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Tiger Cliff wins Ebor Handicap for Cecil yard
8:51am Monday 26th August 2013 in Sport
TIGER CLIFF’S late charge gave trainer Lady Jane Cecil an emotional Betfred Ebor Handicap victory at York.
The four-year-old (5-1) swept to success in Europe’s richest handicap after jockey Tom Queally produced his mount to win in the dying strides of the mile-and-three-quarter contest.
The son of Tiger Hill was trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil who “loved” the four-day York festival, said his winning owner Henry Ponsonby.
Mike Marshall, Sir Henry’s former assistant, summed up the warmth in the winner’s enclosure after Queally brought his mount back into the parade ring, saying: “Henry loved York, and the people loved Henry. To win this race after losing him earlier this year is very special indeed.”
It had looked like Genzy would take the glory in the £250,000 heritage handicap after he saw off Number Theory coming into the final furlong.
But Queally switched Tiger Cliff to the stands’ side rail and came charging through with a late run to snatch the race by half a length – the rain-softened ground clearly aiding the gelding.
Ponsonby added: “We’re delighted, and of course very emotional. Henry would’ve absolutely loved this,” he said.
“I think Henry had something to do with turning the taps on up above. He wasn’t a Yorkshireman but he loved Yorkshire, so I’m wearing a white rose in his honour.
“We don’t know where the horse is going to go next. He’s entered in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, and the champion stayers’ race at Ascot in October, but we’ll play it by ear.”
Clever race riding helped York jockey Robert Winston grab Listed race honours on Sirius Prospect (5-2) in a dramatic Betfred City of York Stakes.
The Osbaldwick rider astutely used a loose horse as a barrier to keep the challenging Rex Imperator at bay and claim the £50,000 seven furlong contest.
“I didn’t think he would want to come between two horses so I just switched him to the outside,” Winston said.
“He just quickened up really well. He goes without a smack and is just a lovely horse.”
It was Sirius Prospect’s second win on the track in a month, after he and Winston teamed up to beat Smarty Socks at the Music Showcase Meeting, and his third victory overall at York.
Dark Crusader (8-1) came out of a line of five contenders stretched across the track to win the Betfred Melrose Stakes, while 14-1 shot Sam Sharp won the Betfred The Bonus King Stakes.
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