Brave battles to land Criterion

Home Of The Brave stayed true and straight to win the Betway Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.

The 13-8 favourite, ridden by James Doyle, was always prominent towards the near-side rail as Ibn Malik took the field along at a fair clip.

But once the latter cried off approaching the final furlong, Home Of The Brave always had the Group Three under a degree of control.

Fellow Godolphin runner Jungle Cat gave chase on his first start over seven furlongs since April 2015, but went down by three-quarters of a length.

Last year’s winner Breton Rock was third.

Home Of The Brave was having a first start since April, when he claimed a Listed race at Leicester.

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Palmer said: “You can never expect anything but it was as we hoped for. “My heart sank when I saw the 70 millimetres of rain fall midweek but it is amazing what racecourse Newmarket is as it took the rain that well.

“He has been a pretty consistent horse all his life especially in the early part of the season.

“He trains on his own and never works with another horse. James Doyle has ridden him almost every time and he understands him.

“I think we will give him a short break and head for the Lennox (Goodwood) as that is the obvious race.”

Charlie Appleby said of the runner-up: “Obviously I am delighted he saw the trip out well and William Buick was very happy.

“That opens up a few more options for him.

“I think that has justified taking a look at the Lennox.

“It was a good effort and hopefully he can build on it for the rest of the season.”

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