/ Racing

Murtagh sends his Regards to win Ebor

Updated: Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 19:35 | Comments

Mutual Regard won by a length and a quarter
Mutual Regard won by a length and a quarter

Audio

Mutual Regard completed a clean sweep for Ireland in the four major races at York's Betfred Ebor meeting, in the process proving beyond all doubt that Johnny Murtagh is going to be as big a force in the training ranks as he was in the saddle.

After wins for Australia, Tapestry and Sole Power in the three Group Ones preceding the final day on the Knavesmire, Mutual Regard was sent off an unconsidered 20-1 chance in the hands of 5lb-claiming jockey Louis Steward, 19.

Spotted moving strongly down the straight in his cheekpieces, Steward eased to the front inside the two-furlong marker and had enough in the tank to win a battle with Van Percy by a length and a quarter.

Elidor was third and the heavily-backed 9-2 favourite Pallasator ran a big race to be fourth from his wide draw in stall 22, which meant he had to be dropped in almost last on leaving the gates.

Pallasator had garnered all headlines pre-race as he is trained by handicap king Mark Prescott and had been bought by the powerful Qatar Racing team.

To rub salt into the wounds for Prescott, he sold Mutual Regard in October for 60,000 guineas to Andrew Tinkler.

"I thought a fast pace and one-mile-six would suit him, and Louis gave him a lovely ride"

"I never won this race as a jockey, but I was second a few times," said Murtagh.

"This lad had been going well at home, he got put up 11lb for winning first time out and I ran him in a Group Three last time and he ran a nice race behind Pale Mimosa (who won the Lonsdale Cup on Friday).

"I thought a fast pace and one-mile-six would suit him, and Louis gave him a lovely ride.

"I wanted Ross Coakley to ride but he's suspended - Andrew looked at the stats and said this lad (Steward) is red hot.

"He's a Moyglare Stud-bred and they get better as they get older. He's in a really happy place at the minute.

"Ascot might be on his agenda now, but we'll see about the Melbourne Cup as he loves fast ground."

Steward said: "He fought all the way to the line and made my job a lot easier in the end. I'm so pleased."

RaceBets gave the winner a 20-1 quote for the Australian showpiece.

Muhaarar (7-1) lunged late to take a thrilling Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes.

Mark Johnston's consistent Jungle Cat attempted to make all and appeared to have fought everything off but Paul Hanagan mustered one last lunge on Charlie Hills' son of Oasis Dream

Hanagan has the highly-regarded pair Estidkhaar and Faydhan to look forward to among his juvenile rides for the rest of this year, and he said: "This lad would be right up there with them."

Hills said: "This is our third winner of the week, so it's been good.

"He's always shown potential and we tried to stretch him over seven furlongs last time. He's growing up now.

"He's in all the top-class races and I think the Middle Park will be his primary aim."

Hanagan also won the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House on William Haggas' Queensberry Rules (8-1)

"I always felt I was getting there but when I did he thought he'd done enough," said Hanagan.

Jamie Spencer ended a turbulent week with a last-gasp victory on David Brown's Mind Of Madness (4-1) in the Julia Graves Roses Stakes.

Spencer on Thursday announced that he was quitting the saddle at the end of this season to take up a management role with Qatar Racing Ltd.

"That meant a lot," said David Redvers, racing manager to owner Qatar boss Sheikh Fahad.

"It's been a long week and we've had a few seconds.

"This boy has been on the go a long time, so it's a great training performance. We might look at the Flying Childers now."

Custom Cut won for the fourth time on the spin to give local trainer David O'Meara his first success of the week in the Betfred Strensall Stakes.

The ex-Irish-trained five-year-old has taken his form to a new level this season since joining O'Meara and already had two Group Threes on his record, including one in Ireland just nine days ago.

"I wouldn't mind a yard full of horses like him," said O'Meara.

"That was a great ride from Danny (Tudhope), he judged it perfectly. I thought he was holding them at the line quite comfortably.

"He might get 10 (furlongs), I've never thought about it.

"He'll go for the Joel Stakes at Newmarket next probably, and then France, either the Foret or the Prix Daniel Wildenstein depending on the ground - he prefers it soft."

Vent De Force (16-1) came from the clouds to win the Betfred Melrose Handicap for Hughie Morrison.

There was drama in the finish, though, as Michael Bell's Mantou made a break and appeared in control but his saddled slipped, making it very difficult for jockey Joe Doyle.

Doyle tried to cling on but his foot brushed the ground moments before the line - where he came off after a brave fight - meaning he lost fourth place.

Vent De Force beat Adventure Seeker by three-quarters of a length with Connecticut another half length away.

"He's in the Cesarewitch, but he'd need a two-stone penalty for that," said Morrison.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip