Internationaldream books return ticket to Ripon

Sun 16 Aug 2020

Internationaldream booked a return trip to Ripon for the Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy when swooping late to win the William Hill Ripon Hornblower Conditions Stakes.

Third in the Molecomb at Goodwood to Steel Bull when an unconsidered 50-1 shot last time out, he showed that performance was no fluke.

Paddy Mathers brought the 2-1 chance out to challenge the only filly in the race, Karl Burke’s Red Fascinator, just outside the final furlong.

At that time Red Fascinator just took a false step, briefly losing her momentum, and Internationaldream gained an advantage he would not relinquish, winning by half a length.

Winning trainer Richard Fahey said: “It was a good run, but I don’t know what happened to Karl’s filly – she just took a couple of false steps.

“We were in the position to take advantage, luckily.

“I’d imagine we’ll send him back there in a couple of weeks for the Listed race. Six furlongs suits him, and we know he handles the track – which is a bonus and was a worry going there today.”

Mathers said: “He’s definitely suited by six furlongs. He’s a genuine little horse, and his form is solid. We can look at some nice races for him now.

At Ripon’s last meeting Tim Easterby saddled a treble, and he repeated the feat – including two of the same horses.

Staxton followed up his win from 10 days ago in the feature Great St Wilfrid, while Bollin Joan (7-4) won the three-runner mile-and-a-half handicap.

Easterby’s Just Hiss (13-2) was without a win since October 2018 but had tumbled down the weights, and he finally took advantage in the Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap.

Having begun the season with a rating of 88, just three runs later he was down to 82, but he looked to have lost all chance this time when very slowly away.

Jason Hart had no option but to be patient, and then the field left a dream path up the far rail which he was good enough to take, beating Hesslewood by a neck.

“Every drop of rain overnight was very much appreciated,” said Easterby.

“If it had been fast ground he wouldn’t have run, but there was localised thunder about when we declared and we just had to hope some storms would hit.

“I don’t know why, but he’s started walking out of the stalls, which is strange for a horse who has run as many times as he has. We’ll have to look at it.”

Just 20 minutes after Amy Murphy’s Solider On Parade had won at Market Rasen, the trainer’s Urban War justified 11-8 favouritism in the Follow @WillHillRacing On Twitter Novice Auction Stakes.

Third on debut at Lingfield behind a couple of previous winners, he looked a cut above his rivals, coming home three and a quarter lengths clear under Kevin Stott.

The winning jockey said: “He learned a bit for his first run, and that form has worked out well.

“He gave me a nice feel. He took me on for about half a furlong but then settled nicely. He picked up well two out and stretched clear without doing a lot in front.

“I’d say he’s going to be a nice horse for Amy.”

Zeeband is a fine stamp of a horse, and broke his maiden on handicap debut for Roger Varian.

Varian wasted no time in stepping him up to a mile and three-quarters –  and despite running green, the son of Sea The Stars had enough in hand to win by half a length as the 6-5 favourite.

As he towered over Franny Norton afterwards, the jockey said: “He’s the sort of horse you’d want on your side if you were in a bit of bother on a Saturday night.

“Roger rang me before and said he’d been improving with his racing, and he was still a bit green today when he hit the front.

“For a big horse he handled the track well, but I think the rain helped with that.”

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