Alyssa digs deep at Ascot

Ralph Beckett's golden touch with fillies was evident once again as Alyssa caused a minor shock in the Londonmetric Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot.

Josephine Gordon and Symposium win the Original Harrogate Water Handicap at Ascot.

Having won three races on the bounce in mid-summer Beckett stepped her up in class for the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster but she was well beaten.

In against colts she looked to have a stiff task on her hands and was sent off at 8-1 against 6-4 favourite Platitude in the Listed contest.

She was always travelling strongly and took over at the head of affairs two furlongs out, but on her outside Mark Johnston's Fireglow challenged and then the favourite came up her inner.

Headed inside the final furlong, the winner dug very deep for Fran Berry and edged out Fireglow by a nose, with the pair eventually pulling a length and a quarter clear of Platitude.

Beckett said: "In the Park Hill, she was drawn low and got in behind horses, and horses around her, and never ran her race as a result of that.

"She's just happier with a bit of space, so to go three wide round here and win was a probably a good shout. I'm thrilled it's come right, as the Park Hill was a blow-out. She's come a long way in a relatively short space of time."

Looking to future plans, Beckett said: "I doubt we'll supplement her for Champions Day, the obvious race for her would be the Long Distance Cup and we are mob-handed in that with Simple Verse.

"You'd have a think. Travelling her abroad might be a problem, but I've veered away from that so far. I'll have to have a think.

"It's possible she'll stay in training, we'll see."

Without a doubt the rising star of the Flat season has been Josephine Gordon, who is on course to be crowned champion apprentice.

The fact the most in-form trainer in the country right now, William Haggas, booked her for the first time to ride Symposium should have been a tip in itself but the filly was still allowed to go off at 8-1 in the Original Harrogate Water Handicap.

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To advertise Gordon's skills still further she beat another Haggas runner in a photo finish, Ornate, ridden by none other than Ryan Moore.

Gordon told Racing UK: "To be honest William said to keep it simple and I'd spoken to Georgia Cox who usually rides her and she said the same, and to just let her do her own thing.

"Two out she was still travelling sweetly but obviously the other horse wasn't stopping.

"She's tough, though, and I'd say there's more to come from her as she fills out and she'll keep improving.

"She's very genuine and the way she was travelling there was no point in taking her back.

"Ryan always had a head on me, but I knew if I got there she was staying there."

With Gordon's main rival for the title, reigning champion Tom Marquand, unable to ride in the final week of the season due to the date he lost his claim, he will need something special to retain his crown as Gordon is now two clear.

However, his rival wants there to be no complaints, and added: "I'd prefer to try and win it before Tom stops so there can be no question about it."

Another young jockey was seen to good effect when Daniel Muscutt guided Gothic Empire to victory in the Veolia Handicap.

James Fanshawe's four-year-old was 10lb higher than his last winning mark but beat Steel Train by a head.

Muscutt said: "We didn't go that quick early on but from four out we really let rip.

"That suited me as this lad is a really good traveller and he needs a strong pace to aim at.

"I was glad they tacked over to the rail as it gave me an option."

Raising Sand continues to improve for Jamie Osborne and quickened smartly to win the Galliard Homes Willow Foundation EBF Stallions Classified Stakes.

Bought out of Roger Varian's yard for just 16,000 guineas in July, he has now won twice and been second in three starts for Osborne.

Ridden confidently by George Baker, the 6-1 winner had three-quarters of a length to spare over Brigliadoro.

Jamie Spencer then provided Osborne with a double as Life Less Ordinary (4-1) finished with a flourish in the Iron Stand Gordon Carter Handicap to deny Gordon her own brace on Noble Silk.

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