Monday 19 March 2018

Theory confirms love of Haydock to give Holt biggest win

Keith Hamer

Number Theory is becoming a standing dish at Haydock after giving trainer John Holt his biggest success in the bet365 Old Newton Cup.

The four-year-old, owned by Sri Lankan-born Mohan Fonseka, has now won four races, all of which have come at the Merseyside course.

Taking over from long-time leader Tepmokea two furlongs out in the hands of Russ Kennemore, who put up 1lb overweight, the Halling gelding kept on gamely to record a famous success in the historic handicap. Quiz Mistress finished well to get within a neck of the winner, while Tepmokea stuck on for third, a length and a half away.

"We started coming here because the owner's family live round here and it's just snowballed from there," said Leicestershire-based Holt. "I never thought he'd win like that. Now he's won three here in a row. I must be very lucky."

Great Heavens put up an impressive display in the bet365 Lancashire Oaks -- just 50 minutes before her full-brother Nathaniel won the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

The lightly-raced filly added a Group Two contest to the family haul in convincing fashion as the John Gosden-trained 11/4 favourite made all under Rab Havlin to thrash Shimmering Sea by five lengths. "She keeps improving, she was getting 13lb from the older horses so I thought I would make it a good gallop and make them pay for it," said Havlin.

Trainer Mick Channon and Martin Harley enjoyed a 24/1 double courtesy of Atlantic Sport and Rated. The former could be heading for the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket's July meeting after ending a losing spell going back to September 2008 in the bet365 Handicap.

The seven-year-old has had his problems since last getting his head in front but he had showed at Royal Ascot when third in the Buckingham Palace Stakes that his turn was near.

And Atlantic Sport (4/1) confirmed that suspicion when coming with a strong run to deny Al Muheer by a head. "He's always been a good horse but he's had his problems over the years so it's nice to see him back to winning ways," said trainer Channon's son and pupil assistant, Jack.

Rated (4/1) got up by a head from Steer The Stars in the Mobile At Nursery.

Gabrial The Great could go for the Melrose Handicap at York's Ebor meeting after putting a disappointing performance behind him at Royal Ascot to take the Handicap. The 5/6 shot, owned by Dr Marwan Koukash, was a cosy length and three-quarter winner under Jamie Spencer.

"He's a slow-maturing horse, and he's coming good," said trainer Michael Bell. Spencer completed a double when steering home the Richard Fahey-trained Alben Star (11/8) by three-quarters of a length from Morache Music in the Conditions Stakes.

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