Portrush upholds family tradition at Yarmouth

Beautifully-bred filly off the mark at second time of asking.

  • Wednesday 15 July
  • News
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Portrush took the first small step towards emulating her close relation Enable after striking gold at the second time of asking at Yarmouth.

Having finished second on her debut at Newbury last month, the John Gosden-trained daughter of Frankel, who shares the same dam as the dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, went one better in the Download The At The Races App Maiden Stakes.

Racing in midfield for much of the mile-and-a-quarter contest, the 11-10 favourite steadily worked her way into contention before being pushed out under hands and heels by Robert Havlin to get up in the closing strides and prevail by a neck from White Mountain.

Thady Gosden, assistant to his father, said: “She ran very well at Newbury and has come on nicely for the run. There was a bit more pressure today. She tightened up in the finish, but she seemed like she would have been there if he had asked for her.

“Rab gave her a lovely hands and heels ride and he didn’t rush into it. He didn’t go for her at all, which was good to see.

“She will probably be a mile-and-a-half filly in time, but we will see if we leave her at that trip for one more start. I don’t think we will be chucking her into stiffer competition yet. She is probably one to take time with a little bit and build her up gently.

“She has done nothing wrong so far, but it might be a bit unfair to start comparing her to Enable at this point. She is very genuine and very honest and always wants to try for you.”

The City’s Phantom showed why trainer Richard Spencer was so keen to keep him in the yard when making his return to action a triumphant one by a length and a quarter from $725,000 purchase Nasraawy in the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Maiden Handicap.

Spencer said of the Hollie Doyle-ridden 13-2 chance: “He was actually owned by an owner for me last year, Ahmad Al Shaikh, and he was very kind to let us buy him at the sales. Phil Cunningham bought half of him and Ed Babington did and it is his first horse with us, which is great.

“He is friends with Phil and me so it is great to get a win for him.”

He added: “He was always going to be a nice three-year-old because of his size and physique and he has grown into himself over the winter. He is better than his mark and he could be a nice horse for some of those handicaps through the summer.”

Harold Shand (9-1) could be seen at Pattern-race level before the season is out after edging Spanish Colt by a neck in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes, to give Newmarket handler Spencer a quick double, this time with Silvestre de Sousa doing the steering.

Spencer said: “He wasn’t knocked about on his debut over six by Kieran (Shoemark). He has shown us a lot at home, in the sense that he is very laid back and it was always going to take a racecourse to wake him up.

“He was going to step forward going up to seven furlongs. We could look at something a little bit better or a novice under a penalty to get him a bit more experience.”

Aristocratic Lady (11-4) continued Simon and Ed Crisford’s fine run of form ahead of a big weekend chasing Group-race glory in France and Ireland when following up her last-time-out success at Leicester in the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap.

Ed Crisford said: “She is a very lightly-raced four-year-old, but they went quick early which played into her hands as she was a bit keen at Leicester.

“She was definitely worth keeping in training and persevering with. She had a few niggly injuries early on, but I’m sure she’ll progress from this and move up through the handicaps.”

The Crisfords will be seeking a first Group One victory together with Century Dream in the Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly on Sunday, while on the same day A’Ali will bid for a Group Two success in the Holden Plant Rentals Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh.

Crisford added: “It was really good getting A’Ali back to winning ways at Sandown and he has come out of the race bouncing, so we supplemented him for the Sapphire Stakes. Century Dream is ground dependent and you usually get more cut in the ground in France. He deserves to be there and I think he will run a good race.”

Mr Kiki (8-1) demonstrated the best of his battling abilities to claim the feature Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com by Handicap by half a length on his stable debut for Ralph Beckett, to make it two wins from as many visits to the track.

Winning jockey Rossa Ryan said: “He is tough. They came to him at the half-furlong pole, but he dug deep and I think there is plenty more to come from him. He could be a lovely sprinter this lad.”

Ryan Moore came in for plenty of praise from connections of the Brian Meehan-trained One Small Step (5-4), who went one better than on her debut at Newmarket to take the Visit attheraces.com Median Auction Maiden Fillies’ Stakes by two and a quarter lengths.

Sam Hoskins, racing manager of Hot To Trot Racing, speaking away from the track, said: “I thought she ran well last time in a competitive race and we found this race quite soon afterwards. This was over seven, but I think her ideal trip will be back at a mile.

“It was a lovely ride from Ryan. He just nursed her into it and went at the right time.”

Portrush upholds family tradition at Yarmouth
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