Pivoine prevails for Hornby in thrilling finish to John Smith's Cup

Andrew Balding’s runner takes York feature

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Pivoine stayed on stoutly to provide jockey Rob Hornby with one of the biggest winners of his career in the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup at York.

Sent off a 14-1 chance, he was yet another big winner for owners King Power Racing and Andrew Balding who are enjoying a thrilling summer.

They were also on the mark at Ascot with Beat The Bank who won the Summer Mile for a second time and Mystery Power, who took the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.

Hornby was patient on the five-year-old as Mountain Hunter, Big Kitten and Setting Sail were in a line entering the final furlong.

Pivoine made his challenge widest of all in the centre of the track and he quickened up stylishly to win by a length.

Setting Sail almost defied stall 23 in second while What’s The Story made late headway to claim third and Another Touch was fourth.

Hornby, 24, said: “It was always going too good to be true. He travelled like a dream. It’s important to get him settled early, and he did and got into a lovely rhythm.

“He likes it round here and I just had to wait to press the button as I knew he has a good turn of foot and conditions were perfect today.

“Approaching the last furlong, I thought ‘this can’t be happening’.

“They were coming up the middle all day and that’s great for a horse like him.

“I was able to make ground and get cover which is an important ploy for this horse. It was seen to good effect today.

“It’s huge for me. I started at Mr Balding’s when I was 16 straight from school and all my big successes have been for the Balding family. It’s just been a massive journey through for my career and it’s continuing which is nice.”

Balding’s wife, Anna Lisa, added: “I’m so thrilled. He’s such a star horse. We call him ‘Big Piv’ at home and he’s a real favourite.

“It’s good for the owners (King Power Racing).

“Having won here last year in August so well, we knew he liked the track and conditions suited. We were hopeful, but with that many runners you need luck as well. Rob gave him a super ride. He was in the right place at the right time. Delighted.

“We’ll get him back home and see what Andrew wants to do.”

Pivoine prevails for Hornby in thrilling finish to John Smith's Cup
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