Poptronic finally enjoyed her moment in the spotlight when gamely holding off Sea Silk Road to win the bet365 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock.
Since winning the Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle last season, Karl Burke’s filly had come up just short in several big races.
In two runs previous runs this season, she had done herself no favours by racing keenly, but on this occasion she was far more tractable in the hands of Sam James.
Happy to take a lead off Peripatetic until the two-furlong marker, Poptronic (12-1) still looked a bit of a sitting duck as the three big guns, Mimikyu, Time Lock and finally Sea Silk Road all laid down a challenge.
After seeing off the first two it looked like she may have to give best to William Haggas’ Sea Silk Road, who had beaten Poptronic last time out in the Lester Piggott Stakes, but Burke’s four-year-old was not to be denied.
In the last 50 yards, the run of the 7-4 favourite just flattened out and Poptronic won by a neck.
Kelly Burke, daughter of the winning trainer who rides Poptronic every day at home, said: “I was delighted, she’s been banging on the door the whole time and she’s such a genuine, tough filly.
“I think the slight change of tactics, just going that little bit more forward, has helped. She can be quite keen and because of that we’ve tried to drop her in and not let her over-race, but she’s got more settled as the year has gone on.
“I think the key with her is not to pull her around and kick early because she hasn’t got a turn of foot, she just keeps grinding it out and if you ride her for a turn of foot, they always beat her.
“She ran well behind the favourite (Sea Silk Road) here last time and she actually beat her the time before. I think it’s just how the race pans out sometimes.
“I’m delighted she’s won a Group Two now.”
When asked whether a step up to Group One level in the Yorkshire Oaks could be next on Poptronic’s agenda, Burke added: “Definitely, there’s no reason not to go is there?
“She’s ran really well at York a few times, so that could be exciting.”
James said: “I spoke to Karl before the race and she used to be a bit keen in her races, Kelly rides her every day and she’s done a great job with her.
“She was keen last year and today she was grand. They went a nice gallop so I was able to just follow the lead horse, I would have gone on had they have gone steadily but it worked perfectly. I was able to just start stretching them.
“I was a bit surprised at the price she was as the second horse had only beaten us by a couple of lengths the last day, when we were still trying to switch her off all the time. Today I was able to go forward on her and ride a race whenever I wanted really.
“It’s a big win for me. Karl has been very good to me the last couple of seasons and this filly has been very good to me. I won a Group Three at Newcastle on her and now I’ve won a Group Two and she deserves it as well.”