De Bruyne strikes at Epsom

De Bruyne Horse on the way to winning the Investec Woodcote Stakes from Cardsharp

De Bruyne Horse was a decisive winner of the Investec Woodcote Stakes at Epsom Downs.

Richard Hannon's team had won this juvenile prize three times in the last four years and his latest contender was the 13-8 favourite to add his name to the roll of honour under Ryan Moore.

The heavily-backed Cardsharp (7-4) set out to make all the running in the six-furlong contest, but De Bruyne Horse drew alongside entering the final furlong and drew readily clear to score by two lengths.

Cardsharp was a clear second, ahead of Zap in third.

Moore said: "He stepped a little slow (out of the stalls) but he organised himself pretty quickly and I was able to just take a lead off Silvestre (de Sousa, on Cardsharp).

"When Silvestre quickened he just got caught out for 100 yards or so, but once he got into gear he was always going to win from a furlong and a half out.

"He's improved with every run, Richard's two-year-olds keep getting better, this lad has a great attitude and that's a great help on a day like today.

"He's probably more of a six-furlong horse."

Hannon said: "He impressed me today with his attitude.

"I was very surprised with his win last time and he knuckled down and did it very well.

"He's got some enthusiastic owners, I watched it with them and my shoes are ruined! He didn't cost a lot and they have a few horses with us, so they deserve success.

"If you win this, arguably the best race of its type this season, you have to go to Royal Ascot and he needs six furlongs so it will have to be the Coventry.

"We'll sleep on that, other options are the July Stakes and the Railway."

Hannon added: "I think he'll get a trip as he gets older and I don't think he's just a sharp, fast two-year-old."

G K Chesterton dominated from the front in the Investec Click & Invest Mile.

The Charlie Appleby-trained four-year-old won decisively on his latest appearance at Newmarket despite showing wayward tendencies in the closing stages.

Fitted with cheekpieces for his latest assignment, he was the 3-1 joint-favourite and travelled powerfully on the front end.

William Buick managed to get a breather into his mount before straightening up for home and he never looked in serious danger of being caught, keeping up the gallop to prevail by a length.

Mythical Madness came home strongly to fill the runner-up spot ahead of Home Cummins in third.

Buick said: "He likes it in front but he actually missed the break a little bit today. Luckily he didn't get lit up when I asked him to go forward.

"He was given a soft lead and then quickened really well, he's probably quite a handy handicapper."

Appleby said: "It's great to have a winner with His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) being here.

"It's great for the team and that is what it is at home, I thought William gave him a fantastic ride, he stacked them up and kicked when he needed to, he put the race to bed.

"Credit to the horse as well, he found when he needed. He generally needs cut and he was OK on it so it's safe."

Appleby went on: "We applied the cheekpieces today, as when he won at Newmarket he wondered around inside the last furlong.

"The Hunt Cup (Royal Ascot) was the plan and we need to find a few pounds to get in and hopefully we've found them.

"That was in the back of our mind."

Not So Sleepy overcame trouble in running to claim a narrow success in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap.

Hughie Morrison's chestnut gelding was a 10-1 shot after blowing away the cobwebs on his seasonal reappearance at York a fortnight ago.

Adam Kirby's mount was all dressed up with nowhere to go entering the final furlong of the mile-and-a-quarter contest, with Examiner holding him in. But once in the clear, Not So Sleepy found top gear and ran down Innocent Touch to secure a neck success.

What About Carlo was the same distance away in third, ahead of Examiner in fourth.

Kirby said: "We had a lovely slot and it was going smooth, but when the leader fell away down the fence the race just rolled over and I went from having plenty of room to it just getting a bit tight.

"I'm really pleased for this horse because he pulls hard and needs everything to go right.

"He ran a nice race the last day and it's great to win a nice race."

Solomon's Bay was produced with a well-timed challenge by Silvestre de Sousa to come out on top in the Investec Savings Surrey Stakes.

Fresh from the Oaks, Gosden and Dettori looked set to double up when Seven Heavens moved smoothly to the lead, but he was powerless to resist the late surge of Roger Varian's 8/1 shot Solmon's Bay and there was three-quarters of a length between them at the line.

Varian said: "He's improving, he took a step forward last time and we thought he'd run well today.

"They got racing early, Silvestre got him settled and he came home strong, despite rolling about a little bit.

"Silvestre was quite impressed and thought he won with a bit in hand but I'll have to watch it again.

"I'll speak with the owner but I could be tempted him to put him in the Jersey at Royal Ascot."


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