Commanche Falls pounces late to secure Hackwood prize

Jockey Connor Beasley insists “the world is his oyster” after dual Stewards’ Cup hero Commanche Falls gained his first Group-race success when coming with a powerful late run to take the bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury.

An ultra-consistent handicapper for Michael Dods, he has progressed through the ranks and earned an 11th victory on his 32nd start, the 4-1 favourite following up his Listed race success at the Curragh on his previous run.

Beasley had to be patient aboard the six-year-old, with the requisite gap not coming until deep inside the final furlong.

Once he saw it, the Lethal Force gelding skipped into it and swept past Diligent Harry (18-1) and Cold Case (7-1) to get the better of them by a respective head and a neck.

On the rain-softened ground, Beasley admitted he was a little concerned and said: “Obviously from the three to the two (furlong pole), I just felt I was getting a little bit stuck in it, really.

“Normally he is a horse that does race behind the bridle, but you can normally keep your momentum going, but today I just felt like I wasn’t getting any sort of momentum.

“There wasn’t much room from where I was and I just had to switch him and make him think again.”

He went on: “Once I did that, he really put his neck down and he did it nicely in the end.

“I’m not sure where he goes from here. He finished third in a Group Two behind some good mares and fillies, but the world is his oyster if you ask me.

“He is obviously improving and he is getting better and stronger as he gets older.”

Though he had to be switched between horses to get his nose in front when it mattered in the six-furlong Group Three contest, Beasley said he always felt “confident” he would get there and paid tribute to owners Dough Graham, Ian Davison and Alan Drysdale.

He added: “He is a big horse and so he had plenty of momentum when I asked him.

“He is a massive horse for me in my career and the team and these owners have been very supportive of my career, so I can’t thank them enough.

“Michael is doing well with these sprinters. He seems to be getting better with age and he is progressing all the time.”

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