Sunday 23 October 2016

Second Step on top form

Graham Clark

Published 03/05/2015 | 02:30

Second Step got the better of Telescope to claim victory
Second Step got the better of Telescope to claim victory

Second Step and Telescope could cross swords again at Royal Ascot after fighting out a thrilling finish to the Dunaden at Overbury Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket.

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The Michael Stoute-trained Telescope placed at the highest level on more than one occasion last term - including when second in the King George to Taghrooda - and was sent off the 8/13 favourite to land this 12-furlong heat.

All appeared to be going to plan as Ryan Moore pushed Telescope to the front with two furlongs to run and he soon put daylight between himself and his three rivals.

However, Second Step (7/1) set out in pursuit for trainer Luca Cumani and jockey Andrea Atzeni and as Telescope's stride began to shorten approaching the line, he swept through to steal the win by a head.

Cumani said: "He won a Listed race at the back-end last year in Ireland very well. In the spring he showed me he had improved further, so I thought maybe we could go Group racing with him.

"I would not really have chosen this race had there been an easier opportunity for him - but there wasn't one. Andrea gave him a super ride. On a scale of one to 10, it was easily a 10."

Goldream took the step up to Group Three company in style as he landed the Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes. Robert Cowell's charge acquitted himself well in handicaps last year but he appeared to have a tougher challenge as he switched to Pattern company for the first time.

However, the 5/1 chance was always travelling nicely for Martin Harley and when asked to go about his business, Goldream pulled a length and a quarter clear of the staying-on Justice Day, with Cowell's popular veteran Kingsgate Native third.

Best Of Times (9/4 fav) staked his Classic claims with an impressive success in the Listed Harbour Watch Newmarket Stakes. Saeed bin Suroor's charge had to work hard in the closing stages for James Doyle but managed to repel the last-gasp challenge of Balios by half a length.

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