Monday 19 March 2018

Patience proves virtue after Conduct victory

Keith Hamer

Conduct repaid the patience of connections when putting his injury troubles behind him with a spectacular performance in the Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster.

The six-year-old was having just his sixth start after being plagued with leg problems and made up for lost time when striding clear of a competitive field under Seb Sanders.

Sent off an 8/1 shot and now trained by William Haggas having been handled by Sir Michael Stoute in his early days, he bounded five lengths clear of Rio's Rosanna with Open Eagle third and Bohemian Rhapsody fourth.

"He's been very fragile, loves soft ground and has been waiting for this step up in trip," said Haggas.

"Sir Michael told us what a good horse he was and the treadmill has been the making of him. He's had a leg (tendon injury) three times but, touching a lot of wood, he's been fine with us and he has quality."

Harry Herbert, racing manager for the owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: "Sir Michael always rated this horse highly and thought he was a Group performer.

"We thought about retiring him and when he had the leg for the third time, we brought him back to Highclere to find him a home.

"To win this having been prepared to pension him off is unbelievable – this game throws everything at you."

Jack Dexter (100/30 favourite) defied a 6lb penalty in style to record a third course win in the Betfred Goals Galore Wentworth Stakes.

Jim Goldie's progressive sprinter was struggling to get a clear run but once he saw daylight, he lengthened for Graham Lee to lead 100 yards out and defeat Highland Colori by three-quarters of a length.

Goldie's son Jim jnr said: "He needs cut in the ground, so we won't take him to Dubai but try to get him ready for the Cammidge here again and hope we get a bit of cut.

"Then he'll go for the Duke of York and the King's Stand again. We want a wet summer."

Highland Colori's rider David Probert was banned for two days (November 23 and 25) for using his whip above the permitted level.

Probert gained compensation when landing the Listed Betfred Mobile/EBF Stallions Gillies Fillies' Stakes on Miss Cap Estel (25/1).

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