International glory at Ascot for handicap king Burnt Sugar

Six-year-old adds to Newmarket gains

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Burnt Sugar completed a big summer handicap double when adding the Gigaset International Stakes at Ascot to his success in the Bunbury Cup two weeks ago.

Roger Fell’s in-form six-year-old burst through the pack to lead in the final furlong and grab the spoils.

Oh This Is Us was smartly away on the far side in the seven-furlong affair, quickly followed by Mukalal, with Brian The Sail heading the charge on the stands side.

There were many horses in with a chance as the pace hotted up and it was Shane Kelly who produced Burnt Sugar (20-1) to lift the valuable heritage handicap for owners Middleham Park Racing.

Arbalet was three-quarters of a length away in second, with Ripp Orf just ahead of Via Serendipity in fourth.

Kelly said: “He travelled great, it’s the first time I’ve ridden him, but I spoke to Paul Hanagan, who had ridden him before, and Roger was keen on his chances.

“I was told to ride him with plenty of confidence and not to get to the front too soon, as he dosses a bit when he gets to the front. If I had my time over again I would probably have delayed my challenge.

“He was going so well I didn’t want to be disappointing him. He is a smart horse. When you are held up you can afford to make a few manoeuvres. I had it in my head once I left the gate I was going to go left.

“He probably would have still won if I stayed where I was. He was by the far the best horse.”

Crack On Crack On made up for his disappointment at the Royal meeting when bursting through late on to land the Porsche Handicap.

After winning his first two starts of the season, the son of Havana Gold lost all chance in the Britannia when slowly away from the stalls.

Although appearing to be on the wrong side in this mile prize, the 9-2 joint-favourite finished fastest of all to get up and take victory by three-quarters of a length.

Trainer Clive Cox said: “He was in the stalls for a long time for whatever reason (in the Britannia).

“We will explore all the mile possibilities and there is a little bit of encouragement he might get a bit further.

“I think the handicapper will dictate our step into the next division.”

Silvestre de Sousa gave Victory Command (9-2) an enterprising ride to come home a ready winner of the Woodridge Group Pat Eddery Stakes.

The most experienced of the six runners, Victory Command enjoyed bowling along in front and the decisive move came at halfway, when De Sousa took three lengths out of the field.

Mark Johnston’s youngster saw out the seven furlongs well to take the Listed contest by two lengths from Glorious Lover, with Nate The Great third.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: “He has been kept busy and that’s his seventh career start. He is rated 94 and warranted a step up to this kind of class.

“He was not in the race at 10am (when declarations were announced). When it was reopened that’s when he came in and it looks like a wise move now.

“As soon as they get rated above 90 you have got to look at black type. At the five-day stage it looked pretty deep, but it started to cut up.

“He has done nothing but surprise since day one. He is entered next week in a nursery at Goodwood. I would not rule that out.

“Beyond that he stays very well and something like the Stonehenge at Salisbury might be something to think about, but he is already a Listed winner so we might think about going up to Group company now.”

International glory at Ascot for handicap king Burnt Sugar
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