Rank outsider Solent Gateway claimed the narrowest of victories after a thrilling climax to the opening race on Cazoo Derby day Epsom.
Greatgadian looked likely to prevail after powering to the front inside the final furlong, but both Solent Gateway and King Frankel (5-2) lunged late and flashed by the post almost as one.
Following a brief wait, the judge confirmed the former had won the day by a nose, with Greatgadian half a length away in third.
Dascombe, surprisingly saddling his first ever winner at Epsom, said: “Epsom is the only Flat track I’ve never had a winner at. I took a two-year-old there on Friday (Flaming Rib) and strongly expected that to win and it finished second and I just thought ‘I’m never going to get a winner at Epsom’.
“Derek Passant is a joint-owner is a great fellow and I couldn’t be more happy for him. He is there and I’m not and I feel a bit embarrassed, but I had already committed to go to another owner’s birthday in deepest, darkest Wales.
“Derek wanted to go to Epsom, but I didn’t think he would get in so I took him to Chester last week to try to get a penalty. As it turned out we didn’t need to have done that as this race never filled up and we got in fine. I’m delighted to win a race like this with a maiden.
“Maybe he has just started to grow up and the two runs in a week has helped him.”
He added: “I think he will get further, but we will not worry about that and we will just enjoy today first and foremost. To get a winner on Derby day is pretty special and a huge thrill. I’m sure he will now go up a few pounds for that, but we will make another plan at a later date.”
Turner said: “He is a bit inconsistent and I think he liked racing tight and the challenge in close to him and it got him motivated a little bit, so it probably did me a favour. A good result for the Dascombe team.”
She added that the ground was “good to soft” and “a little bit more tacky and holding” than on Friday.
Mark Johnston, trainer of the 5-2 runner-up King Frankel, said: "He did well to get so close. Ben (Curtis) said he jumped well enough but just didn't get into his stride. He was rousting him along but in the end he just had to sit there.
“It was fantastic how well he finished and it will be Royal Ascot next stop. He'll have entries in both the mile-and-a-quarter and the mile-and-a-half handicaps, and we'll choose between the two."
Roger Varian, trainer of third home Greatgadian (5-1), said: “He ran great and it was annoying to get beat. He’s a nice handicapper though and he’s progressing. He did everything right and the final 100 yards up the hill just caught him out.”
Greatgadian’s jockey Silvestre De Sousa added: “It was a good run and he travelled well behind the leaders. He just didn’t last home. The ground is tacky.”
Mokaatil was a surprise 25-1 winner of the World Pool “Dash” Handicap for trainer Ian Williams and jockey David Egan.
The five-furlong contest was as fast and furious as ever, with Son And Sannie blazing the early trail down the middle of the track before his stride just started to shorten reaching the final furlong.
Mokaatil was just hitting top gear at that point and once he assumed the lead, he stretched right out to win by a length and a half.
Only Spoofing took second, with Stone Of Destiny third.
Egan said: “It’s a lovely way to break the duck. It’s my first Dash, so it’s brilliant.
“It’s been a little while coming. I’ve been riding here since I was a 7lb claimer without managing to come home in front, so hopefully they’ll come like London buses from now on!
“He’s a horse that’s been running over six and seven furlongs. He was able to jump the gates well and get a position without me having to put him under too much pressure for the first half of the race. He went way past the line and he’d have no trouble going back up to six.”
Williams admitted he was not certain the Epsom five furlongs would suit his charge, who has also won over six in the past.
He said: “It was a bold move really and we weren’t sure we’d done the right thing, but when the rain came that was going to help him a bit and he’s put up probably a career-best performance, which was great.
“The gentlemen that own him enjoy their racing and we spoke today about coming here and enjoying the moment, see how we go, and they’ve walked away with the winner of the Dash. It’s fantastic, we’re all happy.”
He added: “David did a very good job of getting an early position, he kept him in the race when he could have been taken off his feet and, to be fair, he finished very strongly, like a horse who does stay a bit further.
“I just thought if we were running over this sort of trip, he’s going to want every bit of help he can, he’s not going to be pulling too hard so (the blinkers) worked a treat today.”
“I’d love to say this has been in the book for the last six months and it’s a big plan, but I think we’ve been very fortunate with the way the race has been run and he’s run very well, so we’ll take him home and see what we do next – and what the handicapper does next.”
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