Alfaatik returns from a lengthy lay-off to resume winning ways at York

Fri 21 Aug 2020

Alfaatik returned from a lengthy lay-off to claim a cosy victory in the Sky Bet Handicap at York.

John Gosden’s charge was having just his fourth career start, and his first outing since finishing last in Derby trial at Goodwood last May – but he was not unfancied as a 15-2 shot.

Jim Crowley opted to take the shortest route in the 12-furlong contest, biding his time as favourite Zabeel Champion set out to make all before his stride started to shorten in the straight.

Dark Jedi hit the front with two furlongs to run, but as Crowley got serious, Alfaatik knuckled down to the task, finding plenty in the final half-furlong before eventually triumphing by a comfortable three-quarters of a length. On To Victory stayed on for third.

Assistant trainer Thady Gosden said: “It was a little bit of a surprise. He obviously won first time out, but slightly lost his way after that. Gelding him has made a big difference and he finished his race of nicely.

“We haven’t really looked beyond this as he’s a work in progress, you couldn’t take how he would run for granted and like I said, it was a slight surprise.

“We’ll see how he comes out of the race. He’s always had plenty of ability, but just hasn’t always shown it. That was a decent race today and he’s done it well.”

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