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Makarova serves up Coral Charge success

Makarova serves up Coral Charge success
Makarova serves up Coral Charge success

Makarova pounced late to go one better than 12 months ago and land a deserved victory in the Coral Charge at Sandown.

Ed Walker’s five-year-old has been a consistent performer in all of the major sprinting events but was registering her first success at Group level in the hands of Hector Crouch.

It looked destined to be the progressive Desperate Hero who would land the spoils when he went for home with just over a furlong to run, but he was reeled in by both Makarova and Andrew Balding’s Purosangue late in the day, with the former keeping on best to register a three-quarter length success at 9-2.

Makarova was cut to 10-1 from 16s by Paddy Power for the King George Stakes after the race and Walker confirmed that the Goodwood sprint assignment would be on the radar.

He said: “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.

The Coral Summer Festival – Coral Eclipse Day – Sandown Park
Makarova ridden by Hector Crouch (left) at Sandown (Steven Paston/PA)

“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 Three winner and we will try and make her a Group Two 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.

The Coral Summer Festival – Coral Eclipse Day – Sandown Park
Makarova en route to victory (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“This will be her last season racing, especially now she is a Group Three winner. We’ll try pick up some more black type this season and then she will go home.”

Meanwhile, Adam West is keen to revert to type with Nunthorpe winner Live In The Dream after the 3-1 favourite could only finish fourth under more restrained tactics.

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

“We have a Group One 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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