Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 19 October 2019

Cup winner Owen hits the target as Angel Alexander triumphs

Michael Owen. Photo: Getty Images
Michael Owen. Photo: Getty Images

Thomas Kelly

Former England striker Michael Owen scored big time on Saturday when he was among the owners celebrating after Angel Alexander grabbed the glory in the Ayr Gold Cup.

Tom Dascombe's charge was a 28/1 shot for the prestigious sprint handicap, but belied his odds and a seemingly unfavourable draw to claim victory in the hands of Richard Kingscote. The Ger Lyons-trained 100/30 favourite Buffer Zone never got involved and trailed home 17th.

Owen - part of the successful syndicate - took to Twitter to declare his delight, posting: "GET IN THERE YOU BEAUTY!!!!!! I've just won the Ayr Gold Cup!!!!!"

Dascombe was equally thrilled, despite having not made it to Scotland to witness the success first hand.

"For a three-year-old to win like that ... funny thing we were third out of the draw for the starting stalls, and I went for 24. It's all just worked out like a fairytale."

Having already landed Friday's Bronze Cup with Music Society, Tim Easterby also claimed the Silver Cup over the same six furlongs with Golden Apollo (12/1). The Mark Johnston-trained Rose Of Kildare (8/1) showed great tenacity in the hands of Joe Fanning to take the Firth Of Clyde Stakes.

At Newbury, Roger Varian expressed high hopes for Pierre Lapin, after he maintained his unbeaten record with an impressive display in the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes.

A dominant winner on his only previous start at Haydock in May, the youngster is a half-brother to top-class sprinter Harry Angel, which won this race in 2016 before going on to score at Group One level the following year.

Despite a four-month absence, he was a 9/4 joint-favourite for the Group Two test under Andrea Atzeni and was value for the margin of a length and a half over market rival Mystery Power.

Saturday's cancelled meeting at Gowran Park has been rescheduled for this Thursday. The Flat fixture - set to feature the Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes - was called off because of thunder and lightning.

There was heavy rain an hour before racing was due to start (1.35) but as it began to ease, the jockeys weighed out on time. Just as they mounted and were beginning to make their way down to the start, the rain started again, accompanied by thunder and lightning.

The decision was taken to delay the meeting, but there was no sign of conditions improving and officials decided to call off proceedings.

Irish Independent

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