Sun Chariot Stakes: Fonteyn surprises in Newmarket Group One to give big prize to Neil Callan and Kevin Ryan | Race News

Fonteyn defied the odds of 16/1 to clinch the Group One Royal Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

The Kevin Ryan-trained filly was largely overlooked heading into the contest, but ran strongly into the inside rail on the Rowley Mile descent under Neil Callan.

Passing the post at three-quarter length ahead of Laurel de John and Thady Gosden, the third-placed horse also hails from the same stable in the shape of a Grande Dame.

Saffron Beach was kicked out the 6/4 favorite for trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, but came home eighth of nine runners.

Callan was recording his first Group 1 success in Britain since partnering Astaire to win the 2013 Middle Park Stakes at this track.

He said: “It’s funny because that was the last season before I decided to uproot myself and go to Hong Kong full time. I kind of finished England satisfactorily and then , obviously I spent a lot of time in Hong Kong and when you come back you have to settle down.

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Neil Callan drives Fonteyn to victory in the Sun Chariot at Newmarket

“You need connections like Kevin Ryan to give you a little push and give you those opportunities. He called me the other day and said, ‘I’ve been dying to put you on a good filly and that’s it,” so he was quite optimistic and confident, even though she was an outsider.

“She looked stunning in the paddock. One thing he said was if she jumps up and fights you let her go and she will come back to you and she did.

“We didn’t really splurge and I was just able to let her come down the hill on her own, rather than having to push her and once she got into the dive and changed her legs , the race was over.

“Any Group One, wherever it is, is great. These are the big races of the season, but it’s more important that I won it for Kevin, we’ve been going back a long time.

“He is godfather to my eldest son Jack. It’s more than horse racing, jockey and trainer, we go beyond that.”

John Gosden said of his two placed horses: “Laurel is a filly who has only had two races in her life, a maiden and a novice. This is the first time she has ever been restrained in her life and when she hit the front she got a little peek, but kudos to the winner who crushed her.

“The other filly (Grande Dame) ran very well so it was two great races and we will probably put them both aside now until next season.

“Laurel, she’s never been asked to stretch, you don’t do it at home, you don’t push them over the bridle. She’ll be a pretty filly for next year – they’ll do it every day. of them.”