/ Racing

Galician secures the Betfair-sponsored International

Updated: Saturday, 27 Jul 2013 20:08 | Comments

Joe Fanning (left) rode the Mark Johnston (right) trained Galician to victory in the Betfair-sponsored International at Ascot
Joe Fanning (left) rode the Mark Johnston (right) trained Galician to victory in the Betfair-sponsored International at Ascot

Galician, who was on the verge of retirement just two months ago, justified the decision to keep her in training when lifting the Betfair-sponsored International at Ascot.

Mark Johnston's 33-1 shot, defying a 5lb penalty for a Newbury victory seven days earlier, stormed home on the stands side after her stablemate Es Que Love had set a breakneck pace.

She hit the front a furlong out under Joe Fanning to thwart Trail Blaze (40-1) by half a length and broke the track record in the process.

"Joe was worried he wouldn't be able to peg back Es Que Love, but she's had something to shoot at and this kind of race suits her well," said the in-form Johnston.

"Two months ago we thought about retiring her. She didn't seem to be herself, but she has clearly returned in the form of her life.

"She's in the big handicap at Goodwood next Friday (Betfred Mile) and she could go - we'll see."

Fanning said: "She's a tough filly and she has had plenty of races but she is hard as nails. She was drawn 29 and Mark told me just to go straight - she was always going well."

First-time blinkers did the trick for Princess Noor as she stunned punters with a 25-1 success in the Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes.

Ridden by the in-form Andrea Atzeni, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor was always handy as the Richard Hannon-trained Mahlah, in the same ownership of Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar, made the early running.

Roger Varian's charge bounded clear a furlong out to win by two lengths from Queen Catrine, with Along Again a further three-quarters of a length away in third.

Varian said: "We're delighted with that. We've run her in nice races as we think she's a nice filly and she's been working well.

"She was a little bit inexperienced when she ran at Royal Ascot and then she struggled coming down the dip at Newmarket last time but didn't run badly.

"She's in the Lowther and Cheveley Park at the end of the season, but it's great she's a stakes winner."

Dane O'Neill ended a five-year losing Ascot run when steering home Washaar (11-4) in the Titanic Belfast Winkfield Stakes for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

The Kodiac colt was giving trainer Hannon a second successive win in the Listed contest after the classy Toronado 12 months ago when beating Emirates Flyer by a length and a half.

"He's a nice colt and he's very athletic. We were a bit disappointed with him last time, but he's bounced back," said Hannon.

"He's in the Royal Lodge (at Newmarket in late September) and that might be a good spot for him."

Lightly-raced Yeager caused a 20-1 upset for Jeremy Noseda against many more experienced three-year-olds in the Deloitte Handicap.

Jimmy Quinn was required to do 8st 3lb aboard Yeagher, who won a Leicester maiden on his third start last month.

Irish challenger Machete Mark made a bold move from the front but was cut down by Quinn in the final furlong and beaten two and a quarter lengths.

Wayne Tanner, the trainer's travelling head lad, said: "It wasn't a surprise - he has always worked like a nice horse and the key has been to get him to relax.

"I'd imagine we'll see what the handicapper does."

Lord Of The Dance (16-1) waltzed to an emphatic victory in the hands of Michelle Mullineaux in the Longines Handicap for lady riders.

Trained by the rider's father Michael, Lord Of The Dance swept clear on the far side of the course to win by seven lengths from Karaka Jack.

The Sir Mark Prescott-trained Big Thunder (5-4 favourite) made all in the hands of Luke Morris to complete a hat-trick in the Canisbay Bloodstock Handicap.

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