Jockey Cieren Fallon added yet another big win to his CV as he steered Roger Teal’s Oxted to victory in the William Hill Portland Handicap Stakes.
The three-year-old came into the race in good form but was seemingly discounted by punters and left to go off a 14-1 shot.
A Momentofmadness flew out of the gates and set the early pace with Justanotherbottle also up with the speed. Fallon was quite happy to sit just behind the pace and as they entered the final two furlongs he got to work on Oxted.
The three-year-old picked up well and kept going all the way to the line to land the opening contest. A Momentofmadness (9-1) held on to second with Show Stealer (40-1) third and Arecibo (33-1) fourth.
Winning trainer Roger Teal said: “That will do won't it! He's a lovely horse, I trained his mum and she was a nice sprint mare. You always think he wants soft ground as his mum did but all his best form is on the top of the ground.
“We came here with high hopes and then I saw the stats that three-year-olds have a bad record in this race so I was panicking.
“I actually booked Cieren when he had a 5lb claim and then he went to 3lb! Cieren gave him a peach of a ride and he's done his form on the race.”
Fallon added: “All credit to the horse, we jumped well and took a nice lead. I finished second on him at Newmarket and we were very unlucky. We were confident going into the race that if he got a nice clear run we'd be there or thereabouts.
"He's not a really strong traveller and you've got to keep at him but as soon as I was upsides William (on A Momentofmadness) I knew I had a lot left in me and he's proved that today.”
David Elsworth’s Sir Dancealot (11-4) bounced back to his best form to win the Hird Rail Group Park Stakes.
Elsworth’s five-year-old came into the race off the back of two defeats at Newbury and York where he hadn’t quite hit his peak form.
This time, Gerald Mosse was happy to drop in behind the leaders as Shine So Bright made his own way up the straight separate to the rest of the field. Azano made the early pace with the chasing pack comprising of Aidan O’Brien’s Never No More and Sir Dancelot settled just ahead of Breton Rock.
The leaders set a good gallop which set the race up perfectly for Sir Dancealot who was taken out from behind the leaders to make his challenge. Quickly passing Azano who dropped back through the field, Sir Dancealot came to challenge Shine So Bright and asserted in in good style.
Never No More (15-2) ran on for second with Breton Rock (33-1) in third. Shine So Bright and Azano paid the price for their early pace and filled the final two places home.
Winning trainer Elsworth said: “People make excuses for horses but they weren't excuses they were genuine reasons why he got beat before. He's in great shape. It probably wasn't the toughest encounter he's had this year so that helped.
“He goes for the Prix de la Foret now which he ran very well in last year. The ground was softer than he'd want and he had a bad draw but he looked like winning a furlong out last year.
“Doncaster has raced four days this week and has done an extraordinary job keeping the ground like this. They race here in March through to November and have a lot of fixtures and this straight gets a hell of a bashing.
“I was impressed by the conditions of the straight mile. They've done a very good job under the circumstances.”
Threat confirmed himself as a major Guineas contender with a strong win in the Pommery Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.
Richard Hannon’s colt came into the Group 2 contest off the back of a win in the Gimcrack at York and was the 6-5 favourite to back that performance up with another win.
The colt was plenty keen enough in Pat Dobbs’ hands and made rapid headway between horses to challenge the leader Fort Myers approaching the final stages of the race. He picked up in the style of a smart horse and was always doing enough to hold off Royal Crusade (9-4) in second.
Hannon said: “It's not really normal for a horse to travel like that in a Group 2 with a 3lb penalty. He’s a very good colt and that’s what I see at home, he does what he has to.
“Dobbs said you probably wouldn't want to hit the front too soon but if you hit the front at any stage in these races then you're lucky. The Thompson family are very lucky now that they've got a stallion.
“If you win a Gimcrack and a Champagne in the same year then you've got a very good horse. He's run very creditably in a Coventry and a Richmond too.
"He travelled there in the style of a horse that is special. He's extremely talented and he's carried his penalty.
“I've always said that we would work back from the Guineas as he's always looked like that sort of horse. He's very big, strong, mature, and a lovely moving horse we just had to let him grow up and go from there. He's very relaxed at home. Fergus Sweeney who rides out for us has done all the work with him settling him down.”
Ralph Beckett’s Lucander (9-1) stayed on well to land the Napoleons Casinos & Restaurants Nursery Handicap Stakes under Rob Hornby.
The two-year-old came into the race in good form and stepped up again as he saw off Richard Hannon’s Wild Thunder (5-1) in the closing stages.
Beckett said: “He’s a grand, honest sort of horse. He looks like a greyhound and there’s nothing of him but he thrives on work and he wasn’t an expensive yearling.
“We should have a bit more fun with him this year and he should do well as a three-year-old too.”
Richard Hannon bagged his second winner of the day when Qaysar (13-8) stuck his neck out to win the P J Towey Construction Ltd Handicap Stakes.
Hannon said: “He cost a bit of money but he keeps digging. I thought he was a Group horse once. He’s a very good horse on his day and he’s creeping up the handicap now.”
The final race of the William Hill St Leger Festival went the way of David Simcock’s Kitaabaat (6-4) who got the better of The Trader (1-2f) in the Yates Drywall Ltd Handicap Stakes.
Winning jockey Andrea Atzeni said: “It’s been a long week and they’ve all run well without winning but it’s nice to nick one.
“He ran a nice race at Kempton on his first start for David and this trip really suited him. We went a nice even pace and he did well.”