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Sri Putra foiled a plunge on Afsare to land the Sky Bet York Stakes for Roger Varian and Neil Callan

Updated: Saturday, 28 Jul 2012 16:35 | Comments

Trainer Roger Varian saddled York Stakes winner Sri Putra
Trainer Roger Varian saddled York Stakes winner Sri Putra

Sri Putra foiled a plunge on Afsare to land a dramatic Sky Bet York Stakes for Roger Varian and Neil Callan.

The eventual winner's stablemate Pekan Star cut out a modest early pace but two furlongs out the Kieren Fallon-ridden Afsare swept powerfully to the front.

He drifted across to the stands rail, however, and Sri Putra challenged to his left under Callan, finding plenty for pressure.

Afsare did not go down without a fight but the 9-4 favourite was a neck adrift at the line, with Side Glance third.

The well-fancied Jet Away missed the break but still had every chance when squeezed up behind Ransom Note on the rail as Afsare wandered.

Sri Putra, who has been placed in two Coral-Eclipses, was sporting a hood and Callan said: "He's quite a classy animal, he's always had to mix it with the best.

"He loves this fast ground and really rattles off it. When things go right he's a very good horse.

"Roger has experimented with the hood with a lot of horses this season and it's really benefited them."

Varian said: "He's a grand servant and deserved to win a race like this.

"Until he won this year he'd gone two years without winning, although he'd run some great races, but it all came together today so we're very pleased.

"I can understand why he was a big price, but if you look through his form he has beaten most of these.

"If the race panned out for him you could see him winning a race like this on fast ground.

"He's run some great races against the likes of So You Think and he's placed in the Eclipse and the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

"He had a race like this in his locker but it all had to work for him and it did today. If the race is run quick horses come back to him and that suits his style.

"I'm so pleased for the owner and the horse that he's Group Two winner now.

"The headgear might just have focused his mind.

"We had Pekan Star make the running so no-one else could dictate it for them. I wasn't sure we were going quick enough but Sri Putra relaxed and some of the others were a bit keen, so it worked out for us.

"I'd like to plan an international campaign for him in the autumn. Where that will take us I'm not quite sure.

"We've got a lot of options around this trip."

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