Carr’s Sovereign shines again

Sovereign Debt, ridden by James Sullivan (centre), wins the Investec Diomed Stakes on Derby Day 2017

Sovereign Debt's incredible recent run continued in winning the Investec Diomed Stakes at Epsom Downs on Derby day.

Now an eight-year-old, the grey defied a 5lb penalty for his win at Sandown last time out, and having been a consistent performer down the years for the now-retired David Nicholls, he has taken his form to a new level for Ruth Carr.

James Sullivan always looked confident and took over from Folkswood entering the final furlong.

Fellow northern raider Gabrial came with a late run, but Sovereign Debt (4-1) held on by a neck, with Oh This Is Us in third.

Sullivan said: "He picked up really well, I was able to hang on to a bit and then kick. We came with a plan to just give him a clear run, and see from there. He's brilliant for the yard, it lifts everyone and it's a great team effort.

"This is why you get up in a morning, and ride 10 and 12 lots a day – it's what it's all about."

Carr said: "He's fit and he's healthy. He's an older gelding so there's nothing to save him for, he won't be breeding. He's an absolute pleasure to train, I'm a very lucky lady.

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"I can't find the words to put this into context, I keep thinking it can't get any better and one day I'll be disappointed, but so far I haven't been.

"I'm still shaking. He won't go to Royal Ascot but there is a race there (Ascot), a Group Two in July (Summer Mile) he could perhaps run in.

"I keep having to up my game and think up new plans, it's back to the drawing board again."

However, Carr did concede there was a temptation to consider supplementing for the Queen Anne, which would cost £50,000.

She added: "We had been looking at the Group Two at Ascot in July, but we might have to review that now.

"He is not entered in the Queen Anne. It's a lot of money and I'm from Yorkshire. We did have a look at it after Sandown and it may have to be revisited now."

Richard Fahey said of Gabrial: "It would just be nice to win a Group race with him. Frankie (Dettori) seems to get a right tune out of him. I'm delighted.

"He has been an incredible horse. The day he leaves Musley Bank will be a sad day because he has taken us around the world.

"We've skipped Royal Ascot this year as I didn't think it would be fair on an eight-year-old. There is a race the week after Ascot for him."

Richard Hannon said of Oh This Is Us: "It was a good run. He might go to the Queen Anne as the faster they go the better.

"He will be a good horse as the season goes on. I think the flat track at Ascot will suit him and he might just surprise a few in the Queen Anne."

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