Tudhope steers G Force clear to set up Ascot tilt

COMING THROUGH: G Force ridden by Daniel Tudhope (centre in blue) wins the Betfred Sprint Cup.
COMING THROUGH: G Force ridden by Daniel Tudhope (centre in blue) wins the Betfred Sprint Cup.
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G Force is set to head off on his travels after giving Nawton handler David O’Meara his first victory at the highest level in Saturday’s Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock.

The son of Tamayuz ran once as a juvenile for Qatar Racing last year, and that second place over seven furlongs at Newbury prompted Middleham Park Racing to snap him up for just 25,000 guineas.

He has developed into a top sprinter since joining O’Meara, stamping himself as a potential Pattern performer when turning a competitive handicap into a procession at York’s Dante meeting back in May.

Things haven’t gone quite to plan since, and he struck trouble when a close-up sixth in the Nunthorpe back on the Knavesmire last month, but everything dropped right for him on Merseyside over the weekend, denying last year’s winner Gordon Lord Byron a double.

The Yorkshire Post racing columnis Danny Tudhope produced G Force to lead in the dying strides, eventually prevailing by three-quarters of a length.

Music Master was third, with favourite Sole Power fourth after having to weave his way through as he tried to show he stays six furlongs and prove an able substitute for his stablemate Slade Power, the Diamond Jubilee and July Cup victor.

Hot Streak set out to make all and was tracked by Gordon Lord Byron, while Richard Hughes settled in behind on Sole Power.

The long-time leader eventually gave way, with Gordon Lord Byron assuming control as Wayne Lordan kicked on with over a furlong to run.

However, Tudhope steered G Force to the middle of the track and switching back up in distance after tackling the Nunthorpe over the minimum trip, O’Meara’s runner found plenty for pressure to win in style.

O’Meara said of the Middleham Park Racing-owned winner: “I’m a little bit overwhelmed. I’m delighted for everyone who has put so much time into this. It’s just great.

“We thought he was good from day one. He hasn’t had the rub of the green a couple of times this year. He didn’t have much luck in running in the Nunthorpe, but we had every faith he’d be able to go and do it one day.

“We’re delighted he’s managed to do it today.

“I’ll have to speak to the guys and see what they want to do. There’s the Abbaye, but it looks like he’s better over six than five.”

Tudhope added: “It all went according to plan. I can’t believe it. I had every faith in this horse and he’s shown some class to do that as a three-year-old.

“He’s only small, but he has a massive heart and a great turn of foot.

“We were a bit unlucky (in the Nunthorpe), I think we would have been placed that day.

“He’s a class horse and thankfully he got the gaps today. It’s great for everyone.”

The Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Champions Day at Ascot is next on the agenda, and Middleham Park’s Nick Bradley said: “I think we’ll miss the Abbaye and stick to six (furlongs) for now.

“There is a race at Ascot coming up. It’s a Group Two, but I’ve been told we don’t get any penalties for that race.

“Then there is a race at Sha Tin on December 14. Adrian Beaumont (International Racing Bureau) was on the phone last night and thinks we’ll get an invite for that race, so it would be nice to go over there and if Sole Power goes, they can have the rematch.”

The Ladbrokes St Leger meeting gets under way at Doncaster on Wednesday, with the latest acceptance for Saturday’s final Classic of the season today.

Friday’s Ladbrokes Mallard Handicap has provided a springboard to better things for some smart stayers over the years and Adventure Seeker could force his way into the Cesarewitch picture with a prominent display over the full Leger course and distance.

Ed Vaughan’s three-year-old stayed on strongly to take second in the Melrose at York recently, but will be tackling his elders on Town Moor.

“He’s in the Cesarewitch but I don’t know about that,” said Vaughan.

“Hopefully he’ll run in the Mallard, I think he’ll be better off on a big galloping track with a long straight. He’s on 95 so should get in the Mallard, even though he’s a three-year-old.”