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"What a performance!" - Brilliant Limato proves class apart in Criterion Stakes

Sat 27 Jun 2020

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Henry Candy was almost lost for words as stable star Limato rolled back the years to register back-to-back victories in the Betway Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.

The eight-year-old showed he retains plenty of ability as he made a triumphant return to action in becoming just the second dual winner of the Group Three prize.

Having been anchored close to the rear of the field for much of the seven-furlong feature, the dual Group One winner steadily worked his way into contention under Adam Kirby ahead of mounting his challenge.

With the requisite gaps appearing at the right time, the 5-1 shot quickly put the race to bed when producing a devastating turn of foot before crossing the line three and a half lengths clear of Happy Power.

Candy said: “Andrew Balding (trainer of the runner-up) said that thing should be eating grass out in the paddock!

“As it is he got to the front too soon today, but he kept going as he can put the brakes on when he gets to the front.

“He has to be ridden for that turn of foot. He was quite impressive today – just like me he is getting better with age. What a performance.

“It is absolutely amazing and it has taken me back a bit. It is indescribable and just great to see, as he has got a great following.”

While it was the first time Group One-winning rider Kirby had partnered Limato, the Kingston Warren handler was confident they would be the perfect match.

He added: “I just thought they would click. If you watch in the preliminaries Adam never stops giving him fuss. He said he was in the form of his life, but he also said he had been trying to get on him for the last three years!”

Although Limato was given a quote of 16-1 for the Darley July Cup by William Hill, a trip to Goodwood for the Qatar Lennox Stakes could be next on the agenda.

Candy said: “I always think the Lennox is the right race for him, but that is always like a Group One even though it is only a Group Two.

“If he stays in form that might be worth a try as the trouble they often get running around Goodwood would suit him.

“Group Two and Three races over seven furlongs where the ground is quick is what he wants. Quick ground is still key.”

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Boccaccio demonstrated the best of his battling abilities to maintain his unbeaten record with a tenacious success in the Betway Handicap at Newmarket.

Not sighted since landing a novice event at Kempton in November, the Dubawi colt continued his progression with victory on his seasonal return in the seven-furlong contest.

Despite being headed late on by eventual runner-up Gifted Ruler, the Charlie Appleby-trained 13-8 favourite rallied close to the line to prevail by a short head.

Appleby said: “He is a nice horse and is now unbeaten in three starts. Today he was a little bit raw and he will learn plenty again. He was courageous to put his head down at the right time.

“I think he is about ready for another step up in grade now. We will probably have a look at a Listed race for him.

“I think he will improve a lot for that, as you could see in the paddock he is a burly colt.”

The Newmarket handler also issued an update on Coronation Cup winner Ghaiyyath ahead of his eagerly-awaited clash with Enable in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

He said: “He worked well this morning. It was nice straightforward work. Hopefully we will have a good week and we are looking forward to next weekend.

“There is no doubt that he is a different animal to last year in his post-race condition.”

Arigato continued his impressive start to the season to make it back-to-back wins at the track with victory in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap.

The William Jarvis-trained five-year-old defied an 8lb hike in the weights to claim the seven-furlong prize by a length from Blown By Wind.

Jarvis said of the 3-1 winner: “He went up 8lb for his last win. I had a word with the handicapper as I wanted six and he was going to put him up 10 so we met halfway.

Click here to watch all the action from Newmarket again for free in our results and replay section.

“There is no rhyme nor reason why he should be a better five-year-old than four-year-old, but he is in the form of his life.

“If he could creep into the Bunbury Cup that would be his aim as he seems to be a seven-furlong specialist.”

Volkan Star took a significant step forward to secure the biggest prize of his career with victory in the Betway Fairway Stakes at Newmarket.

The Charlie Appleby-trained three year-old gained his first success since being gelded with a smart display in the mile-and-a-quarter Listed contest, going one better than on his return at the same level over the course and distance.

Sitting front rank throughout, the son of Sea The Stars maintained a good gallop all the way to the line to defeat the previously-unbeaten Thunderous by a length and three-quarters, with the pair a long way clear.

Appleby said of the 5-6 winner: “He put up a nice first start here and I felt he would come forward for that. William (Buick) was very pleased with him there.

“Hopefully we can seek out a bit more improvement when he steps up in trip as he kept galloping and maintained a good gallop.

“His last run as a two-year-old in the Zetland, the ground was soft but his character was not going the right way. We gelded him and he has furnished well mentally and has allowed himself to do what you have seen this year.

“There are no fixed plans for him at the moment.”

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