Duke doubles up on Knavesmire

Duke Of Firenze (left) ridden by jockey David Allan on the way to winning the Betfred 'Supports Jack Berry House' Handicap

Duke Of Firenze gained his first win of the campaign when claiming back-to-back triumphs in the Betfred "Supports Jack Berry House" Handicap at York.

Despite being 13lb higher than when striding to victory in the five-furlong dash 12 months ago, the evergreen eight-year-old showed a touch of class to give weight away all round.

With the field separated by only a few lengths entering the final furlong and a half, it was only approaching the closing stages the David Griffiths-trained son of Pivotal burst clear.

Although Rasheeq cut down his advantage close to the post, he could not quite get on terms with the 13-2 chance and a neck split the pair at the line.

Winning rider David Allan said: "He travelled well and quickened nicely. It feels a bit tacky out there but he's won on soft ground before so I thought he would handle it.

"David has got his horses in good form and everything he's running is running well.

"I asked David to enter him in the Nunthorpe last year. He ran a good race in the Abbaye and I think he would have a chance if everything fell right for him."

Griffiths might be tempted into a crack at that Grade One back on the Knavesmire in August.

He said: "I'm delighted with that. I think he could (run in the Nunthorpe). He ran well in the Abbaye last year at the end of a long, hard year.

"He will go the Dash at Epsom next and then he's entered in a Group Two in Ireland."

Griffiths added: "We have hit a patch of form in the last four to six weeks which I cant really explain. It's swings and roundabouts because we had a bad end to last year.

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"This horse is a legend but I was concerned by all the rain yesterday. He loves it here, though, and at Chester last week he was very unlucky. I'm chuffed to bits we've won here again."

Here Comes When rolled back the years to take full advantage of his sliding mark with an authoritative success in the Betfred TV Hambleton Stakes.

Although now in the twilight of his career, the Andrew Balding-trained seven-year-old showed he still has plenty to offer when powering clear of his rivals in the Listed affair.

Sent off at 10/1 with conditions to suit, the former Group Two winner moved on with favourite Chelsea Lad past early leader Cote D'Azur entering the final two furlongs of the mile prize.

Despite giving weight away to the Martyn Meade-trained market leader, the Fitri Hay-owned gelding demonstrated what he is capable of when things are in his favour as he pulled readily clear to claim a two-and-a-quarter-length success.

The victory completed a double for the Kingsclere handler and winning rider Oisin Murphy who had earlier teamed up to land the Middleton Stakes with Blond Me.

Murphy said: "I've won on him before, but he's quite a tricky ride. I'm delighted he's won a big pot. He's a Group horse on his day when he gets cut in the ground and is relaxed.

Anna Lisa Balding said: "This horse so deserves to win and it's really nice to have a decent winner for Jim and Fitri (Hay) because they are such loyal owners.

"We knew the ground was right, but with him being an older horse you couldn't be sure if he would need the run. The plan now is the Royal Hunt Cup."

Fashion Queen and Kyllang Rock fought out an exciting finish to the British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes with the first-named runner just shading the Listed prize on the line.

Trained by David O'Meara, Fashion Queen was sent straight to the front by Danny Tudhope and the 20-1 shot had favourite Brian The Snail in trouble from some way out, while other leading fancy Ardad also dropped away tamely.

Kyllang Rock looked the winner half a furlong out but Fashion Queen battled back to edge it by a neck.

Tudhope said: "She shows a lot of speed, she did in the Lowther last year.

"I think six furlongs would be too far, she's a very speedy filly.

"We got headed at one point but she came back and got back up."

O'Meara said: "She's always shown loads of speed, she's very fast so it was logical to go back to five. She's in the Commonwealth Cup, but we think she's all speed. The Sandy Lane could be a possibility, but we will have a good look.

"We were hoping for black type, but hopefully she can go on from here."

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