Pass The Vino inches to victory

Pass The Vino (right) wins at Newmarket

Paul D’Arcy plots don’t come along anywhere near as often as they used to but the veteran trainer hasn’t lost his magic touch when it comes to laying one out for a big handicap, as proved by Pass The Vino who was fully expected to do the business in this valuable handicap.

“I expected him to win – I told the owners to back him at 33-1 this morning”, said the trainer.

Pass The Vino, who carries the same silks as recently retired former stable star Spring Loaded, stayed on best up the far rail to land the three year-old contest by a short-head from Moss Gill, who raced up the stands’ side.

When asked if he was confident Pass The Vino had won, D’Arcy joked: “No! I was hopeful!”

He added: “When we bought him at the sales, he looked like he had a lot of physical improvement in him and we decided to save him for this race because there are very few three-year-old handicaps worth this much money.

“I think he’s better than a mark of 85 so we took the view that we would save him for this and it has paid off.

“He’s a very tough horse and I think he is still a bit green. David [Egan] said he hit the front and didn’t really know what to do but in the last 50 yards he picked up again so I think there is more improvement in him.

“There are a few options for him, I may look at the Windsor sprint series but the timeframe might be a bit tight.

“He’s a decent horse, I don’t want to waste him running in handicap after handicap, I think he’s a bit better than that.”

Trainer James Bethel is set to drop Moss Gill back in trip after the in-form No Nay Never gelding was touched off by Pass The Vino.

Nicola Currie’s mount, who got off the mark at Doncaster before following up at Ripon, was up in trip here and was denied a hat-trick of victories by a short-head.

Dazzling Dan was third, a further length behind, with Princess Power a head back in fourth.

Bethel was delighted with the run of the runner-up, and admitted: “It was a good handicap and decent money. He is a bonny little horse and he did something to his hind joint last season at Carlisle and the vet didn’t think he would race again, so he has done pretty well.

“The aim was always a nice five-furlong race at Goodwood, because he has got bags of speed. So, we might go there. The ground doesn’t bother him – he goes on everything!”

Miss Lucy triumphs

Miss Lucy wins at Newmarket

Miss Lucy made a successful raid from the Yorkshire stable of Karl Burke, running on powerfully in the closing stages to land the British Stallions EBF Maiden Fillies Stakes.

Not many horses win a Newmarket maiden having already been beaten at Carlisle and Catterick but Miss Lucy might just turn out to be quite a smart filly after staying on best to beat a good looking bunch of rivals in what looked a well up to scratch renewal of this informative contest.

Miss Lucy appeared to love tackling some decent ground for the very first time and she left her two previous runs a mile behind to cause a surprise for trainer Karl Burke.

The winning trainer said: “We have always liked her. She has always worked very well at home and we knew she was better than she had shown on the track so far.

“The ground at Carlisle first time was very soft and her rider was adamant that she travelled strongly until hitting one of the ridges on the wrong stride and that seemed to completely unsettle her.

“She was a little by jarred after that so we’ve given her a bit of time and she’s been working very well again recently.

“Lucy, who rides her every day, was adamant she was back to her best and she never lost any faith in her.

“I only really threw her in this race because we were bringing a colt down, there aren’t many fillies’ maiden race up north at the moment so we thought we would give it a go.

“Clifford [Lee] said she loved the ground and would stay further in time.

“We’ll see what mark she gets and then take it from there but I would say she is well capable of getting some Black Type.”

Daily Times had finished runner-up on her second start at Kempton 15 days ago and appeared to have improved for that experience, with another decent outing in defeat under Frankie Dettori.

Her trainer, John Gosden, said: “It was a solid run, she just got collared up the rise. She is very genuine, as is the winner. The front to fillies ran nice, solid races, so we are pleased with her.

“I think there would be nothing wrong with a stiff five furlongs or an absolutely flat six furlongs next time. That’s probably where we will be looking, because the old rising ground probably just caught her today. But she is a nice filly and we need to get a win in her now – we’ve had too many seconds.”

Debutant East Of Eden, an Exceed And Excel filly who cost 180,000 euros at the Breeze-Ups, pleased trainer Hugo Palmer, having stayed on nicely under Ryan Moore.

Palmer said: “She has run a nice race. She is a breeze-up filly and it often takes a run or two to remind breeze-up horses that they get paid after six furlongs, not two.

“She was a bit gassy early on, but she travelled very sweetly once she settled and I’m very happy with her. Ryan [Moore] said that if we pick the right race, she will win the next day and we will see how she progresses. I’ve no thoughts as to whether or when that will be.

“These maidens here are always good. They finished in a bit of a heap. I think she could have finished second. She was a bit tight of room.

“This was a nice introduction and we will look to lose her maiden tag next and then we will see.

“She has got a good pedigree and she is fast. She is not small, but she seems to be all there, so this might be her year.

“She will handle cut in the ground as well, so France is possible. We will try and win first than get some Black Type next. I think we will stay at six furlongs next time, whenever that may be.”

Dukes Of Hazard wins the Sir Henry Cecil Stakes

First-time blinkers provided the spark that enabled Dukes Of Hazard to open his account for the season in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes.

The Paul Cole-trained colt has been knocking at the door in good company this term, including when only beaten three-lengths in the Jersey Stakes last time, but he stepped up on those effort by powering up the July Course finish to score by an emphatic two-and-a-half lengths under PJ McDonald.

The winning trainer said: “Every race he’s run this year, he’s run well but only really kept on and not really burst into life, so we got the feeling he might have got a bit over relaxed, as sometimes happens, and the blinkers have sharpened him up. He was in great form today.

“He will probably for the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes over a mile at Goodwood. He handles Goodwood well, he handles anything, he’s very active.

“He’s had a few things go against him this year but still run his race, and the blinkers have polished him off.

“He is tough, he’s got everything, he’s not fussy about the ground and he’s got a great turn of foot.

“We thought he was such a good horse last year and the blinkers might be the key to him now. I would like to take them off but I don’t think I dare now!”

Connections of Momkin will likely head to Goodwood for his next run.

Momkin had no chance with the winner, who powered up the hill to land the Listed mile event, but connections of the Roger Charlton-trained three-year-old are keen to stay over a mile for now.

After watching Andrea Atzeni unsaddle, Harry Charlton, assistant to his father, said: “They probably didn’t go that quickly, but we beat the two that we thought we would beat and the winner has flown on the far side and picked up well in those first-time blinkers. I don’t think anything would have beaten him.

“Momkin has run up to form, the ground was fine – he likes quick ground.

“We might look at the mile race at Goodwood, the Group 3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes over a mile. Goodwood might suit him, we might get the one run out of him. He doesn’t like it when it opens up for him.”

Third home was Urban Icon, trained by Richard Hannon.

His jockey, Tom Marquand, said: “He ran another really solid race and obviously the winner has bolted up. It was not too surprising that he won, but I was pleased with our lad. I would say it will be back to the drawing board with him, though.”

A timely winner for Appleby

Wings Of Time

It has been a challenging day for trainer Charlie Appleby, whose stable star Masar disappointed so badly earlier in the afternoon, but the Godolphin trainer rarely leaves the July Course empty handed and he bagged his first winner of the meeting with Wings Of Time.

James Doyle appeard to have poached a clear lead up the stands’ rail but a late surge from Nkosikazi forced Appleby to sweat on the result of a photo finish.

It was an enterprising ride from Doyle, who ploughed a lone furrow up the near side, and it paid off.

Appleby said: “It’s been a frustrating day so I said to James [Doyle] ‘let’s keep it simple’ but he said the horse just jumped out to the right so was happy to stick to the near side, and it worked out nciely.

“I think we’ll stick to the handicap route with him and one of the handicaps at Goodwood look the obvious route.

“He saw that out well so we might go up to ten furlongs now, although he was a bit tricky in the gates there, which is something we’ll have to sort out.

“We don’t have any big plans for him but it has been a frustrating day so we’ll enjoy this win.”

Mark Nkosikazi down as a winner in all but name. That’s the opinion of her jockey, Danny Tudhope, who won ‘his’ race up the centre of the track, only to see her pipped by Wings Of Time in the John Dere & Ben Burgess Handicap Stakes, who ploughed a lone furrow up the stands’ rail under James Doyle.

On her second start for the William Haggas yard, Nkosikazi was ridden positively by Tudhope, who said: “She is like the winner, really. She thinks she has won and has been beaten a neck. It’s a shame.

“We couldn’t see that other horse, it was too far away from us. She has ‘won’ well. She’s a nice filly and she is getting better. That’s her ground.”

James Bethell will look for a similar contest for Ulshaw Bridge, who placed for the third time in as many runs, having been a further three lengths back in third under P.J. McDonald.

Bethell said: “That was another good run. He is a solid little horse, who always runs a good race.

“P.J. [McDonald] said they got first run on him and he didn’t go into The Dip very well.

“We will try and find another handicap such as this and he likes Ascot, so we might head there at some stage, maybe.

“He doesn’t want soft ground and I don’t think he was mad about the ground at Newcastle when we ran him up there the other day. I think he is better on Turf. I think a mile is about right for him, so we will keep him over this trip.”