Angel Bleu sparks dream day for Beckett

Angel Bleu bounced back to his best to lift the William Hill Celebration Mile at Goodwood.

A dual Group One-winning two-year-old in France a couple of seasons ago, Ralph Beckett’s grey has largely struggled since, although he did land a Listed prize at Haydock in May.

He was unable to make an impact in either the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot in June or the Summer Mile at the Berkshire track last month, but showed his true colours back in more demanding conditions on the Sussex Downs.

With heavy rain during the morning turning the ground soft, Hector Crouch tracked the favourite Epictetus into the straight aboard 9-2 shot Angel Bleu, but had to move around the market leader soon after as he faltered disappointingly.

Angel Bleu looked booked for minor honours at best after Charyn came from the rear to grab the lead, but the Beckett runner finished off strongly to get up and beat the rallying Knight by half a length, with Charyn beaten into third.

The trainer was also on the mark at York with Kinross and Newmarket with Lezoo.

“It’s always the old boys that get you out of trouble, I’m thrilled to bits because it didn’t really happen for him at three,” Beckett told ITV Racing.

“That rain was very helpful for him this morning.

“I think I’m right in saying that’s Hector’s biggest win (Group Two) so I’m pleased for him, too.”

The Karl Burke-trained Darnation displayed a willing attitude to secure top honours in the William Hill Prestige Fillies’ Stakes.

Third on her Haydock debut in early July, the daughter of Too Darn Hot opened her account with a 10-length success at Thirsk three weeks later to earn herself a step up to Pattern class.

Carla’s Way attempted to make all the running, but while she found plenty for pressure she was unable to resist the challenge of 5-2 favourite Darnation, who finished strongly to prevail by two lengths in the hands of Sam James.

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