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Hold Fast stays on stoutly to strike for Balding and Probert at Kempton

Tue 2 Jun 2020

Hold Fast appeared to appreciate a step up in trip to get off the mark at the third time of asking with a battling success in the Unibet Thanks The Frontline Workers Maiden Stakes at Kempton.

Despite the race being delayed by nearly 10 minutes after debutant Father Of Jazz broke through the stalls before being withdrawn, the Andrew Balding-trained three-year-old kept her cool to get the better of Nashy by half a length on her first start over a mile and a quarter.

Winning jockey David Probert said of the 7-1 shot: "She is a pretty consistent filly. She ran well last year at Glorious Goodwood in defeat. She has come on quite a bit over the winter. I thought the 10 furlongs around here would be a bit sharp for her, but fair do's to the filly - she jumped well and travelled good and hit the line pretty nice.

"I'd say she would improve again going up in trip. She has got a great attitude. Her home work has been good. She is a very straightforward filly."

Watch how Hold Fast kept on gamely to score at Kempton

It was a winning first ride back for Probert since racing resumed at Newcastle on Monday following an enforced shutdown of more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He added: "It was hard work. I'm delighted to be back as there has been a lot of hard work to get us where we are and doing the job we love, so it is great."

Benny And The Jets ended his losing run stretching back to last May with a decisive victory in the Unibet Handicap.

The Sylvester Kirk-trained four-year-old showed too much speed for his rivals, crossing the line three and a quarter lengths clear of Spoof to claim his first win over five furlongs.

Kirk said of the 6-1 winner: "That was his first win over five furlongs and he has strengthened up and is moving better than ever. I was pleased with the way he was going at home.

"I said to Rob (Hornby) if he pings out don't disappoint him and that is what happened. It would be great if he could sneak into one of those big sprint handicaps over five or six furlongs later in the year."

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