Monday 19 February 2018

Limato goes the distance

Limato ridden by Harry Bentley wins The Darley July Cup. Photo: Simon Cooper
Limato ridden by Harry Bentley wins The Darley July Cup. Photo: Simon Cooper Newsdesk Newsdesk

Limato put up a superb performance to quash any doubts about being dropped in distance when running away with the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

The Henry Candy-trained four-year-old, fourth in the Lockinge over a mile on his only previous start this season, led over a furlong out and quickly put the race to bed.

Limato (9-2 favourite) went on to score in great style by two lengths in the hands of Harry Bentley to give the jockey a first domestic Group One.

Suedois (25-1) was second and Quiet Reflection (7-1) another head away in third.

"I got in a great position and he took me there almost too well," said Bentley. "I knew in my back of my mind he does get further than six (furlongs), but he's got so much natural speed. This is an amazing opportunity. To get a ride like him in a Group One is so, so special."

Candy, who also saddled the disappointing Twilight Son, said: "He's exciting and absolutely amazing to watch. He does give the jockeys that ride him the most fantastic feel.

"I would think he'd stick at this trip. It would be rather fun if he ran in the Sussex (Goodwood). I wouldn't rule it out totally - it's a thought.

"I thought he ran a cracking race in the Lockinge and I thought he settled very well. My horses weren't right at the time and I thought he got the mile that day. I've been training him pretty much to stay. We had the Summer Mile in mind and the Lockinge earlier so I have been learning him to try to settle as much as possible.

"This week, though, I've been trying to get the fizz out of him and get him to enjoy himself. Twilight Son was on the outside. Both were easy to spot, so I was able to watch them both. Martin Harley (Twilight Son's jockey) said he was never comfortable. It was a bad decision (to run him) by me."

Meanwhile, Educate landed the 57th John Smith's Cup at York at the fourth attempt. A regular on the Knavesmire, the Ismail Mohammed-trained seven-year-old was always close to the admittedly moderate pace under Thomas Brown.

Belgian Bill held a narrow advantage inside the final two furlongs, but Educate was always on top of that fast-retreating rival.

Elbereth flew at the death, but Brown had expertly worked out his fractions and won this valuable mile-and-a-quarter handicap with a hint of authority.

Earth Drummer and Gold Trail finished third and fourth respectively.

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