EUCHEN Glen is likely to bid for a famous York double next month following a dominant front-running victory in the 59th John Smith’s Cup.
Connections are targeting the Ebor handicap – and then possibly a tilt at the Melbourne Cup – after this impressive triumph.
Denied by a nose in the two-mile Northumberland Vase at Newcastle on his latest appearance, jockey Alistair Rawlinson was positive from the start in this 10 furlong test and made it a good stamina test from the moment the stalls opened.
Euchen Glen bowled along merrily at the head of affairs and his rvals began to feel the pinch as he gradually raised the tempo.
It was clear halfway up the home straight that the chasing pack were struggling to bridge the gap and Jim Goldie’s 20-1 shot passed the post two and a quarter lengths clear of Thundering Blue, with Kynren third.
The versatile Goldie, who has enjoyed sprint success with Hawkeyethenoo and Jack Dexter in recent times, is eyeing a return to York for next month’s Sky Bet Ebor.
“He’s a fair horse and although he’s been running over further, I always had it at the back of my mind he could do something like that,” said the Scottish trainer.
“We were going to sidestep this and go for a two-mile race at Newbury next week, but I said to the owners we’d have a look and the more we looked the more we liked the look of it.”
He added: “I knew the mile and a quarter wouldn’t be a problem, he had a good draw and we decided we’d take a chance and go forward.
“The plan was to come back here for the Ebor so that’s where he’ll go, all being well. It was Ali’s first ride for me. He made it look easy, but he had a willing ally.”
It was a timely winner for 26-year-old Rawlinson, who welcomed a son into the world little over two weeks ago.
He said: “I had a lot of faith in what Jim told me and it worked out really well. We felt coming back in trip wouldn’t be a problem and in fairness they’ve let me at it in front.
“I’ve won the Scottish Sprint Cup twice, but this is the most valuable race I’ve won, which is nice, as it will help pay for the nappies!”
Meanwhile Yorkshire sprinter Mr Lupton will return to the Knavesmire for next month’s Coolmore Nunthorpe after registering his third course victory in a thrilling renewal of the John Smith’s City Walls Stakes.
Richard Fahey’s charge knuckled down well in the hands of Jack Garritty to get the better of Alpha Delphini by a head.
Fahey’s assistant, Robin O’Ryan, said: “He loves it here and so do we, so it’s great. We gave him a speculative entry in the Nunthorpe and I’d say he’ll probably run. He’s actually sharpened up as he’s got older and he’s a star.”
Garritty was replacing Tony Hamilton who was absent following the death of his brother Ben’s fiancee Laura Barry. A former rider, she lost her fight against cancer on Friday 24 hours before her planned wedding.
Meanwhile Kevin Ryan’s Brando was the best of the Yorkshire runners in Newmarket’s Group One Darley July Cup, finishing second to Aidan O’Brien’s US Navy Flag.
Third last year, Brando went one better under Tom Eaves and the horse will now head to Deauville to attempt to make a successful defence of the Prix Maurice de Gheest.
Hambleton-based Ryan said: “He was in a group of four horses up the stands rail and we’d always prefer to be in the bigger group.
“It is a little bit gut wrenching it hasn’t, but I’m proud of him.”
Paul Mulrennan is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering multiple fractures in his back after a fall on the gallops.
The Boroughbridge-based rider took a tumble while riding out for Michael Dods and subsequent X-rays revealed the extent of the damage.
Mulrennan’s agent, Richard Hale, said: “He had the X-rays and it’s not good news, unfortunately. It looks like he’s fractured three vertebrae.
“The last I heard it doesn’t sound like they’re going to operate, but he will obviously be immobilised for a while.”