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Tuesday 4 December 2018

Borderlescott The Fastest Nunthorpe Stakes Winner

Owned by James Edgar and William Donaldson and trained by Robin Bastiman at Goosemore Farm in Cowthorpe, near Wetherby, North Yorkshire, Borderlescott was one of the most popular horses in training in his prime. Sired by top-class sprinter Compton Place out of Jeewan, a minor race winner, but from the family of Roberto, Bordlerlescott enjoyed a long and fruitful career; when he was finally retired, for the second time, as a 13-year-old, in 2015, he had won 14 of his 85 starts and earned just shy of £800,000 in win and place prize money. 

Borderlescott recorded his first major success in the Coral Sprint Trophy, over 6 furlongs, at York on the final start of his three-year-old campaign, in October, 2015. In 2006, he carried 9st 5lb to a neck victory in the prestigious Stewards’ Cup, again over 6 furlongs, at Goodwood and, in 2007, was only headed in the final stride when beaten a short-head by Zidane, under 9st 8lb in the same race. For most of 2007, though, Borderlescott struggled to make the transition from handicaps to Listed and Pattern company and, although he finished second on half a dozen occasions, failed to win a race of any kind during that campaign.

Nevetheless, in 2008 – his six-year-old season – with Pat Cosgrave replacing his hitherto regular partner, Royston French, Borderlescott proved a model of consistency. He was narrowly beaten, once again, in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood, this time by a head and half a length, under 9st 10lb, but was then aimed at the Nunthorpe Stakes, run that year on the July Course at Newmarket after the Ebor Meeting at York was abandoned due to waterlogging. Although sent off only sixth choice of the fourteen runners at 12/1, Borderlescott had the race run to suit him, as first Captain Gerrard and then National Colour provided the fast pace that he typically liked to chase. In fact, National Colour looked, at one point, as if she might hold on, but Borderlescott stayed on gamely to lead inside the last 75 yards or so and win by half a length. His winning time, of 59.06 seconds, was a new course record. 

In 2009, the Nunthorpe Stakes returned to York and, with Neil Callan replacing Pat Cosgrave, at the behest of Bastiman, Borderlescott won the race for the second consecutive year. Fourth choice of the 16 runners, at 9/1, Borderlescott raced in touch in the centre of the course as Benbaun took the field along and, when switched right and asked to quicken by Callan, came with a strong run to lead close home and win by a neck. At the age of seven, Borderslescott was one of the old recent winners of the Nunthorpe Stakes and, although the race was criticised, in some quarters, for lacking strength in depth, back-to-back victories are a rare achievement. 

Indeed, in 2010, Borderlescott tried, and failed, to become just the third horse, after Tag End in 1930 and Sharpo in 1982, to win the Nunthorpe Stakes in three consecutive years, staying on at one pace to finish sixth of 12, beaten 3¾ lengths, behind shock 100/1 winner Sole Power. Nevertheless, Borderlescott was a tough, genuine and – having achieved a Timeform Annual Rating of 135 – highly talented performer.

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