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Dakota Gold continues love affair with York in Bengough Stakes

Sat 10 Oct 2020

Watch how the six-year-old made all in the rearranged Group Three Coral Bengough Stakes with a stunning display to record his fifth victory on the Knavesmire.

Watch: A full replay of the Coral Bengough Stakes

Dakota Gold landed the first Group Three race of his career with a pillar-to-post success in the rearranged Coral Bengough Stakes at York.

Saved over from last weekend’s waterlogged Ascot card, Michael Dods’ consistent sprinter never saw another rival in registering a fifth win on the Knavesmire.

While the six-year-old has not been as prolific this year as last, when he won the Great St Wilfrid, two big handicaps and a Listed race at York as well as a Listed race at Ascot, he is back in great form again now.

Connor Beasley bounced him out of the stalls and he proved his versatility by seeing out the six-furlong trip in testing ground very stoutly.

James Fanshawe’s veteran The Tin Man had travelled noticeably strongly throughout, but briefly had nowhere to go when Dakota Gold quickened and when he eventually got in the clear it was too late, with a length and three-quarters the winning margin for the 13-8 favourite.

“It was a plus when Stormy Girl came out (non runner), that was the only front-runner I could see in the race. It meant that he could dictate, get a breather and go from there,” said Dods.

“Connor gave him a good ride and he just loves it here, I couldn’t tell you why. It’s a good flat track, the best track in the country. He’s never run a bad race here and Connor gets on well with him.

“It’s just played into our hands a bit, we had him in the two races at Ascot, went for the Rous (which he won last year) and it was abandoned. As soon as they moved the Group Three race to here then it was the obvious race to go for, especially with the conditions the way they are.”

Interview: Connor Beasley on Dakota Gold

There is also a chance Dakota Gold could be back out as quickly as Wednesday in the Rous Stakes, which will now be at Nottingham.

“I’m not ruling it out (running again), I’ll monitor it. There’s only the Listed race at Doncaster at the end of the season, coming into November, I think there’s a possibility we could go for next Wednesday and then call it a day for this season,” said Dods.

David O’Meara’s Gulliver won a second successive Coral Sprint Trophy when defending his crown in decisive fashion at York.

The six-year-old gelding defied odds of 20-1 to run a commanding race under Martin Harley, striking from the middle of the field with a furlong left to travel and soon gaining a comfortable lead over the field of 21.

David Loughnane’s 9-2 favourite Tranchee strove to close the gap but could not catch last year’s victor, with Mark Johnston’s 28-1 shot Desert Safari finishing third.

“He’s a wonderful horse,” O’Meara said of Gulliver, who carried 9st 7lb to victory – from a 2lb higher mark than last season.

“He won this race last year and he was a couple of pounds higher this year so we weren’t sure if he was maybe a few pounds too high to win it again, but he’s a fantastic horse and he seems to like it here.

“I didn’t think he liked this ground until he won this race last year, on this same ground. Ever since then we’ve known he goes on anything.

“I don’t know what we’ll do with him next, we’ll see, he might go abroad through the winter.”

Mick Channon’s Nastase was a game winner of the Listed coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes, triumphing at odds of 25-1 under David Probert.

The two-year-old son of Sixties Icon came home a neck ahead of William Haggas’ Light Refrain, who ran loose to the start after parting company with jockey Danny Tudhope.

Stepping back up to a favourable trip of six furlongs, the colt remained on the far side of the track and eventually closed in on the runner-up and Simon and Ed Crisford’s 15-2 chance Legal Attack.

A photo finish had to determine the outcome of the one-mile Coral Racing Super Series Nursery Handicap, with Roger Fell’s The Flying Ginger prevailing by a head from Ralph Beckett’s Galah.

A 25-1 chance, The Flying Ginger put aside a previous poor effort on soft ground to claim a second career win under Ben Curtis.

“He’s well ahead,” said Curtis of Fell’s approach to training juveniles.

“He lets them learn their trade and by the third run they know what they’re doing. He lets them progress that way.”

Fell observed that the filly had strengthened and improved since her last run at Newmarket, when she finished runner-up to Mystery Angel.

“She’s come on,” he said.

“Since that run on the Cambridgeshire card, when the winner won it quite easily, she’s really come on.

“She’s good, she’s very good. Cieren Fallon (who rode her at Newmarket) said she’d definitely get black type.”

Popular hurdler The Jam Man collected a first victory on the Flat when taking the Coral Backing Prostrate Cancer UK Handicap Stakes.

The Ronan McNally-trained seven-year-old, who has won nine races over both hurdles and fences, is more frequently seen at jumps tracks and contested the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Well able to stay the two-mile trip and cope with the soft ground, the 4-5 favourite reeled in leader Solo Saxophone to emerge victorious under Franny Norton after a photo finish.

“I knew I had it,” Norton said of the outcome.

“It was a slog for me, when I saw Paul (Mulrennan, on Solo Saxophone), I knew I had a bit to do. But I only had eight stone two and I was on a jumper so it was about just getting to the line.

“I always knew I’d get there but I did think I was in a little bit of trouble.”

The Jam Man is a yard favourite for McNally, sharing a special bond with his schoolboy work rider – the Armagh-based trainer’s son, Kian ‘Tubbs’ McNally.

Elswhere on the card, Ilaraab justified his status as 3-1 favourite in the Coral Beaten By A Length Free Bet Handicap, his fifth consecutive victory having been beaten only once when seventh of 10 on his racecourse debut in June.

The three-year-old battled through from mid-division to take up the lead inside the final furlong, holding off runner-up Asheq to triumph by three-quarters of a length.

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