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Bold Act Produces His Best in Sycamore’s Final Moments

After a relatively quiet summer with his North American starters this year, British trainer Charlie Appleby’s Godolphin-owned horses have resumed their customary place as winners or up-close finishers in major graded stakes races.

In recent weeks, Master of The Seas  captured the Woodbine Mile Stakes (G1T) in Canada before a runner-up finish in the Turf Mile Stakes (G1T) at Keeneland; Eternal Hope  took the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational Stakes (G3) during the Belmont at the Big A meet; and Nations Pride  won the Canadian International Stakes (G1T) at Woodbine.

Then on Oct. 13 at Keeneland, Appleby and Godolphin added another graded victory when Bold Act  knifed through the field down the stretch under Jamie Spencer to defeat older horses in the $269,213 Sycamore Stakes (G3T). He became just the third 3-year-old to win the 1 1/2-mile turf race in the Sycamore’s 29 runnings.

His win chances appeared unlikely on the last of three turns in the Sycamore, without a clear lane from which to rally from behind slow fractions of :24.93, :50.39, 1:15.16, and 1:40.32. But as the field came into the stretch, some seams appeared, allowing Bold Act to pick up his pace. Bold Act passed four horses in the final furlong to defeat front-running Cellist  by three-quarters of a length.

The United Kingdom-based Spencer celebrated by raising an arm in triumph, while his mount was timed in a stakes-record 2:28.08. Bold Act paid $7.76 to win.

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What His Rider Said

  • “My horse got a bit strong going to the winning post the first time,” said Spencer, who notched his first Keeneland victory. “I ended up just having to take my medicine and get him down to the fence and get him to relax.
  • “And then, from the half-mile pole, you’re gambling…you’re going through the gears, but you’re hoping the gaps will open, and look, I got lucky down the straight. And I don’t normally punch the air off the line, but I knew I got lucky.”

Cellist, chased by Channel Maker  for much of Friday’s long-distance turf contest, finished a neck ahead of late-running Limited Liability  in third. Red Run  was fourth. Channel Maker would fade to 11th.

Bold Act, a minor stakes winner in France earlier this year, picked up his first graded victory. He earned $141,438 to boost his bankroll to $331,470. He is 6-2-2 in 12 starts.

Bred in Ireland by Godolphin, Bold Act is one of two black-type runners out of the stakes-winning Dubawi  mare Dancing Sands . Her three foals to race are winners.

The Sycamore winner is a gelded son of New Approach , twice a European champion and a sire of 60 stakes winners from 12 crops. New Approach stood at Dalham Hall Stud in England most of his stallion career, and moved to his former trainer Jim Bolger’s Redmondstown Stud in 2023.


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