Spright makes big impression in York victory

Swift step up in class could beckon at Ascot.

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Spright could be set for a swift step up in class at Ascot after opening her account in brilliant style at York.

A 50-1 shot when narrowly beaten second on her Doncaster debut last month, the daughter of Charm Spirit was the 9-4 favourite to go one better in the follow@willhillracing On Twitter Novice Auction Stakes on the Knavesmire.

Sent straight to the lead by Clifford Lee, Spright – owned by the trainer’s wife, Elaine, and leading bloodstock agent David Redvers – had her rivals in trouble a long way from home and quickened smartly to pull five and a half lengths clear of Positive Mentality.

“She’s a lovely filly who had come on nicely in her home work since her debut,” said Burke.

“It might be a bit quick, but the way she’s won there, we might look at the Princess Margaret next Sunday at Ascot.

“The season is so lopsided and these two-year-olds don’t have many opportunities to get black type, especially the fillies – sometimes you’ve got to make a bold decision.

“I’ll have a chat with David and we’ll see how she comes out of it, but she certainly didn’t have a hard race today.

“Coming back here for the Lowther next month is a possibility as well – she’s a smart filly.”

Asked to compare Spright to his Albany and Duchess of Cambridge Stakes heroine Dandalla, the trainer added: “They would have worked together in the past, but not regularly.

“On her work of six weeks or two months ago, she wouldn’t be in Dandalla’s league, but she’s improved since then and they haven’t worked together recently.”

Surf Dancer completed a double on the afternoon for William Haggas and Ryan Moore with victory in the William Hill King Charles II Stakes.

Beaten in handicaps on his last couple of starts, the three-year-old looked to have plenty on his plate stepping up to Listed class, but the 9-1 chance produced a career-best performance to score by a shade under three lengths.

The trainer’s wife, Maureen Haggas, said: “He deserves a nice win, as he was very unlucky at Sandown a couple of starts back.

“I think he liked that bit of cut in the ground and he just looked happy under a nice, complicated ride.

“I suppose we’ll be looking at Group races now. He’s always been a nice, solid horse and it’s good for him to win a nice race.”

The Haggas yard is in red-hot form and Robert Escobarr looks sure to go on to bigger and better things for the Newmarket stable judged on his impressive display in the williamhill.com Best Odds Guaranteed Novice Stakes.

The extended 10-furlong contest looked a warm race on paper, with much of the pre-race attention focusing on the Richard Hughes-trained Brentford Hope, who was considered a potential Classic contender following a runaway debut victory at Newmarket in the autumn.

After a slow start, the 6-4 favourite travelled nicely into contention under Jamie Spencer, but his finishing effort was tame and he was ultimately well beaten in fifth place.

Having finished third on his introduction at Haydock in early June, Robert Escobarr was a 4-1 shot to open his account – and there was much to like about the way he extended four lengths clear of previous winner Matthew Flinders.

Maurenn Haggas said: “He’s a really nice horse with a lovely temperament.”

Gorytus (14-1) came out on top in a thrilling climax to the Read Nick Luck’s Blog At news.williamhill.com EBF Novice Median Auction Stakes.

Newmarket winner Star Of Orion looked set to double his tally after seeing off hot favourite Jadoomi inside the last of seven furlongs, before Richard Fahey’s newcomer Gorytus lunged late under David Nolan to prevail by a head.

Fahey said: “We’ll see how he is and how the form works out, but the Acomb was a race I’d earmarked for him.”

Nolan added: “He jumped well and travelled well through the race – I was always very happy.

“He was a little bit raw and inexperienced from the three to the one (furlong markers), but he got the hang of things and did it well.

“Richard was full of confidence beforehand – he really likes the horse.”

Phillip Makin’s Lahore was a 12-1 winner of the William Hill Extra Places Every Day Handicap, with 3lb claimer Rowan Scott doing the steering.

Makin said: “He’d had a couple of disappointing efforts, but we sort of had excuses for him. I thought if he got back to the form of his Doncaster win (last month) it would see him go very close.”

Saeed bin Suroor and William Buick combined to land the William Hill EBF Stallions Handicap with 11-2 chance Jalaad, while the concluding William Hill Lengthen #yourodds Handicap went to Documenting (10-1), trained by Kevin Frost and ridden by Cieren Fallon.

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