Popular grey Roy Rocket records ninth Brighton success

Fri 10 Aug 2018

Brighton regular Roy Rocket won at the coastal venue for the ninth time in the Kew Electrical Handicap.

The almost-white eight-year-old was expected to find life tougher on rain-softened ground and without his regular partner John Egan, and as a result he was sent off at 8-1.

Ridden by Rob Hornby for the first time, he was settled in last in the early stages before moving into contention with three furlongs to run.

Hornby found himself short of room on the rails and moved into the centre of the track to make his challenge, with John Berry’s pride and joy digging deep to beat Light Of Air by a neck.

“The key was Rob rode him with so much patience,” a breathless Berry told At The Races.

“It was such gruelling conditions he was sheltered from the wind for so long, he kept him covered up and the horses up the front were getting battered by the wind – I think that made the difference.

“He had to come around them all, the second horse was leaning on him so he was very brave, that’s what a brave horse does, wins when things aren’t in their favour.”

Hornby said: “What a star he is, they went very hard early.

“It was my first time riding him and John said to put him to sleep.”

He went on: “To be fair he just got taken off his feet a little bit, but he caught his breath and I was confident that he was going to put his head in front. He’s a legend.

“He’s a very honest horse, he’s a star, he gives you everything which is all you can ask for.”

Shortly before the race, the Premier Enclosure was evacuated due to the extremely blustery conditions, with racegoers in the area relocated to the grandstand.

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