Commissioning Maintains Unbeaten Record in Group 2 Rockfel

September 23, 2022

Commissioning (7-2) made it two wins from as many starts when recording a comfortable victory in today’s Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Rockfel Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket.

Homebred by owners Abdulla Al-Khalifa & Isa Salman, the Kingman filly had won in stylish fashion on debut over seven furlongs on the July Course at the end of July. She became a third Rockfel Stakes winner for trainer John Gosden, who now trains in partnership with his son Thady, following on from subsequent 1000 Guineas heroine Lahan in 1999 and Juliet Capulet in 2017.

In today’s contest Commissioning picked up leader Rage Of Bamby entering the final furlong and stayed on well under Rab Havlin to repel the late challenge of Electric Eyes for a smooth two and three-quarter length success.

John Gosden said: “We wanted to give her a bit of time after that (debut on the July Course) as she was growing and she is not a big heavy robust filly. She has trained nicely up to this race and we thought we would wait for this race as opposed to going for the May Hill.

“We are thrilled with her. She is owned by an owner-breeder Isa Salman and he owned the mare and he had her with us. It is always very exciting when you buy a mare, and she raced, she ran in a Ribblesdale and finished seventh then she produces something so quickly like this it is very fulfilling for an owner-breeder.

“Frankie was surprised (on debut) as he said he couldn’t pull her up as she went all the way to the very end and it was quick ground there to. She was just getting rolling with a furlong to go there, and it was slightly the same today she met the rising ground and flew. The July Course is much easier for the horse to handle and there are certain reasons for that.

“It (the Group One bet365 Fillies’ Mile on October 8th at Newmarket) comes quickly but she doesn’t have to run again. It is close to home and we are not travelling the length and breadth of the country. If she is happy and well we might look at it. She will get that mile. There is also a Breeders’ Cup invitation. We did that before we went to Del Mar with a filly that won this (Juliet Capulet). She didn’t stay a mile but this one will.”

Rab Havlin added: “She travelled lovely today. Between the three and the two I had to waken her up a bit and almost got into trouble by getting there too soon, so I just sat there at the two pole.

“When she picked up it was kind of immediate and I got a bit lonely in front. She would stay a mile no problem this filly. I ride her quite a lot at home and we’ve always thought that as she finishes her work strongly. She can be busy in the mornings but is uncomplicated at the races. She can be a bit impatient on the gallops but after half a furlong, she is pretty push button.

“The boss and Thady give horses time when they need time. It looked as if she needed time so we just laid off her and picked her back in the last month. The rewards are showing for themselves.”

Karl Burke, trainer of runner-up Electric Eyes, said: “She is a very good filly and that is why we came here. She is a potentially high class filly and she has proved that today. She got a little bit sandwiched coming out of the stalls Danny (Tudhope) and we didn’t want to be that far back.

“She is quite a keen travelling horse and she always wants a bit of cover. There is plenty of improvement in her. I’d say we won’t run again. She is an inexperienced filly but she is a big raw filly and this time of the year I don’t want to run her back quick and we are running out of options.

“The Group Three (Oh So Sharp Stakes) in two weeks will come too quick but I’ve not looked beyond that. Why not (think of the 1000 Guineas). The horse that finished second in this last year didn’t do too bad in the 1000 Guineas (Cachet). She is a good filly and a progressive filly.”

Eve Johnson Houghton, who saddled the third Rage Of Bamby, said: “She was third in a Group Two which was great but I definitely think she was the second best horse in the race.

“I think she had been softened up by the winner and the second horse came and got her. Possibly we need to drop her back in trip as she had them all cooked a furlong out and I’m not sure she stayed the seven furlongs 100 per cent in that company.”

By Graham Clark – The Jockey Club Press Release

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