Delphinia came from an unpromising position to snatch victory in the Ladbrokes Football Acca Boosty EBF River Eden Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained daughter of Galileo was sent off the 4-6 favourite for the one-mile-five-furlong Listed contest, after finishing runner-up in Group One races on her last two starts.
However, victory seemed unlikely when she entered the straight in mid-pack, after being stuck in traffic just before the turn for home.
She had plenty to do even a furlong out, but once she hit top gear Delphinia quickly reeled in the opposition under Seamie Heffernan.
Hitting the front with the winning post looming, she scored by three-quarters of a length from Hameem, with Nkosikazi a head away in third.
It was a key triumph for Delphinia as her only previous win had come in a maiden at Galway 12 months ago.
“Delphinia’s class got me out of trouble. I got back (in the field) and then I got wide, but the race did not get going and we were racing downhill,” said Heffernan.
“I wanted to wait until I had a clean shot before getting stuck into her. She was by far the best horse in the race and all I had to have was a little bit of confidence. She got me out of trouble in the end.”
King Of Athens (15-8 favourite) lost his maiden tag at the fifth attempt by making all the running in the Ladbrokes ‘Play 1-2-Free’ On Football/British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.
Heffernan had the War Front colt smartly out of the stalls from his rail draw and was always travelling comfortably.
The O’Brien-trained juvenile kept up to the gallop to easily dismiss the 6-4 favourite Lexington Rebel by five lengths.
“King Of Athens is a smart horse. He ran very well in the Coventry so it was not a surprise that he won, and he won well. Hopefully, he can improve,” said Heffernan.
Scentasia (10-1) showed her rivals a clean pair of heels in the straight to run out a commanding winner of the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost EBF Fleur De Lys Fillies’ Stakes.
The John Gosden-trained filly put the Listed fast-track qualifier to bed early in the straight, producing a fine turn of foot which saw her land the spoils by two lengths from Chaleur, in the hands of David Egan.
“It’s great for Mr Gosden – this is my second winner for him – and good for Sheikh Juma and connections. She is a nice filly,” said Egan.
“I had a good run round. I was a bit wide from the wide draw and I didn’t want to bully her early on. They said that she will get 10 furlongs next year, so I was happy just to let her roll along before the bend. I think I got her going earlier than the rest of them did and she kept going to the line.
“You can definitely tell the difference with the surface. I feel that a lot of the fibres are still sitting on top, which makes it ride a bit slower than usual and it probably helped Scentasia.
“I got her going early and a lot of horses wouldn’t have picked up as well kicking off the bend. I think I got first run on a slow-riding track.”
Egan was completing a double after winning in the Queen’s colours for the first time aboard Cranberry (15-8 favourite) in the Ladbrokes/British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Novice Median Auction Stakes.
The Richard Hughes-trained daughter of Toronado burst clear from the home turn to score by three and a half lengths on her second career start.