Rossa Ryan celebrated the biggest winner of his career as Duke Of Hazzard continued his recent resurgence in form with victory in the Ladbrokes Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
The Paul Cole-trained three-year-old backed up his victory in the Thoroughbred Stakes over course and distance last time out when bringing up the hat-trick in the Group Two prize.
Boxed in momentarily late on, the son of Lope De Vega demonstrated his potent turn of foot once getting daylight and held the the running-on Turgenev by three-quarters of a length.
Ryan said: “I didn’t sleep very well last night. I spent all night on my tablet going through the form and working out how the race would pan out.
“I was pretty confident that I would get to Oisin (Murphy, on Happy Power) eventually, but I could see Rab Havlin (on Turgenev) and other horses in the corner of my eye.
“He dug deep for me. Ever since they have put blinkers on him he has concentrated a lot more.”
He added: “I ride a bit for Mr Cole and I’ve been riding for him for a couple of years. When PJ (McDonald) had commitments in York it meant a lot to me to be given the chance and for them to have the faith in me riding a horse of such high profile.”
As for winning trainer Cole, who was celebrating a first victory in the race, he pointed to Duke Of Hazzard’s turn of foot as a key factor in a race that was not run to suit.
The Whatcombe handler said of the 3-1 victor: “He didn’t show that form early in the year, as he had a bit of a seedy toe. He was not finishing his races, as he was feeling it, especially at Haydock when his shoe came off.
“He was a tiny bit unlucky not to win two Listed races last year. He has got what everyone wants, a turn of foot. He met a lot of trouble at the last meeting and his turn of foot got him out of trouble.
“Everything went wrong at Deauville – it never stopped raining and the ground was loose, so we had this an alternative all the way through.
“The race was not really run to suit him as it was too slow and he was difficult to settle, but I’ve no complaints. I just thought when he gets out then he will go.”