Saturday 29 October 2016

Resurgent Pankhurst is on song

Francis Byrne

Published 14/08/2016 | 02:30

Richard Pankhurst ridden by William Buick leads the field home in the Betfred Hungerford Stakes. Photo: PA Wire
Richard Pankhurst ridden by William Buick leads the field home in the Betfred Hungerford Stakes. Photo: PA Wire

Godolphin's alleged second string Richard Pankhurst reminded everyone of his quality with victory in the Betfred Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

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The John Gosden-trained colt, who had seemingly lost his way after having shown Royal Ascot-winning form as a youngster, came from last to first within a handful of strides to take home this Group Two prize over seven furlongs.

Fellow Godolphin runner Home Of The Brave, the 7-4 favourite, made most of the running, but he was caught unaware by the Robert Havlin-ridden Richard Pankhurst, who won by a length in an all-royal-blue finish.

Havlin said: "He's always shown us a high level of ability, but he's had niggling problems throughout his career. He's just lacked that bit of confidence. As he grows in confidence, more options will be open to him."

Kings Fete's comeback has been even more impressive as he led from the front in the Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes. Brilliantly trained back to full fitness after a long spell on the sidelines, Michael Stoute's inmate served notice he was the force of old when successful in a big race at Goodwood last month.

And he continued the good work in Berkshire with a pretty ruthless display under Pat Smullen.

Stoute said: "He's in the Grand Prix de Deauville. The main thing is to see how he comes out of this. There are plenty of races for him. We tried him over a mile and five and we know he gets that." Stoute and Smullen had earlier teamed up to good effect when Partitia won the opening fillies' maiden.

Frankie Dettori moved onto the 3,001-winner mark after Hugo Palmer's Escobar earned Classic quotes with a striking triumph in the Washington Singer Stakes. Assistant trainer George Boughey said: "I'd say we won't be jumping up to Group One level yet we will let him develop in his own time."

Nameitwhatyoulike gave 'miracle jockey' Connor Beasley a significant victory with a clean-cut success in the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Stakes at Ripon.

Just over 13 months ago, Beasley fractured his skull and spine, suffered bleeding on his brain, lost half of an ear and all of his teeth after a frightful fall at Wolverhampton. Beasley defied medical logic by returning to the saddle in March and took his game to the next level at when he guided Nameitwhatyoulike to an accomplished success in the valuable six-furlong handicap.

Beasley said: "I've been through a lot in the last year and I must thank all the owners and trainers who have supported me." Trainer Bryan Smart added: "We'll look towards Ayr, I'd have thought."

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