Pursuit dashes to fine York victory

Enable ridden by Frankie Dettori wins The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Enable ridden by Frankie Dettori wins The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
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Flying Pursuit led his rivals a merry dance in the £50,000 Sky Bet Dash at York on Saturday.

Tim Easterby’s four-year-old failed to fire at Hamilton last week, but ploughed a lone furrow up the Knavesmire and could be called the winner some way from home.

Frankie Dettori jumps from Enable after winning The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Frankie Dettori jumps from Enable after winning The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Al Qahwa did his best to close the gap deep inside the last of six furlongs, but 12-1 chance Flying Pursuit passed the post two lengths to the good under apprentice Rachel Richardson, much to the delight of the band of owners that make up the Ontoawinner syndicate.

Easterby said: “He’s a good little horse, but the ground is the key to him. He loves a bit of cut.

“He was disappointing at Hamilton the other day, he just didn’t race at all for whatever reason.

“Rachel gave him a good ride and we’ll look towards Ayr (Gold Cup).”

At Pontefract on Sunday, Easterby and jockey David Allan took their tallies at the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival into double figures with a double and treble respectively.

The pair teamed up with Regal Mirage and Bossipop, while Allan had a third on Crosse Fire.

In total, Easterby chalked up 11 victories at the Festival that covered all nine Yorkshire tracks and started on July 22.

Irish handler Ken Condon reflected on the biggest success of his career to date after seeing his stable star Success Days get back on the winning trail in Saturday’s Sky Bet York Stakes.

Shane Foley set the fractions in front and while the globetrotting Mondialiste finished with a real flourish, Success Days refused to bend and clung on by a nose.

Condon said: “To be honest I thought we were booked for second half a furlong down, but he’s really dug deep.

“He’s such a tough and consistent horse.

“He’d been narrowly beaten in two Group Threes this year, but today was his day. He’s at the ceiling of his ability now.

“Not many horses come back from what happened to him at Epsom. He fractured his pastern and had to have six weeks box rest.

“He’s lightly enough raced, but soft ground is important to him.”

Success Days holds an entry in the Juddmonte International back at York on August 23, but looks unlikely to make a return trip.

“He’s a solid 114-rated horse and I’m not sure he’d be good enough to win a race like that, plus the ground will probably be quick here by then,” Condon added.

“Champions Weekend at home is important to us. He’s in the Irish Champion Stakes (Leopardstown, September 9) and there’s also a mile-and-a-half Group Three and the Boomerang Stakes over a mile.

“I wouldn’t mind having a go at the Champion Stakes at Ascot if it came up soft, but we might have to travel abroad with him if he is going to win a Group One.

“He went to Germany before and it didn’t work out, but the race in Munich in November (Grosser Preis von Bayern) would probably suit him.”

A trip to the Knavesmire for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on August 24 could be on the cards for Enable following her brilliant success in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The dual Oaks winner strode to victory by four and a half lengths from Ulysses in the midsummer showpiece at Ascot.

Trainer John Gosden said: “The Yorkshire Oaks is where we want to go and then freshen up and see where we are about a race on October 1 (Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe).

“No preps or things, maybe a racecourse gallop and then the Arc.”