Dashing in at the double at Epsom

PAUL MIDGLEY'S burgeoning reputation as one of the best sprint trainers in the country was reinforced when Tanasoq surged to victory on Derby day at Epsom.

Going clear: Tanasoq sprints home to land the Dash for trainer Paul Midgley and jockey James Sullivan.

It was the trainer’s second victory in the prestigious £100,000 Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ Handicap after Desert Law prevailed in 2015.

Ridden by James Sullivan, the five-year-old kept on well on the stands’ side rail to take the lead close home and score by a length-and-three-quarters.

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Midgley, based in Westow, hails from Ryedale and is enjoying far more success as a trainer than he did as a jockey.

“Everybody drifted off the stands’ side rail and we probably had too good a run if that makes sense!” he said.

“From a long way down, you could see he was going to win as he was always just doing enough – he’s a nice horse.

“I’m not sure how good he could be at this stage as he just does what he has to do in his races – he’s really professional and has a good engine. We have lots of sprinters and luckily enough we have a few good ones now and everybody who has sprinters wants to win the ‘Dash’ so it is a race we target.

“Everybody wants to be here and I never thought we would be winning this race again, so it’s great.

“It’s a great team effort and I’m delighted for everyone. I’m not allowed to sit on him too many times and that’s probably why he’s winning!”

Unlike Oisin Murphy on the fourth-placed Blue de Vega, Sullivan enjoyed a charmed passage through on the rail before surging clear.

Sullivan was winning on Flat racing’s greatest stage for the second successive year following Sovereign Debt’s victory in the Diomed Stakes 12 months ago for Ruth Carr.

Ironically, this success came shortly after Sovereign Debt had finished a gutsy fourth in this year’s Diomed renewal.

“The race went every well for me,” said the jockey after Tanasoq’s win.

“When I got to the rail, no-one else was going for it so I took the opportunity. He quickened well when I asked him and won well.

“The plan was to get cover early on and then try manoeuvre my way around them. I couldn’t believe it really when I got the gap up the rail – it was fairly easy

“He looks like a smart horse – you need one to win this. Potentially, he could progress beyond handicaps into Group company. Paul does well with this type of horse so there’s no reason why not. He did everything I asked for today – I’m delighted to get another winner on a day like this.”

Middleham trainer Jedd O’Keeffe is considering future plans for Shared Equity after landing Friday’s concluding Zebra Handicap under North Yorkshire jockey Jack Garritty.

The horse is owned by Paul and Caron Chapman whose top-class hurdler Sam Spinner provided the dual purpose O’Keeffe yard with a landmark Grade One win last December.

“The jockey rode a super race. He wanted to be brave on him, he wanted to bag the near-side rail, and everything went to plan. First class,” said O’Keeffe, who was recording his first win at Epsom.

“Shared Equity has pace – he would still probably be effective over six furlongs on proper slow ground. Obviously, now I’ve got to work out whether he does merit entries in big six-furlong races like the Ayr Gold Cup, which has always been a plan of ours. He probably would be okay as long as the ground was proper soft.”