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Blaine conjures Gimcrack Stakes glory at York
11:32am Saturday 25th August 2012 in Sport
DEJA VU for Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan.
Barely 24 hours after scooping £147,000 when Hototo won the DBS Premier Yearling Sales race, the handler repeated the trick when Blaine (6-1) produced a gritty performance to win the Group 2 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at York Racecourse.
Ryan is renowned for his ability with two-year-olds but, if the last couple of days are any evidence, he has a special crop of juveniles at his Sutton Bank yard.
Blaine, ridden by Phillip Makin, had only been on the racecourse once before, winning a maiden on Knavesmire in July, and it was thought more would be needed to win this prestigious six-furlong contest.
He most certainly found it – taking charge of the race at the two-furlong marker and holding off a persistent and determined challenge from Middleham trainer Mark Johnston’s Heavy Metal (8-1) to win by a head.
“He’s got great heart. He’s quite a simple horse. He’s very relaxed and he loves what he is doing,” Ryan said.
“We think he is smart. We’ve a lot of nice two-year-olds and a lot which probably won’t show until next year but this fella is a very good horse.”
Ryan added of his future prospects: “He’s quite a relaxed horse at home and in a race he tries to do too much. He’s still quite weak. He’s going to develop as he gets more racing in him.
“He’s come here and won a maiden and this is a big ask but we always felt this was the race we were going to go to with him. He’ll get better as he goes along.”
Makin added: “For his second- ever run, he hasn’t half toughed it out. He’s obviously got lots of ability. He was chucked in at the deep end, and he’s come out on top so we’re delighted.”
Owners Matt and Lauren Morgan, from Derby, will also have to prepare for a December date as a result of Blaine’s win.
The winning owner, or representative, is invited to give the speech at the annual Gimcrack Dinner at the course.
There was further joy for North Yorkshire trainers on the card when Malton ’s Richard Fahey enjoyed his first winner of the week as Mary’s Daughter (33-1) sprang a shock in the closing tyre giant.com Stakes.
Frankie Dettori won the Sky Bet Strensall Stakes for the eighth time as he guided Dubai Prince (4-1) to victory.
Fury made the early pace but the rest of the field were never too far away and began to close in on the long-time leader at the four-furlong marker.
The race looked wide open and Malton trainer Richard Fahey’s Barefoot Lady briefly hit the front but could not kick on.
Dubai Prince moved into a crucial lead of a couple of lengths inside the final furlong and the others couldn’t reel the Godolphin runner back.
“It’s so amazing,” he beamed. “The crowd are fantastic. They really get behind you and it’s great here. The races are tough but this was one of my best chances of the week and I’m delighted we’ve won.”
Simon Crisford, racing manager for Godolphin, added: “He’s (Dubai Prince) had a few problems. He just needs to switch off and get into a rhythm. It’s just nice to have a winner on the Knavesmire.”
But there was sadness for Dettori in the Convivial Maiden Stakes when he was spilled from the saddle as Brave Command broke down at the top of the straight.
Richard Hughes, riding 6-4 favourite Wentworth, swooped late to give trainer Richard Hannon his first York winner of the week.
Elsewhere on the third day of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival , Kirthill (11-1), ridden by Kieren Fallon and trained by Luca Cumani, won the opening Sky Bet Mobile Stakes.