Ebor Festival: Less is More as Lonsdale winner looks set to miss Melbourne Cup

Quest For More ridden by George Baker (right) wins the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup during day three of the  Ebor Festival at York. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
Quest For More ridden by George Baker (right) wins the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup during day three of the Ebor Festival at York. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
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ANOTHER trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup looks unlikely for Quest For More after he shone in the two-mile Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York under an enterprising front-running ride from George Baker.

Ninth in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last year and out of luck in three starts since, Baker dictated affairs from the off on Roger Charlton’s six-year-old who proved to be as tough as proverbial nails and did everything asked of him.

Quest For More and George Baker after winning the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup during day three of the Ebor Festival at York . Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Quest For More and George Baker after winning the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup during day three of the Ebor Festival at York . Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Four lengths ahead at one point, Quest For More was challenged hard in the long straight but refused to buckle.

He pulled away from his rivals again close home to score by three and a half lengths from Pallasator.

Wicklow Brave was third, with former Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris fourth and Peter Niven’s Clever Cookie fifth.

Baker said: “Pulling up was harder than the race itself.

“I think a change of tactics helped, I was a bit too negative on him at Goodwood.

“We had a chat and thought we’d roll along and keep it simple. I thought if he turned up on the day he had a massive chance. He’s a very willing partner and really relaxed in front.

All credit to the team at home, it’s not the easiest thing to do to get them back from Melbourne.”

Charlton said: “It’s so nice having those old stayers. He improved a lot last year and this year we were hovering a little bit and weren’t quite up to our form.

“I thought George gave him a superb ride and it looked as though he could go round again.

“He takes a bit of time to get going. I think he’s a genuine stayer.”

Appearing to rule out a tilt at this year’s Melbourne showpiece, Charlton added: “I like to see the horses and be with them a lot and that’s very difficult when they’re on the other side of the world.”