Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 12 December 2017

'Elusive' shows credentials for Guineas assault

Marcus Armytage

ELUSIVE PIMPERNEL sparked the 2,000 Guineas ante-post market into life when running out a convincing four-length winner of the Craven Stakes at Newmarket yesterday.

Available yesterday morning at 16/1 for the Classic at Newmarket on Saturday, May 1, most firms cut him to 6/1 after the race. Aidan O'Brien's St Nicholas Abbey, which beat Elusive Pimpernel by three-and-three-quarter lengths in the Racing Post Trophy last October, is as short as 7/4 favourite.

Ryan Moore, deputising on Elusive Pimpernel for the suspended Eddie Ahern, was one of the first jockeys to start rowing along two out, but he soon put clear water between himself and the rest, galloping to the line. The best of the rest was Dancing David.

Elusive Pimpernel is owned by Austria-based South American Cristina Patino, an old-fashioned owner-breeder who has hit on a little gold mine in the mare Cara Fantasy. She also bred Palavicini, which was third half an hour after Elusive Pimpernel's triumph in the Group Three Earl of Sefton Stakes.

The 2,000 Guineas picture should become much clearer after the Greenham Stakes at Newbury tomorrow, for which five colts, including Canford Cliffs, Arcarno and Dick Turpin, have been declared. One will have to win impressively if it is to displace Elusive Pimpernel's position as second favourite.

At Tipperary, Tommy Stack continued his fantastic start to the season as 9/2 chance Mr Mojito made a winning introduction in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden.

Austin Leahy's Frontier Cabin (14/1) was given a power-packed ride by Fran Berry to come out on top in a thrilling finish to the Dandy Man Maiden, while Polar Explorer , which showed little on his first four racecourse appearances, seemed to relish the drop to five furlongs in the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap.

Faynita tried his best to burn them off from the front but no answer as 10/1 shot Polar Explorer swept past in the final furlong to score by two lengths. It was a first win for rider Raymond Dawson, 16, on just his second ride.

Irish Independent

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