Birthday boy Ralph Beckett storms Pontefract Castle with Isabel De Urbina

Hampshire handler takes Listed honours after dramatic finish

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Ralph Beckett celebrated a birthday winner when Isabel De Urbina swooped fast and late to win the Listed Pontefract Castle Fillies’ Stakes at the Yorkshire circuit.

Having won a similar race at Goodwood earlier in the season, the four-year-old was giving weight to all bar one of her rivals, but for most of the mile and a half trip victory looked unlikely.

She was one of the first off the bridle and then Harry Bentley was initially denied a clear run in the dash for home, which seemed to put paid to her chances.

By then Ryan Moore had been hard at work for some time on Luca Cumani’s even-money favourite Alwaysandforever but his persistence looked like being rewarded when she hit the front close home.

However, Isabel De Urbina (5-1) really picked up once in the clear and flashed home down the outside.

They crossed the line together but the judge called number one the winner quickly, even though the margin was just a short head.

“I’d be lying if I said I thought I was always going to get there,” Bentley told Racing UK.

“I wasn’t really happy from a long way out but she started to come back under me coming around the top bend.

“I thought it might just open up for me, which is why I waited longer than ideal, but when I did pull her out she did very well to get up.

“I couldn’t see an opening so I had to take her back but I think she’s done very well considering she ran over a mile-six last time out at York. She’s done well to quicken again and I think she’d have been an unlucky loser.

“She’s definitely a good filly and we know she’s got stamina. She impressed me when she won earlier in the season at Goodwood.

“It’s nice to get Ralph a winner on his birthday, He’s been a big supporter of mine lately, too.”

Birthday boy Ralph Beckett storms Pontefract Castle with Isabel De Urbina
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