Swingalong lands Summer Stakes in the rain

Swingalong showed plenty of guts as she made every yard to claim the William Hill Summer Stakes at York.

The winner of the Lowther Stakes over course and distance as a two-year-old, Karl Burke’s daughter of Showcasing was sent off the 5-4 favourite to add to her tally on the Knavesmire following some fine efforts in hot contests since.

She was a gallant third behind Shaquille and Little Big Bear in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and dropping back to Group Three level here, proved her class in the hands of Clifford Lee.

Lee always had the filly on the front end dictating terms, but faced a strong challenge in the closing stages as both James Tate’s course winner Royal Aclaim – also in the colours of owner Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum – and last year’s third Gale Force Maya made eyecatching progress to get on Swingalong’s girths.

However, the Spigot Lodge runner pulled out extra when it mattered to return a neck verdict over Royal Aclaim and lead home a one-two for the duo’s owner, with Gale Force Maya a further three-quarters of a length back in third.

“She showed her class and had to do it the hard way I think,” said Philip Robinson, assistant racing manager for the owner.

“That suits her and that is her style of running, but with the ground going as it did it made it very hard towards the end and I think she was just coming to the end of her tether. I think had it been fast ground I think she would have won very easily, so I was very impressed with her.

“There were half plans in the pipeline to go up to six and a half at Deauville, but I don’t think that will be the case now. It would be easier coming back than going further and I think six is her limit.

“I think we will have to sit down and have a think and Karl says there are plenty of races for her, so we’ll have a chat with the owner and see where we would all like to go next.

“The main thing is she won today and she’s a really nice filly.”

Robinson was also thrilled with the performance of Royal Aclaim in second as last year’s City Walls Stakes winner tried six furlongs for the first time.

He added: “I was pleased with the second, I think she ran really well.

“That proved today that six furlongs is not a problem and she ran a big race.

“I think both these fillies will be better on better ground, the rain has come down here and it’s not just getting in, it seems very loose.”

Symbology looks a name to note having made an impressive debut in the William Hill Keep Your Raceday Positive Irish EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

The £230,000 purchase has always been held in high regard by Clive Cox, and this promising start comes fresh off the back of the trainer’s Group Two victory in the July Stakes with Jasour at Newmarket on Thursday.

“We were really pleased with that,” said Cox.

“She’s always been a Grade A student and we’ve loved her from the first minute we’ve had her. It was really pleasing for Sheikh Isa to see her take that first step on the track in such a good manner.

“She was clearly a little green early with just having horses on one side of her, but when she straightened up she went pretty true and straight. It was very much her first day at school and she hasn’t been away to gallop or anything so I do expect her to take a lot of advantages from her debut.”

The daughter of Havana Grey was sent off the 2-1 second-favourite for the six-furlong contest and having pleased the Beechdown Stables handler with her temperament, is now in line for a return to York for the Group Two Lowther Stakes on August 24.

Cox added: “The entry shows we held her high enough in regard before today and we will see how she comes back from this.

“She’s behaved impeccably, so we’re delighted with that debut.”

Tim Easterby’s evergreen Copper Knight (11-1) once again holds the record for winning the most races at York with a seventh success after holding on in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Handicap.

He previously jointly held the record with Stradivarius.

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