Quirky he may be, but he also holds talent in abundance; Reckless Abandon defended his unbeaten record in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket with a display of sheer heart and determination as he battled back to deny Moohaajim in the shadows of the post to win going away. Drawn on the far side of the track, Gerald Mosse pulled Reckless Abandon to the near-side rail within the early stages of the race and ensure that the two year old grandson of Danzig would, again, tow the rest of his rivals along. However, with two furlongs to go Reckless Abandon seemingly began to tread water with his main rival, Moohaajim, gaining on the leader at rapid pace. With Moohaajim hitting the front and Aidan O' Brien's speedy colt, Gale Force Ten, both throwing down significant challenges, it looked as though the writing was on the wall for the undefeated record of Reckless Abandon. However, exiting the dip inside the final furlong, Reckless Abandon dug deep and rapidly cut back the deficit that he had lose to win going away and register his fifth victory by a neck winning margin.
Reckless Abandon has impressed on both sides of the English Channel this year, with notable victories in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group 1 Prix Morny, however, this was his first victory at the highest level on British soil. "He's very talented, he's amazing. We don't try to replicate that at home, so a lot was on trust here today." said trainer, Clive Cox, "We knew he was happy and well, and we'd trained him to be fit, not to trial him at home, and he's gained more weight since the [Prix] Morny. Physically he keeps on improving and I'm delighted for everyone involved - they are a great team. To win two Group 1 races with him in a year is more than a dream, it's fantastic."
Cox also had comments with regards to Reckless Abandon's pre-race antics that saw him attempt to jump the rail in front of Horse Racing Nation photographer, Emma-Louise Kerwin, "We let him off to go to the start and he jumped forward and with the configurations of the track the rail was quite close so he was going forwards a pace. Gerald did an amazing job to sit tight and I'm pleased that that all ended well".
With the nature of his performance today, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas over two furlongs further has been earmarked as an area of consideration for Reckless Abandon, who will now be put away until next year. "I think we will digest whether he is a sprinter or a miler a bit further before we comment. I am really pleased from a bad draw that he used a bit early to get over from the rail. From the dip, I was a little bit concerned where he went from there and he clearly showed a great attitude and battled well. For me, he was gaining on the line so we will see".
Gerald Mosse, who is now two-from-two aboard the colt, was complimentary of his partner; "He is not the biggest horse but he has a big heart" said Mosse, "He moves well and knows how to use himself. He is a playful horse and has lots of energy. I've been fortunate to ride some great horses including Arazi, Linamix and this horse - there are not many like him".
Moohaajim, narrowly defeated today, will also target the QIPCO 2000 Guineas for Marco Botti and will not transfer to Dubai as is the norm for the owner, "I was a little bit worried by the ground, despite it drying out" said Botti, "I thought after the first couple of furlongs that he wasn't really handling it and wasn't travelling as strongly as he usually does. I am sure he will get further in the future and the 2000 Guineas has to be considered. He has the pedigree to be a better three year old and I think there is still improvement to come in him"
Photos Courtesy of Emma-Louise Kerwin (Goodtosoft.co.uk)