Rob Hornby produces Haydock masterclass with Manuela De Vega

Sun 7 Jun 2020

Robert Hornby was seen to great effect as he made every yard of the running on Manuela De Vega in the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock.

Having had a solid if unspectacular season last year, highlighted when beaten just a neck in a Group One in Germany, Manuela De Vega was sent off a 4-1 chance behind John Gosden’s even-money favourite Fanny Logan, who finished fourth at the Breeders’ Cup.

Dropping slightly in trip, Hornby could be confident his mount would stay every yard and once he was allowed an untroubled lead, he kept on extending his advantage on entering the straight.

At one point when around six lengths clear the question was had he gone too fast, as Robert Havlin still looked confident on the favourite, but when he asked his filly to close, Hornby still had plenty left in the locker.

Ralph Beckett’s charge powered down the middle of the track, coming home two lengths clear to provide the trainer and jockey with a double on the card after the earlier success of Babbo’s Boy.

“She’s a smart filly, her form in Germany worked out really well when she was second in a Group One,” said Hornby.

“This track is tailor-made for her in that it is flat and galloping. In a small field like this I didn’t want it to be a tactical affair as I know she stays very well and she showed that there, galloping out nicely.

“She’s very straightforward, she’s wintered well and she’s improved – she’ll go further this year.

“I never felt I had to do a lot to get that far clear so then I could sit and ride a race and go through the gears.

“She handles softer ground but it rides lovely out there, just on the easy side of good.”

He added: “Ralph’s horses are flying, so are Andrew Balding’s so hopefully I can have an exciting year.”

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