It has not been a bad weekend for owner Steve Parkin, who saw his beloved Leeds United confirm promotion to the Premier League and then cheered home Eagles By Day in the John Smith’s Silver Cup at York.
Parkin, whose Clipper Logistics firm is a sponsor at Elland Road, confessed he had barely had any sleep having spent the night celebrating – but he was given a real boost watching Eagles By Day return to form on his first run for David O’Meara.
Always held in high regard my Michael Bell, it was thought a change of scenery would do him good after disappointing at Royal Ascot and despite being sent off the outsider of five at 14-1, Danny Tudhope nursed him home to beat Communique by half a length.
Parkin said: “I haven’t slept all night, but with Eagles By Day winning and my football team getting promoted I’m high on euphoria.
“I’ve been crying all night. It’s emotional, I’ve been a Leeds fan 50-odd years and I’ve seen all the highs and plenty of lows. I sponsor there and spend £500,000 a season there, but last night was worth it.
“Michael is part of my team of trainers, but this horse just went sour in Newmarket. I brought him home, let the vet have a look at him and sent him to David, who is a genius at these kind of things.
“What he’s done with him in three weeks is unbelievable. But hats off to Michael, he could have thrown his toys out, but he didn’t.”
He added: “We thought he was a Derby horse last year and he ended up running well at Royal Ascot before he got injured in the Bahrain Trophy.”
O’Meara said: “We haven’t had him long, but he’s always been held in high regard and wasn’t far behind Japan at Royal Ascot last year.
“He showed a lot of class today. He’ll stay as far as you like and could be a proper Cup horse. We might run in the Lonsdale Cup or the Ebor next.”
William Haggas’ well bred My Oberon opened his account at the second time of asking to give Tom Marquand a quick double.
Fifth in a hot race on debut, the 10-11 favourite scooted clear of Tasaamuh to win by six lengths, with even further back to the third.
Maureen Haggas, wife of the winning trainer, said: “I’m not sure what he beat, but he was impressive.
“He’s clearly come forward a lot from Newmarket, but he’s still a big baby. Tom said he was making a noise in the stalls and even on coming back he was looking for the girls.
“Because of that I don’t think we’d be in a rush to go big with him just yet.”
Adam West is not a name familiar to York racegoers but when they return to the Knavesmire they may give his runners a second glance given the way Live In The Moment won the William Hill-sponsored five-furlong handicap.
Based at Epsom, West had built up a decent sized string but it has been almost cut in half due to the pandemic crises.
“He’s an improving sprinter who we can hopefully have some fun with,” said West.
“Tom (Marquand) was complimentary and hopefully a win on a Saturday at York will do us some good.
“I started the season with nearly 50 horses in, but we’re down to 27 now.”
J R Cavagin caused a 22-1 shock in the four-runner William Hill EBF Novice Stakes.
Paul Midgley’s youngster, ridden by Graham Lee, had finished sixth behind subsequent National Stakes winner Ubetterbelieveit on debut.