MICHAEL DODS claimed watching his daughter Sophie win the Queen Mother’s Cup at York on Mister Belvedere “means as much as winning the Nunthorpe”.
Having looked initially like Mister Belvedere was going to win comfortably, the four-year-old began to drift right, allowing Pacify an opportunity to challenge.
The 20-year-old rider just got her mount straightened out in time to hold on by a neck and cause a 20-1 surprise. “It’s unbelievable, I can’t quite take it in,” she said.
Michael Dods said: “I’ve had the best days of my career here and this is right up there, it means as much as winning the Nunthorpe (twice with Mecca’s Angel in 2015-16).
“She got shuffled back after a couple of furlongs but they were going hard up front so I wasn’t too concerned.
“She had the race won but then he drifted so I was pleased she held on. I had another one for this race that her twin sister Chloe was going to ride but the ground was too fast. Sophie was always riding this one.
She had the race won but then he drifted so I was pleased she held on. I had another one for this race that her twin sister Chloe was going to ride but the ground was too fast. Sophie was always riding this one.Michael Dods
“They’ve both just finished their degrees at York University and got Firsts in Biomedical Science. They’ve both started working but still ride out when they can.”
Above The Rest defied top weight in clear-cut fashion in the JCB Handicap to gain his first win since last year’s Bunbury Cup.
David Barron’s seven-year-old took a two-length advantage over a furlong out and nothing could get near him, with hot favourite Spanish City finding little in fourth.
The Dods-trained Get Knotted came from the clouds to claim second, but he was beaten a length and a quarter by the 16-1 winner.
Winning jockey Ben Curtis said: “I was worried about the draw, but from two out I always thought I’d win.
“It’s nice for him to get his head back in front as he’s a bit of a twilight horse, high in the handicap but not really up to Group races.
“That should boost his confidence.”
James Bethell has a very nice youngster on his hands in the shape of Hesslewood who made a winning debut in the Reg Griffin Appreciation ebfstallions.com Maiden at York.
By Slade Power but with plenty of stamina in the dam side, he showed a smart turn of foot to cause a 33-1 surprise under Kevin Stott.
Bethell said: “I was hoping he’d run well but thought it might be pushing it expecting him to win. There’s stamina in the pedigree but we hoped Slade Power would inject the speed.
“We might go for the July Stakes next.”
Give It Some Teddy (7-1) roared back to form for the red-hot Tim Easterby and David Allan combination.
“He’d run well on soft ground last season but he obviously doesn’t mind fast. In truth I don’t know what he wants as he’d been disappointing,” said Easterby. Paddy Power (12-1) was another to defy top weight for the old firm of Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan in the Jill Willows Stakes.