Simon Crisford’s youngster has been highly tried this season since winning on his debut and although unplaced at a higher level, he had not been disgraced in the July Stakes at Newmarket and the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
Barbill and Sunsprite put the pace to the race, with Life Of Riley travelling well but appearing to see out the final furlong. John Gosden’s Kessaar failed to quicken up, while Richard Hannon’s Neverland Rock never got competitive.
Sporting Chance (6-1) went clear inside the final furlong, but Jack Mitchell got a rare rattle out of the filly Gypsy Spirit, only to go down by a head to Silvestre de Sousa’s mount.
“He took his time to get going, but I was always happy when he hit top gear,” said De Sousa.
“He’s had quite a few runs, but he’s still a big baby. Hopefully this will do him good, as physically and mentally he still needs to grow up. You’d like to think he’s still improving.
“I thought I’d been caught on the line to be honest, but we’d just held on.”
Trainer Tom Clover was thrilled with the effort of the runner-up.
“I couldn’t be happier, we came to get black type and Jack just said with a clear run she’d have won,” said Clover.
“She tries so hard and clearly appreciates cut in the groun. She’s run a blinder.”
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