Class Manifest signals end to Cecil's Gold drought
HENRY CECIL'S fine run continued yesterday when Manifest ran away with Emirates Airlines Yorkshire Cup, earning outright favouritism for the Ascot Gold Cup with his eight-length romp under Tom Queally.
The Waterford-born jockey had the pleasurable task of easing his mount down close to the line and they coasted past the post with consummate ease from market rival Purple Moon.
At Newbury a second Oaks trial went his way after Principal Role's hard-fought win in the Swettenham Stud Fillies' Trial.
Cecil has always had a penchant for stayers and dominated the Ascot Gold Cup between 1979 and 1982 when Le Moss and Ardross won it twice apiece, but he has not won it since Peaen gave him a record-equalling fifth win in 1987. Manifest, a lightly raced four-year-old, is now as short as 5/1 for that race after coming home eight lengths clear of former Ebor winner Purple Moon.
"I love Cup horses and he could make into a nice one," said Cecil. "He does everything right and he could probably do with more give in the ground. It looks as if he stays and he could stay in the Gold Cup at Ascot."
If she went to Epsom, Principal Role would be a third string for owner Khalid Abdulla and Cecil behind Timepiece and Aviate. Her jockey, Eddie Ahern, who also won the Musidora on Aviate, confirmed that Principal Role was not quite in that class. That was reflected in a quote of 16/1 for the Oaks.
Aidan O'Brien reported that Cape Blanco, the subject of an injury scare after his Dante win on Thursday, seemed fine. "He was a little bit tender but otherwise fine," he said. "He only walked out this morning."
Luca Cumani's much-travelled Presvis, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore, is drawn 10 of 12 in tomorrow's Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji.
Richard Hannon fired in a treble at Newbury that included two winners with Royal Ascot in their sights in the shape of juveniles The Sydney Arms and Strong Suit. Three-year-old sprinter Angel's Pursuit also scored for Hannon.
The Sydney Arms will take her chance in the Albany Stakes after edging out stablemate Inagh River under Ryan Moore in the Duke Of Westminster V Inland Revenue HL 1935 Fillies' Conditions Stakes.
The daughter of Elusive City had won nicely on her debut at Windsor only to disappoint at Salisbury, but Hannon's insistence the defeat be ignored ran true as the 2/1 favourite scored by a battling head.
Richard Hannon Jnr said: "She wants six furlongs and we'll let her run in the Albany."
Strong Suit was so impressive in despatching Neebras in division two of the Berkshire County Blind Society Maiden Stakes that Coral gave the colt an 8/1 quote for the Coventry Stakes.
It was Hannon yet again in the Berkshire County Blind Society Carnarvon Stakes when Angel's Pursuit (11/1) stayed on too strongly for the warm favourite Society Rock, scoring by half a length. (© Daily Telegraph, London)