King’s Lynn carried the colours of the Queen to victory in the Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes at Doncaster.
A promising second on debut at Windsor, the Andrew Balding-trained youngster took a huge step forward to land this valuable contest in the hands of champion jockey-elect Oisin Murphy.
As ever the race was ultra-competitive, and King’s Lynn was the least experienced runner in the 20-strong field.
The Cable Bay colt burst clear on entering the final furlong and while several mounted a late challenge from out of the pack, King’s Lynn (12-1) had half a length in hand over Repartee at the line, with Toro Strike third.
Murphy said: “I was thrilled. He obviously has a big heart. We trained his mother Kinematic, she was also quite small and he’s a good advertisement for his sire (Cable Bay). He’s absolutely flying.
“I suppose Andrew, John Warren and Her Majesty will speak, but I think six furlongs is probably OK for him. I imagine he’ll sharpen up. Let’s see how he develops.”
Eve Johnson Houghton was happy to dispense with the unlucky racecourse tag she had for Doncaster when Graceful Magic prevailed in a tight finish to the British Stallion Studs EBF ‘Carrie Red’ Fillies’ Nursery Handicap.
Graceful Magic had plenty of horses in front of her as Company Minx and Red Treble made the early running, but the 5-1 joint-favourite found plenty for Charlie Bishop to get the better of Stylistique and Rosadora by a short head and a head in a scrap to the line.
“It was a bit close for comfort,” said Johnson Houghton.
“Charlie said he was following Stylistique so he was quite happy with that and my other filly (Special Secret) was fourth. She’s run a blinder.
“I couldn’t split them which is why I ran them both. They’ve both run great and I’m thrilled with it.
“I’ve wanted to win this race for a long time. It’s a six-and-a-half-furlongs nursery for fillies, it’s good prize-money and a super race to win.
“I’ve been going, ‘I hate Doncaster’, because it’s been an unlucky course for me. Now it’s a lucky course for me and I’m very happy.”
Jockey Georgia Cox and trainer Paul Midgley teamed up with Saluti to land the Silk Series Lady Riders’ Handicap for the second time in three years.
Successful with Buccaneers Vault in 2017, the combination hit the target with Saluti (9-1), who got home gamely by a neck from Athollblair Boy.
“He ran well his first two runs this year and had a little respiratory problem. He’s come back and his last two runs have been really solid and today everything went really well,” said Midgley.
“There was a strong pace. He got a good tow into the race. He likes Doncaster and fast ground. He’s done his job.
“Georgia gave him a good ride. She’s done well for us in this race.”
Roger Varian’s Mutamaasik (5-6 favourite) rallied to get back up close home and beat The Great Heir by a short head in the Dfs Handicap to complete a double for Jim Crowley and owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum after Enbihaar’s success in the Dfs Park Hill Stakes.
Ryan Moore made most of the running on Davydenko (11-10 favourite) to take the Magners Rose Handicap for trainer Sir Michael Stoute.