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St Mark's Basilica holds off stablemate Wembley to win Dewhurst Stakes

No mix-up this time for Aidan O’Brien as Frankie Dettori-ridden St Mark’s Basilica holds off stablemate Wembley to win the Darley Dewhurst Stakes  

  • Ballydoyle pair had finished behind Thunder Moon at the Curragh last time out
  • St Mark’s Basilica led home a one-two for trainer Aidan O’Brien on Saturday
  • It came 24 hours after two runners in the Fillies’ Mile were mixed up by staff

St Mark’s Basilica ensured one of the most testing and bizarre weeks of Aidan O’Brien’s career ended in familiar fashion when he led home a one-two for the trainer in the Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

The three-quarter-length win for the Frankie Dettori-ridden 10-1 shot from Ryan Moore-ridden Wembley, came 24 hours after O’Brien’s two runners in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket were mixed up by his staff. It meant third-placed Snowfall was actually Mother Earth, who officially finished eighth.

That matter has now been referred to the BHA disciplinary department. And St Mark’s Basilica should not have even been in the Dewhurst line-up. He had been due to run at Longchamp last Sunday but was one of the runners that had to be pulled out of the meeting when O’Brien’s stable get caught up in a contaminated feed issue.

St Mark’s Basilica (centre) led home a one-two for Aidan O’Brien in the Dewhurst Stakes

‘It’s been one of those weeks but that’s the way the cards were falling for us,’ said O’Brien. ‘We do our best to make things happen and then things happen which are not in your control and you can’t do anything about them.’

What was considered an above-average running of traditionally the most important two-year-old race of the season developed into a virtual re-run of the National Stakes at the Curragh, which was won by Thunder Moon with Wembley second and St Mark’s Basilica third.

On Saturday, Thunder Moon, the 11-4 favourite trained by Joseph O’Brien, finished third.

Aidan O’Brien added: ‘Ryan rode St Mark’s Basilica at the Curragh and thought he was a bit babyish and would improve. We also probably had a better draw than Thunder Moon today as the closer to the stands’ rail you were the better.’




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