Hayley Turner hits Britannia jackpot for Harry Eustace

Hayley Turner gained a fourth Royal Ascot success after producing Docklands with a tremendous rattle up the stands rail to collar New Endeavour in the closing strides of the Britannia Handicap.

The field split for the mile event with the far side looking most likely to prevail, as New Endeavour and David Egan looked to have poached a winning lead inside the final furlong.

Yet Turner’s mount, who had gone up a stone in the handicap after the Harry Eustace-trained colt had won on handicap debut on the all-weather at Kempton, powered up the rail to prevail as the 6-1 favourite.

New Endeavour, sent off a 22-1 chance for trainer Roger Varian, won his race in the far side, with Urban Sprawl (50-1) and Thunder Ball (66-1) following him home and filling the minor honours.

Turner said: “I honestly didn’t know until they called the photo whether I had won or not because the two horses were so far apart.

“It’s such a thrill and today a lot of history has been made, so to look back on today is amazing.”

Eustace – brother of Melbourne Cup-winning trainer David Eustace – said: “Terry Henderson of OTI Racing (owners) has been a supporter of mine, and of my brothers in Australia, from the get-go, really, and to be able to repay him with a Royal Ascot winner is very special.

“It’s always a team effort, but it’s a family business as well, but having my brother here from Oz, and my cousin and aunt and uncle – it’s very, very special. You can’t ask for more.”

The Richard Hannon-trained Witch Hunter came from the clouds to lift the Buckingham Palace Stakes under a classic ride from Jamie Spencer.

The four-year-old has finished second three times since the turn of the year, but with his only two previous victories coming on the all-weather at Wolverhampton he was a 50-1 shot for another devilishly difficult handicap over the straight seven furlongs.

As is his wont, Spencer played his hand as late as he dared, with Witch Hunter still nearer last than first entering the final furlong.

But not long after the well-fancied Croupier was produced to lead, Spencer and his willing partner came at him fast and late to get up and claim a last-gasp victory.

Hannon said: “Jamie’s given him a lovely ride – I hate the way he rides, why does he keep doing that to us?!

“He gave him a super ride and the horse kind of enjoyed that. When he passes one he gets his momentum. And when they pass him, sometimes he just goes, sod it, I’ll go another day. He’s a very good horse on his day and I don’t care what price he is.

I’m delighted for William (Stobart, owner), he’s a lovely man, and his wife Clare.

“I kind of needed that!”

Source link