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Thought Worthy could be a St Leger contender after York Racecourse win
COULD Thought Worthy be the horse to challenge Camelot in the St Leger at Doncaster next month?
The John Gosden-trained three-year-old scored an upset in the Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes at York Racecourse – making all the running under jockey William Buick.
Having led from the start, the colt battled on dourly to win by a neck as well-backed favourite Main Sequence (13-8) charged home late in the final furlong.
Thought Worthy (9-1) was allowed to dictate the pace from the front and Buick had the field off the bridle coming into the straight.
Derby runner-up Main Sequence stayed on all the way, but the brave Thought Worthy kept sticking his neck out.
He is now being targeted at the Leger, and could be a rival to the Triple Crown-hunting Camelot.
“He (Buick) rode a beautiful race in front,” Gosden said. “He nicked three lengths coming into the straight off an easy pace. “When they came to him he showed he’s a very game horse. He’s from a family of tough staying horses, so you have to ride them to their strengths.”
Buick added: “He is really tough and you can’t fault him. He’s improved, he’s coming to himself nicely now and Doncaster will suit him well.
“It’s nice to be going there with a live chance again.”
The Ebor Festival got off to the best possible start for North Yorkshire when the old stager Tax Free (7-1) rolled back the years in the opening Symphony Group Stakes.
Now a ten-year-old, the David Nicholls-trained gelding swept down the centre of the track to beat Mass Rally and land an important victory for the Sessay-based handler.
“He hadn’t had enough today,” said Nicholls when asked whether he had ever considered retirement for his veteran.
“He will probably go for the Portland (at Doncaster) now. “He’s fit, there are no issues with any of his joints or breathing and God bless him is all I can say.”
Nicholls revealed Tuesday night’s sudden downpour had left him wondering whether to run the horse but his jockey son Adrian, who took the mount, was glad he did.
“I love the horse to bits,” he added. “He is a cracking horse and it is great to win in front of a big crowd.”
Dundonnell’s owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, was naturally preoccupied with Frankel but the two-year-old looked to have a lot of promise after winning the Group 3 Pinsent Masons LLP Acomb Stakes.
Roger Charlton’s juvenile moved strongly from a line of runners with two and a half furlongs left to travel on his way to victory over Steeler by three quarters of a length.
He was quoted as short as 14-1 with some bookmakers for next year’s 2,000 Guineas and Charlton said: “He deserves to step up a grade, so that really means a Group 1 race. “A mile would suit him, as does fast ground, we will discuss it with the Prince and see what he wants to do.”
Jockey James Doyle added: “He has fantastic cruising speed. He kind of got away from me a little bit and I went to take a bit closer order and just eased him out.
“He toughed it out well and we have always thought a lot of him.”
Elsewhere, Olympiad (9-2 fav) took the BetVictor.com Stakes for Irish trainer Dermot Weld, while The Talk To Victor Stakes was claimed by Luca Cumani’s Danadana (7-1).