Quinault keeps up winning spree at Newmarket

Quinault got the better of a protracted battle with Mill Stream to take the bet365 Handicap Stakes and record a sixth consecutive success for trainer Stuart Williams.

Connor Planas produced a cool ride aboard the 4-1 favourite, who stayed on well in the six-furlong contest to follow up a York victory off a 5lb higher mark, eventually winning the argument with Jane Chapple-Hyam’s charge by a nose.

Williams said: “We had Send In Tank, who holds the joint-record for wins in a season handicap-wise – he won 10 and won four in a week twice. They were lesser races.

“It is a different ball game coming here after winning at York. He is a very tough horse and he obviously has plenty of talent as well.

“He has gone up 31lb in the handicap. Luke Hatton has done a tremendous job of settling him at home. When he first came, he was just a runaway, trying to bolt everywhere.

“There is a lot of work gone into what you are seeing. He has always had the talent. It was just giving himself the chance to use it.

“I’m hopeful, as he is bred to get a bit further than this. If we can keep a lid on him early on, I’d imagine we’d step up at some stage.”

Sacred Angel stepped up on her debut third at Pontefract 18 days ago to take the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes in the hands of William Buick.

The Dark Angel filly, sent off at odds of 11-2, showed a good turn of foot and a very willing attitude to score by a length and a quarter from Dubai Treasure in the six-furlong heat.

Winning trainer Charlie Johnston said: “It was a nice debut at Pontefract. The two horses that beat her both had experience, but it was one of those where we thought if we met them again, we’d beat them.

“It was only inexperience that beat her first time, she had a tough trip and a wide draw, and we thought she’d take a nice step forward. We could have gone somewhere a bit quieter, but thought she warranted coming to a nice meeting in a valuable maiden.

“I was a bit worried at halfway, but William said they were going quite hard and she was in the teeth of the battle and he didn’t want to commit that early. Once she hit the rising ground, she stayed on nicely. She will get seven (furlongs) and will also continue to sharpen up with experience. We could go six or seven.

“I think our two-year-olds have taken more of a step from first to second run this year than normal. Perhaps we’re a victim of the weather and less grass work at home this year because we didn’t have much rain for two months.”

He added: “You have to start thinking about getting black type. The Star Stakes is a race we’ve always liked. That is a very stiff seven at Sandown.”

The David O’Meara-trained Darkness landed the concluding mile Boodles Handicap in the hands of Neil Callan, with a visor replacing blinkers.

The 17-2 winner had a length to spare from the fast-finishing Sirona, yet Callan felt there was a bit more under the bonnet.

He said: “He’s obviously got good form in the book and David said he was a bit quirky. I just kept him on the wing of the field and had a length to make up and when the field were quickening, I was taking him back on the bridle.

“He loved that and once I got him into the dip, then I made his mind up, sent him on and he won a bit comfortably.”

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