Tenacious Pablo Escobarr edges Listed Wild Flower Stakes

Haggas colt strikes on all-weather debut.

  • Wednesday 04 December
  • News
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Pablo Escobarr prevailed in a thrilling finish with Loxley to get the better of the favourite by a neck in the 32Red Wild Flower Stakes at Kempton.

Tom Marquand, completing a quick double on the card and a treble on the day, just had enough to repel the late challenge from Loxley to claim the Listed prize for trainer William Haggas at 9-2.

Marquand was also winning the race for the second consecutive year, following his success in 2018 on Brian Meehan’s Spark Plug.

Pablo Escobarr, one of just two three-year-olds in the eight-strong field, was sent to the front early but then allowed to sit in behind the pace set by outsider Hermosura.

As the tempo increased into the straight on a foggy Kempton night, Pablo Escobarr took over again a furlong out, and James Doyle unleashed Charlie Appleby’s Loxley up the rail.

But hard as the 9-4 favourite tried in his first-time cheek-pieces, he could not quite get there – with Hameem a further four lengths back in third, under Jim Crowley for John Gosden.

Pablo Escobarr, on his second start after a wind operation and his first on the all-weather, had finished runner-up to Cambridgeshire winner Lord North over 10 furlongs last time.

He was posting his first victory of a season in which he has kept lofty company, including a runner-up spot behind Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck in the Listed Trial Stakes at Lingfield in May.

Haggas confirmed he will be looking overseas through the winter at possible targets.

Asked if he always thought Pablo Escobarr was holding Loxley, he said: “I wasn’t confident, but I thought he was running a good race anyway – and he appreciated the step (back) up in trip.

“I didn’t think the all-weather would be a problem.

“He’d had a lot of the summer off after (Royal) Ascot, with the wind op, so the only option left was the all-weather.

“There are all sorts of options overseas in 2020 – in Dubai, and a staying race in Saudi Arabia.

“But I just need to go through them all a bit now, and see.”

Tenacious Pablo Escobarr edges Listed Wild Flower Stakes
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