Sinjaari surges late to strike for Haggas and Donohoe in John Smith’s Cup

Sat 18 Jul 2020

Sinjaari gave trainer William Haggas his third win in the John Smith’s Cup when storming home in the 61st running of the big mile-and-a-quarter handicap at York.

Haggas, successful with Green Destiny in 2011 and Danchai 2103, also had Desert Icon in the 22-runner contest – but it was Sinjaari who lifted the prize.

It was a good training performance by the Yorkshire-born handler as Sinjaari had been off for 281 days and was returning to action after being gelded.

Jockey Steve Donohoe brought Sinjaari (11-1) through the pack in the final furlong, with the field spread right across the course.

The Camelot four-year-old showed a decisive turn of foot to head 66-1 outsider Certain Lad and land the spoils by a length. Fifth Position (6-1) was three lengths away in third place, with Dark Jedi (28-1) fourth.

Haggas said from his Newmarket base: “I’m thrilled to bits he’s come back to himself as he lost his way last spring having looked a bit useful.

“What he loved today was the fast pace and I’m sure he appreciated the drop of rain.

“I’m not sure what happened last season. I gave the jockey the wrong instructions at Royal Ascot and after that he wasn’t the same.

“We had him gelded but not because he was naughty in any way, he’s a lovely horse. I wasn’t sure he was coming to himself in time, but just in the last two weeks I thought we were getting him back.

“I wouldn’t know where we’d go with him. I won’t go back over a mile and a half, though – what he wants is a fast pace over 10 furlongs. I’m a bit taken aback by that to be honest to be thinking of what next.

“It’s just great to win a race to win with him – it’s a great race, a race we try to find one for every year.”

Donohoe said: “He loved the ground and saw his race out really well.

“It’s a John Smith’s Cup and it was a tricky enough, but once he got a bit of room up the straight he put it to bed. We were tapped for toe early, but then he came alight. He’s a very kind horse and has a really good attitude.

“With lockdown we’re all taking a hit and it’s good to get a nice winner.”

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