Horseplay snatches narrow Lancashire Oaks verdict at Haydock

Andrew Balding’s charge holds favourite God Given for Group Two honours

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Horseplay grabbed the Group Two honours from God Given following an extremely tight finish to the bet365 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock.

Andrew Balding’s filly got the verdict by a short head from the long-time leader after a ding-dong duel in the final furlong.

God Given had taken the Pinnacle Stakes over the course and distance on her previous start and she set out to make all the running with Aidan O’Brien’s Irish raider Flattering close up.

Jamie Spencer upped the tempo in the straight and God Given responded in game fashion, but David Probert got a fine tune out of Horseplay (11-4), who had shaped well when second to Coronet in the Middleton Stakes at York on her seasonal debut in May.

Once he got stuck into her, the daughter of Cape Cross put her head down and just got the better of her main rival to give Balding his 50th winner of the year.

Princess Ramotswe was third with Mrs Sippy fourth.

Probert told Racing UK: “I was happy with her early on. She relaxed very nicely. The race played to her strengths at the end. It was a very tough effort.

“She was tried over same trip last year, probably conditions were against her.

“She’s a very solid filly, She won the Pretty Polly in impressive style last year and was quite an exciting prospect. She’s shown what talent she’s got today.

“There were some very nice fillies behind her. It’s great she’s come out on top.

“She’s a nice type and she will progress by age as well. She’s taking her racing very well as well.”

Horseplay snatches narrow Lancashire Oaks verdict at Haydock
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