/ Racing

Aktabantay prevails in bobbing finish to Solario Stakes at Sandown

Updated: Saturday, 30 Aug 2014 18:08 | Comments

Aktabantay (left) could run next in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes
Aktabantay (left) could run next in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes

Aktabantay sustained the hopes of trainer Hugo Palmer and owner Ibrahim Araci by claiming what had briefly looked an unlikely victory in the European Wealth Solario Stakes at Sandown.

To lead on the line in a four-way head-bob was not exactly a performance to unnerve connections of other promising two-year-olds, but it was an important first Group winner for the up-and-coming Palmer in a race taken 12 months earlier by champion miler Kingman.

Jockey Ryan Moore revealed virtually everything had gone against the Oasis Dream colt, who had finished second in the July Stakes at Newmarket, and took a long time to quicken up from a steady pace.

Lexington Times attempted to pickpocket his rivals by stealing an advantage two furlongs from home, but Moore galvanised Aktabantay (9-4) and the pair hit the post just a short-head up on the staying-on 5-4 favourite Future Empire.

Lexington Time and Cock Of The North were also in close proximity.

"He got pinched coming out of the stalls and I was sitting five of five and we weren't going mad," said Moore.

"I didn't want to go all the way round them. I got a nice split through but Lexington Times got away and pinched a length or two.

"It took him a while to get going too, I think he was just a bit green and inexperienced. Hopefully he'll come on for that."

Palmer said: "I don't know whether he wants better ground or a stronger gallop.

"I dream and hope as we go up in grade they will go faster and that will get him going. You can see why I put cheekpieces on him to make him concentrate.

"It will be up to the owner and I know he is keen on the Dewhurst. I think he will be well suited by the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf over a mile in Santa Anita.

"Outstrip was third in the Dewhurst before winning it last year, so we'll just see."

James Doyle, on the runner-up, got a two-day whip ban (14-15 September 14-15).

Newmarket in October is very much on the agenda for Fintry, who came through what trainer Andre Fabre had described as a prep for the Sun Chariot Stakes in the Group Three Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Atalanta Stakes.

Despite carrying a 7lb penalty against her elders, and returning from being laid low with a cough, the 6-4 favourite still came home a convincing length and a quarter clear of Odeliz without Maxime Guyon needing to be too forceful.

"When she got in front she stopped a little bit," said Guyon. "She's a very good filly."

Lisa Jane Graffard, representing owners Godolphin, said: "We just wanted to see the filly have a good comeback.

"She'd been off the track three months, but we knew she had the quality she showed us today so hopefully she can go for a big one at the end of the season.

"We came here because there were no suitable races in France and she was already a Group Two winner there and the timing of this race was right.

"It has to be discussed but I think the Sun Chariot would be the logical step."

Odeliz's trainer Karl Burke is now looking towards the EP Taylor in Canada.

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