a sprinter. He ran shorter and he ran a different style. This year, every start, we thought he'd probably like to go a little further."

The William Haggas-trained Awesometank failed to fire and finished tenth of the 11 runners. Her stablemate Magnetic Charm, owned by the Queen, had earlier fared much better in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes, finishing second to Starship Jubilee.