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Acclaim The Nation takes the plaudits in York opener with clear-cut success

Wed 19 Aug 2020

Acclaim The Nation ran out a decisive winner of the opening Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap at York.

A field of 21 runners went to post for the first race of an Ebor Festival which will be run behind closed doors, with Eric Alston’s Acclaim The Nation an 18-1 shot having finished second in three of his last four starts.

Sporting a sheepskin noseband, the seven-year-old raced on the speed from the start under Jason Hart and kicked a couple of lengths clear of his rivals approaching the final furlong.

Soldier’s Minute finished strongly on the far side of the track, but Acclaim The Nation was always doing enough to hold him at bay and there was a length and a quarter between the pair at the line.

Tarboosh and Arecibo finished close up in third and fourth respectively.

Alston, who also had Jabbarockie beaten in a photo for fifth, said: “There might not have been much between them, but Jabbarockie was drawn the wrong side.

“I thought Acclaim The Nation might struggle to get home over five-and-a-half as he barely gets five some days.

“Jason said he took him easy to halfway and then he took off again. He won quite well.

“He’s in the sales on Monday, so thinking about targets is hard. If we keep him, you’d think maybe the Portland might suit at Doncaster as he’s won there before.”

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